The 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship was a bowl game that determined the consensus national champion of NCAA Division I FBS college football for the 2014 season, which took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015. It was the culminating game of the 2014–15 bowl season as the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship, replacing the BCS National Championship Game. The national title was contested through a four-team bracket system, the College Football Playoff, which replaced the previous Bowl Championship Series.
The game was played between the winners of two designated semi-final bowl games played on January 1, 2015: the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes, who upset No. 1 Alabama 42–35 in the 2015 Sugar Bowl, and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, who defeated previously unbeaten No. 3 Florida State 59–20 in the 2015 Rose Bowl. This was the first championship game since 2006 that did not feature at least one SEC team, and the teams' first meeting since the 2010 Rose Bowl, which the Buckeyes won 26–17.
The Ohio State Buckeyes won the game, 42–20, marking the first national championship awarded under the CFP system. Following the game, the AP Poll and Coaches' Poll also named Ohio State as their top team of the season, marking Ohio State's first national championship since 2002 and their 8th overall.
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AT&T Stadium (capacity 80,000) was announced as the host site in April 2013. Arlington and Tampa (Raymond James Stadium) were the only cities to submit hosting bids for the inaugural title game.
Each team received 20,000 tickets. Premium seat packages for the event cost $1,899 to $3,899 apiece. The packages can include hotel accommodations, game tickets, parking access, pregame hospitality, and an on-field postgame experience.
College Football Playoff announced that 1,000 tickets will be made available for purchase to fans who have signed up for a random drawing by May 1, 2014. On March 25, 2014, Dr Pepper was announced as the official championship partner and presenting sponsor of the new College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy.
The cost of a thirty-second commercial during the game broadcast reached upwards of $1 million.
The teams playing for the national championship were the winners of semifinal bowl games held on January 1, 2015. The semifinal games were the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The semifinal participants were chosen and ranked 1–4 by the 13-member playoff selection committee, with 1 playing 4 and 2 playing 3.
Ohio State was 20–24 all-time in bowl games. The Buckeyes made their fifth visit to the state of Texas, having won 4 previous games and outscoring four different schools 120–33. Ohio State, all-time, came into the game with an 8–0 record against Oregon.
Oregon is 13–15 all-time in bowl games. The Ducks are 6–4 in Texas having won three straight games and played their third game in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex (Dallas, Fort Worth and now Arlington).
Selected in an NFL Draft (number corresponds to draft round)
† = 2014 All-American
The game was televised by ESPN with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit as English commentators, and Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi as English sideline reporters and on ESPN Deportes with Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega as Spanish commentators. ESPN revived the Megacast coverage it had employed during the 2014 BCS National Championship Game: other ESPN networks (including ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, and ESPN3) supplemented coverage with analysis and additional perspectives of the game.
Approximately 33.4 million watched the game. The game set a cable television record for ratings, receiving an 18.5 Nielsen rating.
The game was broadcast on nationwide radio by ESPN Radio with Mike Tirico and Todd Blackledge on the call, with Holly Rowe and Joe Schad on the sidelines. Locally, the game was broadcast on radio by the Oregon IMG Sports Network flagshiped by KUGN (NewsTalk 590) in Eugene, Oregon with Jerry Allen (play-by-play) and Mike Jorgensen (color commentator), and by the Ohio State IMG Sports Network flagshiped by WBNS-AM (1460 ESPN Columbus) and WBNS-FM (97.1 The Fan) in Columbus, Ohio with Paul Keels (play-by-play), Jim Lachey (color commentator) and Marty Bannister on the sidelines.
Following the game, fans took to the streets of Columbus, Ohio, to celebrate. Fans tore down a temporary goalpost at Ohio Stadium. 89 fires were reported, and members of the Columbus Police Department used tear gas to disperse crowds. Just over a year later, Elliott, who had entered the draft early following his junior season, was brought back to AT&T Stadium when the Dallas Cowboys selected him with the 4th overall pick.