Roster Analysis: FBS National Championship

January 12, 2015 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments

Two of the biggest brands in football meet tonight in Arlington, Texas as the Ohio State Buckeyes face the Oregon Ducks in the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Both teams come in to the game with a record of 13-1, with each having suffered a home loss early in the season (Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech 35-21 on September 6th and Oregon lost to Arizona 31-24 on October 2nd).
Both teams also have two of the highest scoring offenses in the country with the Ducks (47.2 points per game) ranking 2nd in the nation in total points, and the Buckeyes (45.0 points per game) ranking 5th in the nation.
And one of our favorite similarities between these teams, both head coaches are from small towns in their team’s home state. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer grew up in Ashtabula (pop. 18,673) in northeastern Ohio, and Mark Helfrich grew up on the Oregon coast in the town of Coos Bay (pop. 15,946).
Below we provide our geographic analysis of the two rosters.
Buckeyes Roster by State
  • Not surprisingly, approximately 61% of the players on the Ohio State roster are from the state of Ohio. The majority of the 65 players from the Buckeye State are from either the Cleveland/Akron region (23 players), the Columbus area (16 players) or the Cincinnati/Dayton region (14 players).
  • There are a handful of Buckeyes from the four states that currently produce the most FBS players in the country: Georgia (6), Florida (5), Texas (3) and California (2). 


Ducks Roster by State
  • Oregon has one of the rare FBS rosters in which the state representing the most players on the team is not the home state. There are 47 players on the Ducks roster from the state of California, which is more than double the amount of players from the state of Oregon (23).
  • The Ducks have players from 19 different states with Arizona (8), Hawaii (6) and Texas (6) having the next most after California and Oregon.


Buckeye Starters by State (Projected)
  • There are 14 starters for the Buckeyes who are from the state of Ohio, including all five starting offensive lineman (Darryl Baldwin, Jacoby Boren, Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, and Billy Price). Boren and Elflein are two of four starters from the Columbus area, as starting Linebackers Darron Lee and Joshua Perry are also from nearby the Ohio State campus.
  • Quarterback Cardale Jones is one of three Buckeye starters from the Cleveland, Ohio area. The Sophomore has looked very impressive since replacing J.T. Barrett (a Texas native) late in the season.
  • Three of Ohio State’s most explosive offensive players are from outside the state of Ohio. Running Back Ezekiel Elliott is from St. Louis, Missouri, Wide-Receiver Evan Spencer is from Vernon Hills, Illinois, and Wide-Receiver Michael Thomas is from Los Angeles, California.

Duck Starters by State (Projected)
  • Not surprisingly, half of the starters on the Oregon roster are from the state of California, including the team’s leading rusher (Freshman Royce Freeman) and leading receiver (Junior Byron Marshall).
  • There are three Duck starters from the state of Oregon. Wide-Receiver Keanon Lowe and Defensive Lineman Alex Balducci are from Portland, Oregon, while Linebacker Tyson Coleman is from Lake Oswego, Oregon (suburb of Portland).
  • Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota is one of two starters from the state of Hawaii. The Junior Quarterback played high school ball at St. Louis High School in Honolulu. Defensive Lineman DeForest Buckner is the other starter from the Aloha State.

Buckeyes vs Ducks
It was 2005 the last time a team from a state other than Alabama, Florida or Louisiana won the national championship.
And it was 2002 the last time a team from a northern climate won the national title. That team…the Ohio State Buckeyes.
So, tonight in Arlington, will the Buckeyes continue to be the only northern climate team in the 21st century to have won a National Championship, or will the Ducks get their first National Championship in program history?

Will the winning Head Coach be a three-time national title winner from the shores of Lake Erie, or a first-time national title winner from the shores of the Pacific Ocean? 

Will the winning Quarterback be a “third-stringer” from dreary Cleveland, or a Heisman Trophy winner from sunny Honolulu?
Either way…the game is sure to capture the attention of fans across the nation and college football has never deserved it more.