After the usual long wait after the college football regular season, it’s now finally time to see who is the top dog in the games as the no. 1 ranked Florida State Seminoles and the no. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers will take the field against one another inside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to see who will take home the final BCS National Championship trophy.
Florida State comes into the game at 13-0 on the season and a reinvigorated program under head coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher has the Seminoles back to national prominence in his fourth year on the job after taking over for the legendary Bobby Bowden.
FSU is led by their amazing Heisman-winning quarterback, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston. After a myriad of hype since he announced he would be going to Tallahassee back in February of 2012, Winston has lived up to all of that and then some. In his debut campaign, the Alabama native tosses for over 3,800 yards and 38 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions.
He’s surrounded by an explosive offensive attack which includes three great wide receivers in Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene, and you can also add in three game-changing running backs in to that mix as well with Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams, who converted over from safety early in the season and has a few 100-yard games under his belt.
Factor in an experienced offensive line, and you have the number one offense in the nation, scoring an astonishing 53 points per game.
And defensively, there’s not a problem in that department neither as the Seminoles also have one of the best–if not the best–defensive units in the nation under first-year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who came over from Alabama following last season. In all, the FSU defense ranks third in the nation in total defense at 268.5 yards per game, and are tops in the country in scoring defense at 10.7 points per game, barely letting the opposing offense score in double digits.
If FSU is the team of domination in this one, though, then Auburn certainly is the team of destiny.
After just a 3-9 campaign in 2012–and 0-8 in the SEC–first-year head coach, and former Auburn offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn has nearly completed one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history.
The Tigers come into this one at 12-1 on the season, only losing early on against LSU on the road in Death Valley on a dreary Saturday night, 35-21.
Since that night, however, this team has been on an absolute tear, and that’s due in large part to one of the more complex, offensive performances in the nation.
Led by the tremendous progression of quarterback Nick Marshall and the patient running of Heisman finalist Tre Mason, Auburn’s offense is averaging 40.2 points per game on the year, good enough for ninth in the nation.
While Marshall may not pass the ball as much as some of the other passers in the country, he’s been quite effective when he does air it out, throwing for over 1,700 yards and 12 scores.
But it’s Mason and his legs that really set the tone for this group. He threw his name into Heisman contention down the stretch, especially with his record-breaking 304 yard, four touchdown performance against Missouri in the SEC Championship Game.
In this one, we’re absolutely getting the nation’s best offense against the nation’s best defense.
Date: Jan. 6
Start Time: 8 PM ET
Location: Pasadena, CA
Stadium: Rose Bowl
TV Info: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN app
Odds: Florida State -9
Prediction: As intriguing as the national media has tried to make this one out to be, it’s time for Florida State to prove to everyone that they may indeed be one of the most dominant teams of the BCS era, in the BCS’ final year of existence.
Under Pruitt, this Florida State defense is built with every tool possibly needed to contain everything Auburn does on offense.
And as far as scoring on this Auburn defense goes, with all due respect to Mizzou’s James Franklin, Jameis Winston may obliterate that secondary more than Franklin did.
Jimbo Fisher brings Florida State their first national championship since 1999.
Florida State 49, Auburn 20