Bama running back Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in part for his performance on the big stage, and he certainly didn’t disappear to start the college football playoff. Though the Tide already had a 20-point lead, Ingram made sure there was no sniff of a comeback, running for a pair of touchdowns - including one from 75 yards out - and catching another. He finished with more than 200 yards of total offense, including 181 on the ground.
The Trojans, champions of the Sun Belt Conference, were simply happy to be back in the field for a second straight year. Shawn Southward’s 54-yard touchdown scamper was their only score of the game and they ran the ball 18 times for 18 yards outside of that long burst against one of the nation’s top defenses against the run.
Bama moves on to get the winner of a matchup between the conference champions of two of the nation’s most lackluster leagues - ACC champ Georgia Tech and Big Ten champ Ohio State. The Crimson Tide beat four ranked teams during the regular season, but would probably be happy to avoid a non-automatic qualifying school after their 2008 debacle against Utah.
Player of the game: Mark Ingram (181 rushing yards, 2 TDs; 43 receiving yards, 1 TD)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Alabama 99.8% - Troy 0.2%