Oregon and Ohio State advance in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinals

By Andrew Barge
Friday, 2 January 2015

Football fans rang in the new year with the inaugural College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) semifinals on @ESPN and Twitter. And now Ohio State and Oregon loyalists have their hopes set on winning the national championship on Jan. 12.



#SugarBowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State

In the Sugar Bowl, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) upset the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (@AlabamaFTBL) 42-35 in a classic shootout that came down to the very last play.

The conversation about the game in New Orleans dominated Twitter on the first night of the new year. 2.3 million Tweets around the world containing terms related to the #SugarBowl were sent during the live telecast of the game on @ESPN.

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a Sugar Bowl record 230 yards and two TDs in the win.


Here are moments that generated the biggest peaks of Twitter conversation in the Sugar Bowl:

  1. End of game: Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell intercepts Blake Simms’s Hail Mary attempt. Ohio State defeats Alabama 42-35.
  2. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott runs 85 yards for a TD to put the Buckeyes up 42-28 with 3:24 left in the game.
  3. Ohio State defensive lineman Steve Miller intercepts a Blake Simms pass and returns it 41 yards for a TD to put the Buckeyes up 34-21 with 3:21 left in the third quarter.

These were the most-mentioned players on Twitter during the live telecast of the game:

Ohio State

  1. Cardale Jones
  2. Ezekiel Elliott
  3. Devin Smith

Alabama

  1. Derrick Henry
  2. Amari Cooper
  3. Blake Sims

#RoseBowl: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State

Earlier in the day, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks (@WinTheDay) dominated the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (@FSU_Football) 59-20 in a high scoring affair in Pasadena – and college football fans around the world Tweeted along the way.

In fact, there were over 2.4 million Tweets sent related to the #RoseBowl during the live telecast of the game on @ESPN.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, threw for 338 yards and two TDs and was named the game’s offensive MVP. The Ducks’ defense capitalized off Florida State turnovers, including three by Seminoles QB Jameis Winston.

Here are moments of the game that generated the biggest peaks of Twitter conversation:

  1. Oregon linebacker Tony Washington returns Florida St. QB Jameis Winston’s fumble 58 yards for a TD to put Oregon up 45-20 over FSU with 1:36 remaining in the third quarter.
  2. Oregon defensive back Erik Dargan intercepts a Jameis Winston pass with under a minute remaining in the third quarter.
  3. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota runs for a 23 yard TD and puts Oregon up 52-20 over FSU with 13:56 left in the game.

These were the most-mentioned players on Twitter during the game:

Oregon

  1. Marcus Mariota
  2. Darren Carrington
  3. Charles Nelson

Florida State

  1. Jameis Winston
  2. Dalvin Cook
  3. Karlos Williams Sr.

After the game, Florida St. QB Jameis Winston Tweeted some love for the his team:

Prior to the game, Oregon (@WinTheDay) sent out personalized jerseys to celebrity fans with their Twitter handle on the back. Here are a few examples:


Come back here later next week when we preview how to follow the National Championship on Twitter.

And in case you missed it, check out this interactive map that shows the most-followed college football playoff teams among users by U.S. county.