In the first year of the College Football Playoff, there was inevitably going to be unforeseen issues associated with the addition of an extra game and one of those quirks gave Ohio State a huge advantage before the teams even showed up to AT&T Stadium.
Because Oregon’s spring academic term began last week, the football team was limited by NCAA rules to 20 hours of practice and that includes meetings, weightlifting, and film sessions according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com.
Ohio State did not have the same limitations since their academic term did not start until this week. As a result, Ohio State players were free to practice as much as they wanted. But while Ohio State told ESPN that they were more concerned with players being rested and healthy, that certainly wouldn’t have kept the team from taking advantage of the extra time with more film sessions, meetings, and walk-throughs.
This advantage for Ohio State was especially relevant in this case because of the limited amount of time since each team’s last game. While each team had nearly a month to prepare for the playoff semifinal matchups, they had just 10 days to prepare for the championship game.
Advantage Ohio State.
Under the BCS system, the championship game was typically played 4-5 days after the New Year’s Day bowl games often giving the two contenders more than a month to prepare and set up a situation where the spring semester was never an issue.
Would extra practice have made a difference for Oregon? Maybe not. But it sure didn’t hurt Ohio State.
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