Oregon v. Stanford’s result tonight will have implications felt all the way in Florida.

Updated: November 7, 2013
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Tonight in college football there will be a clash of styles like none other in sports. The Oregon Ducks go to Stanford in a match-up that is so much bigger than just a conference rivalry. It’s been a long time since one game meant so much to so many people not involved in the game. First, this game is far more important to Oregon than it is to Stanford.

For the last two seasons the Oregon Ducks have been the most exciting and explosive offense in college football. This offense is the brainchild of current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The Oregon offense is predicated on speed and efficiency, and at it’s helm is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Marcus Mariota.

So far this season Mariota has thrown 20 touchdowns and no interceptions, and has ran the Ducks offense to near perfection since he took over as quarterback. The constant thorn in the side of these Oregon teams the past few years has been teams who play a physical brand of football, and they face that type of team tonight in Stanford.

Courtesy of usatoday.com

Stanford is a tough football team that seems like they should be playing in the Big-10 as opposed to the Pac- 12 because they look nothing like the flashier teams based on the west coast. Stanford has more of a smash mouth physical style of play, and have played that way since Jim Harbaugh was their coach. This is a very smart team with a very smart coach David Shaw. Stanford plays very sound football and has all the fundamentals necessary to succeed since they don’t have the type of speed or skill players Oregon have.

For two seasons Stanford has went into Eugene and ended Oregon’s title hopes. This time the Ducks are going into Stanford and will have a bit less pressure not having to win in front of their own fans. Oregon has also won 18 straight road games so maybe this year it will be Oregon’s time.

If Oregon wins this game then look for them to run the table and meet Alabama in the National Championship game. A win here will also vault Marcus Mariota to the top of the Heisman voting, and all but make the conversation for number one overall pick a moot point because Mariota will surely be picked over Teddy Bridgewater if they win tonight and run the table. So again, there is a lot on the line tonight for Oregon.

The other team that has a lot riding on tonight’s game is Florida State, and I mean a lot. FSU literally have the exact same stakes in tonight’s game that Oregon have. It’s been over a decade since Florida State was a genuine title contender, and this season the Seminoles have absolutely throttled any and every opponent that has come up against them. It’s very likely the Seminoles go undefeated this season.

Courtesy of miamiheraldtypepad.com

Unfortunately for FSU, their schedule is riddled with teams that should be better, but aren’t. The only big name team left on Florida State’s schedule is Florida, but Florida’s fall (well more like their plummet) from a top SEC team to nobody, has been epic. Beating them at the end of season will be the equivalent to beating a Big East team; it means nothing to voters.

The Seminoles are a year away from there being a college football playoff, and their fates are not in their own hands. If Oregon beats Stanford tonight, then barring the unlikely event of an Oregon loss to maybe an Arizona, the Seminoles will have to look to next season for the chance at a National Championship.

Courtesy of businessinsider.com

The other storyline tonight is Jameis Winston’s Heisman hopes. The second year freshman has been an absolute revelation for the Seminoles. Florida State has not had Heisman winning quarterback since Chris Weinke in 2000. Winston would be the Heisman front-runner if the Seminoles continued to play they way they’ve been playing, and if Oregon loses. The second “IF” is a very big one.

So as a FSU fan, I’m definitely rooting for Stanford tonight. But, I think Mariota and company are just far too good a football team to lose this game, and they know how much is on the line tonight. My prediction is 35-24 Oregon to the dismay of all the Florida State fans. Here’s hoping to Stanford proving me wrong.

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