Scoreboard-watching can be an ally or an enemy. Last Sunday, in Week 17 of the NFL season, teams could watch their fates flash before their eyes on the Jumbotron.
On Thursday, the scheduling of the inaugural College Football Playoff put Ohio State and Alabama in a unique situation. As both teams prepared for their 9 p.m. ET start, the other semifinal, with a 5:10 p.m. ET start, unfolded. While Urban Meyer and Nick Saban got their last words in with their teams, Oregon finished off a 59-20 win over Florida State.
Meyer had an overbearing task at hand. Barely squeaking into the playoff, the two-time national champion coach felt the pressure to make his program relevant against the dynastic Crimson Tide of the SEC. In elegant fashion, the Buckeyes dispatched the Tide, 42-35.
After the victory, Meyer was on Cloud Nine. All his focus sent Ohio State to the National Championship Game. However, it also took his attention away from next week's opponent.
When Meyer was asked about Oregon's 40-point win (the actual margin of victory was 39 points), the coach did not beat around the bush. He gave an honest reaction:
It is somewhat refreshing to know Meyer was so locked into his own game, he failed to seek the details of the other semifinal. That is old school right there. The dude just wanted to go 1-0 this week.
It is worth noting Oregon has not won by less than 24 since October. On Thursday, the Ducks beat the nation's only undefeated team, which had not lost since November 2012, by 39 points. Things do not get any easier for the Buckeyes on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas.
History may be on Meyer's side though. The Buckeyes are 8-0 all-time against the Ducks, including a 26-17 2010 Rose Bowl win.
Meyer's personal record against Oregon is 1-0. Meyer's Utah Utes upset the 22nd-ranked Ducks on Oct. 3, 2003, in Salt Lake City.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.