Stars, and sidekicks, shaped playoff

— -- Name the Florida State quarterback who beat Clemson in overtime to keep the Seminoles undefeated and alive in the College Football Playoff.

Oh no.

You didn't forget Sean Maguire ... did you?

With Jameis Winston suspended, Maguire did the only thing Florida State needed him to do against the toughest opponent in the ACC -- he won. The inaugural College Football Playoff was shaped by more than Heisman Trophy winners Winston and Marcus Mariota, the Oregon quarterback. While the household names delivered the consistency that helped determine the selection committee's final ranking, the top contenders also had an X factor, like Maguire, who helped along the way.

Here's a look at the stars, ranked in order of impact, whose roles defined the playoff, their sidekicks, and whether or not they can do it one more time this season:

1. Ohio State

The name you know: J.T. Barrett. Once the second-string quarterback, Barrett finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Those three picks in the loss to Virginia Tech? Yeah, the selection committee doesn't remember those either. Barrett opened the door to the playoff for Ohio State, but his replacement knocked it down.

The X factor: Cardale Jones. It was his first career start. And Jones, the Buckeyes' third-string QB, was the MVP of the Big Ten championship game after throwing for 257 yards and three touchdowns. That win over Wisconsin put Ohio State in the playoff. Jones had one audition for the selection committee, and he nailed it.

Can they do it again: No. Jones pulled off one of the most spectacular and stunning performances of the season in the Big Ten championship game, but Alabama's defense is hitting its stride, particularly up front. Bama stifled Missouri and is good enough to fluster Ohio State's rookie quarterback.

2. Florida State

The name you know: QB Jameis Winston. Now that Winston was ruled not to have violated the student conduct code, there should be nothing weighing him down and plenty of motivation to continue to prove the selection committee wrong. Winston hasn't been as effective as he was a season ago, but neither was his supporting cast. And yet the Noles are still undefeated.

The X factor: QB Sean Maguire. It wasn't a flawless performance against Clemson -- and it was his only moment in the spotlight -- but it was season-defining nonetheless. With Winston suspended, Maguire threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene to tie it at 17-17 with 6:04 left in the fourth. Lose that game and FSU likely would've lost its playoff hopes, too.

Can they do it again: Of course, but they shouldn't need Maguire. Florida State has made a living proving doubters wrong -- for 29 straight games. The Seminoles will benefit from the absence of injured Oregon CB Ekpre-Olomu, who likely would've matched up against Greene. The Ducks' D has given up 40 pass plays of 20 or more yards.

3. Oregon

The name you know: QB Marcus Mariota. The Heisman Trophy winner is the face of the program and the catalyst behind its No. 2 ranking. He was nearly flawless, throwing just two interceptions all season. And that home loss to Arizona? Avenged, with a Pac-12 title to prove it.

The X factor: LT Jake Fisher. With Fisher in the lineup for the first three games of the season, the Ducks were 3-0, averaged 52 points and Mariota was sacked just four times. Fisher missed the next two games with an injury. The Ducks went 1-1 without him and Mariota was sacked 12 times. With Fisher back, the Ducks ran for 258 yards in a win over UCLA, Mariota accounted for four touchdowns and wasn't sacked once.

Can they do it again: Only if the defense helps. Oregon will be facing FSU QB Jameis Winston without All-American cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week.

4. Alabama

The name you know: WR Amari Cooper. He made things easy for offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and quarterback Blake Sims, keeping the Tide's passing game effective in spite of Sims' inconsistencies. He delivered a 23-yard touchdown catch in the overtime win against LSU, and had a record-setting performance against Auburn in the Iron Bowl with 224 receiving yards. He's the school's all-time receiving leader in touchdowns, and is a deep threat as well as a matchup problem.

The X factor: Sims. When the Tide needed him, he delivered. Two touchdowns and no turnovers in the win against Arkansas. He orchestrated one of the best fourth-quarter comeback drives of the season in the win over Mississippi State. He threw just four incomplete passes against Missouri in the SEC title game. The fifth-year senior made the most of his opportunity to start this season.

Can they do it again: Yes. Cooper will be the second straight Heisman Trophy finalist that the Ohio State defense will face, as the Buckeyes most recently shut down Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon in the Big Ten title game. Ohio State's pass defense has been one of the best in the country, but it hasn't faced an elite receiver like Cooper. Sims is at his best when it matters the most.

5. Ole Miss

The name you know: QB Bo Wallace. That's his name; Not "Good Bo" or "Bad Bo," and Rebels fans will remember it because of the encore he delivered in a thumping of ranked rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. He won't be able to escape the errant throw in the loss to LSU, or the turnovers in the loss to Arkansas, but he helped deliver the program's first nine-win season since 2009.

The X factor: WR Laquon Treadwell. The home loss to Auburn was devastating, and it was twofold. Ole Miss was a legitimate one-loss playoff candidate until losing to Auburn, when Treadwell suffered a horrific season-ending injury just inches from the goal line. With the fumble and injury, the Rebels not only lost the game and their playoff hopes, they lost their best player.

Can they finish strong: No. Not without Treadwell against that high-flying TCU offense. The defense was the strength and identity of Ole Miss this season, but so were turnovers. The best defense for the Rebels will be to sustain drives and keep the ball away from the Frogs.

6. Baylor

The name you know: QB Bryce Petty. He leads the nation's most prolific offense and when he's on target, he's a Heisman Trophy candidate. Petty played through a back injury this season, and he suffered a mild concussion against Texas Tech, but punctuated the regular season with 412 yards in the win over K-State.

The X factor: K Chris Callahan. The redshirt freshman walk-on began his career and the season 1-for-6 on field goals, but you'd never know it by the TCU box score. In a game that gave Baylor the upper hand over TCU in the selection committee's final ranking, Callahan made all four of his field goal attempts against the Horned Frogs, including the game-winner, and was 7-of-7 on PATs, setting a new school record for kicking points in a game.

Can they do it again: Yes. Michigan State's defense is holding opponents to less than 20 points per game, but it gave up 46 to Oregon and 49 to Ohio State, both losses.

7. TCU

The name you know: QB Trevone Boykin. He was arguably the most improved player on the country's most improved team. A fantastic story. His most memorable performance came in the 41-20 win over K-State in which Boykin accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing).

The X factor: K Jaden Oberkrom. Think about how much the loss to West Virginia killed Baylor's playoff hopes. TCU was a field goal away from having the same problem until Oberkrom's 37-yard field goal as time expired gave the Frogs a 31-30 road win against WVU.

Can they do it again: Yes. TCU's offense averages 46.8 points, and Ole Miss won't be able to match that without injured receiver Laquon Treadwell in the lineup. Plus, there's a wee bit of a motivation factor after TCU dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 in the selection committee's final ranking.