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A Hokie Fan's Rooting Guide: The Oregon-Ohio State National Championship Game

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Not sure who to root for in the National Championship game? Allow us to overanalyze from a Tech perspective.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After years of complaints about the BCS college football fans finally got what they wanted — sort of — in the form of the creatively named College Football Playoff. For a fleeting week in September, it looked like Virginia Tech might be involved in the playoff picture but of course that wasn't to be. Still, the Hokies managed to beat Ohio State and at least be mentioned in playoff conversations however derisive those comments may have been.

So who should Tech fans root for in this championship game? Let's compare the two programs and how they relate to Tech.

Sponsor Tie-Ins

Both Oregon and Ohio State are Nike schools like Virginia Tech. Of course Oregon is the flagship program of Nike, and plenty of Tech fans have a strong dislike for the constant switching of jersey combinations. Ohio State has done it to an extent as well — even wearing alternate uniforms against Tech this season — but they skew more on the traditional side. This is a matter of taste. I'm of the younger generation so I generally like most of the new combos rolled out by Oregon. Virginia Tech could be like that, but so far at least they haven't executed the multiple looks very well.

The Coaches

Urban Meyer has multiple national titles while Mark Helfrich is still generally unknown east of the Rocky Mountains, but that's quickly changing. Many college football fans are dismissive of Oregon's style claiming it's a simple plug-and-play system with interchangeable parts that don't really matter. What then do we say about an Ohio State team now on its third quarterback without missing a beat? Both run a system that utilizes read option and versatile QBs while leaning on stout defenses to put them over the top in most games. Urban has chilled out somewhat from his days at Florida when he appeared ready to spontaneously combust at any moment, but he's still an old-school get in your face coach. Helfrich and his staff have come under criticism recently for saying they don't yell at their players. I think that's fine as it flies in the face of the insufferable macho aggression displayed by most football coaches and plenty of fans. These guys simply have very different personalities. Frank Beamer's personality falls somewhere in between the two with a general calm punctuated by the occasional outburst.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Our anchors learn the hard way not to mess with Mark Helfrich and Urban Meyer. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThisIsSportsCenter?src=hash">#ThisIsSportsCenter</a> <a href="http://t.co/ib76RPBbg7">http://t.co/ib76RPBbg7</a></p>&mdash; SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) <a href="https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/551449660775485441">January 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Traditions

Similar to the uniform issue, this is a matter of taste. Ohio State is a college football blue blood with a country club membership dating back generations. Oregon is Rodney Dangerfield, the nouveau riche getting no respect and not remotely welcome amongst the snobs. Like it or not, Virginia Tech is part of this new age of programs as well with the tradition of consistent success only dating back a little over two decades. The Hokies have more in common with the Ducks here, but plenty of east-coasters don't like those west coast hippies and their millennial-coddling coaches.

The Verdict

As far as these teams and their relation on the Hokies, only Ohio State directly applies to Tech. It would be kind of nice if not somewhat dubious to say that the only team to beat the 2014-15 national champion was the one from Blacksburg. The Buckeyes are also the blueprint for what Frank Beamer wants to do with his offense. They run the ball in traditional ways with success while balancing it out with a strong passing game. They love mobile QBs and smashmouth defense. Bud Foster is on record years ago saying if he was a head coach he would run an offense like Oregon, but both approaches can be very effective with the right personnel. My gut is to root for Oregon because I've just never liked OSU, though it would certainly make for an interesting Labor Day if the defending national champions rolled into Lane Stadium in September.

What do you think? Pull for the flashy west-coasters or root for tradition-rich Ohioans?