Kick off the National Championship with these Fun Facts

Ohio? Oregon?

University of Oregon? Ohio State University?

It’s time to pick a side. For bragging rights. The first College Football National Championship decided by a playoff system kicks off Monday night. Not sure which team to root for? Hopefully these fun facts about Ohio and Oregon and the Ducks and Buckeyes make the decision easier:

Eight US Presidents were from Ohio: William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, Ulysses S Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, William Taft, William McKinley and Warren G Harding. Of those, four died in office (W Harrison, Garfield, McKinley and Harding) and two are featured on US currency (Grant on the $50 bill and McKinley on the $500 bill).

Eugene, Oregon is named after its founder, Eugene F. Skinner. Early on if was known as “Skinner’s Mud Hole,” then Eugene City before it became Eugene in the late 1800s.

Columbus is Ohio’s capital and largest city.

Year after year, Eugene is considered one of America’s “Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities.”

About 45% of the U.S. population lives within 500 miles of Columbus.

Eugene was the first city in America to have one-way streets.

The Ohio state flag is the only pennant shaped state flag in the U.S.

Oregon’s state flag is the only one to feature a different design on each side.

Columbus’ demographics closely mirror the nation’s average demographics, making it a favorite to test market new products and restaurant foods; and earning its moniker of “The Test Market Capital of the World.”

Eugene is known as “Tracktown USA” because it has hosted the US Track and Field team trials three consecutive times on two different occasions: in 1972, 1976 and 1980 and again in 2008, 2012 and the upcoming 2016 trials.

Ohio Stadium, nicknamed “The Horseshoe,” seats 104,944 fans. That’s more than the population of West Palm Beach, Florida.

It’s been rumored the Oregon Ducks have up to 500 different combinations. One of the most popular of these is an all-black pants and jersey combo nicknamed “Lights Out.”

Archie Griffin is the only 2-time Heisman Trophy winner in NCAA history.

Despite only coming into national prominence in the mid-90s, the University of Oregon is the7th most represented college in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former OSU Buckeye defensive standout John Laurinaitis is the son of the Joe Laurinaitis — better known as “Animal” from the WWE tag-team The Road Warriors.

The University of Oregon is the only college that has a Disney character as a mascot. You know him as Donald Duck; the locals refer to him as “Puddles.”

In 2006, the #1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes defeated #2-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 42-39. Later that evening, the Ohio Lottery Pick 4 numbers were 4-2-3-9.

The Oregon Ducks square off against the Oregon State Beavers every year in a game dubbed, “The Civil War.” The winner gets state bragging rights and the quite-appropriate Platypus Trophy.

From 1975-87, three consecutive OSU linebackers — Tom Cousineau, Marcus Marek and Chris Spielman — wore number 36. They were also voted All-Americans and played pro football after leaving Ohio State.

Thanks to Hollywood — and a missed opportunity to appear in “The Graduate” — the University of Oregon starred as Faber College from “Animal House.” This probably explains why Ducks fans do a rousing rendition of the song “Shout” between the 3rd and 4th quarter of home football games.

Enjoy the game; and may both teams add more great moments to their legacies.

– – PJ Butland