By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
@Tim_Linafelt on Twitter
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s place in the College Football Playoff is secure.
The Seminoles learned Sunday that they finished third in the final CFP rankings and will play second-seeded Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
It will mark the second time in as many seasons that FSU visits the venerable Rose Bowl Stadium. The Seminoles topped Auburn, 34-31, in the BCS National Championship Game earlier this year.
“We’re excited to go,” FSU coach Jimbo FIsher said. “We’re just happy to be in the playoff. Wherever you’re ranked, right now, I don’t think matters that much. Because every team in this playoff is going to be a great team.”
The first-ever meeting between the Seminoles and Ducks boasts no shortage of storylines.
The game features two of college football’s elite quarterbacks, Heisman-winner Jameis Winston against this year’s frontrunner, Marcus Mariota.
There will also be the sharp contrast of Fisher’s pro-style offense against Oregon coach Mark Helfrich’s hurry-up, no-huddle attack. The Ducks, who won the Pac-12 championship on Friday, rank third nationally in total offense and score an average of 46.3 points per game.
“They have great players,” Fisher said about the Ducks. “They’ve had great tradition for a while. They’re very athletic. They have one of the great quarterabcks in all of college football.”
Should FSU get past Oregon, it will have a date with either Alabama or Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Championship Game in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12.
The Crimson Tide earned the No. 1 seed after their 42-13 thrashing of Missouri in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. And the Buckeyes squeezed into the No. 4 spot on the strength of a 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Ohio State’s selection means that playoff hopefuls TCU and Baylor are going home disappointed. The Horned Frogs were ranked No. 3 in the rankings released last week.
Fisher said he didn’t envy the selection committee’s dilemma.
“There’s six teams that belong in,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be the ones picking. I understand where TCU and Baylor are coming from. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.”