January, 2, 2014
by Joey B.
One Rose Bowl game is in the books this year, and one more is coming up. This Monday, January 6th, at 8:30 PM ET the #1 seed Florida St. Seminoles take on the #2 seed Auburn Tigers in the Vizio BCS National Championship game. Florida St. is currently an 8.5 point favorite, and the over/ under is 67.5 points. With the money line, FSU is -300 and Auburn is +250. It's always difficult predicting these games, in part, because of the long layoffs between the last game of the season and the championship game. Both these teams last played December 7, almost a month ago. In my opinion, Auburn has more quality wins this year. They beat #24 Ole Miss, then two weeks later Johnny Manziel and the 7th ranked Texas A&M Aggies in Texas.
To close out the season, they won three games in a row at home. It started with a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game to beat #25 Georgia, followed by a missed field-goal attempt TD run for over 100 yards against the #1 ranked team Alabama (who by the way were also the two-time defending national-champions), and finished with a 17 point win against #5 ranked Missouri. Their only loss was against the then #6 ranked LSU Tigers on the road back in week 4. FSU beat #25 Maryland who they blanked 62-0, #7 ranked Miami, and #20 ranked Duke. Their one big win came against then #3 Clemson; a 51-14 drubbing at Clemson.
Against those 4 ranked teams, they outscored them 200-35. Florida State is looking to win its first national title since 1999, when they beat VA Tech in the Sugar Bowl. History will be against them as the past 7 winners have come out of the SEC, the same division Auburn is in. One thing FSU will have in its favor is this year's Heisman Trophy winner QB Jameis Winston. He was also the Walter Camp player of the year winner and the Davey O'Brian winner that goes to the nation's top QB.
They have the nation's top defense in terms of points allowed and allow just 152 passing yards/game, also the nation's best. 16 FSU players have at least one INT this season. They outscored their opponents an average of 53-10.7, and won every game except one by at least 27 points. These two teams met once before in a bowl game; the Sugar Bowl back in 1988, where FSU won 13-7. The last time they played was back in 1990, when Auburn won 20-17 at home.
I think this will be another low-scoring game. Often times in these championship games, teams come out a little flat, a little conservative until they start to gain confidence and momentum. While Auburn beat more ranked teams, they did so at home and with the help of improbable last minute plays. They also got a little help when undefeated Ohio State lost to Michigan State, a loss which kept the Buckeyes out of the national championship game, and let the Tigers in. I also don't think they can beat 2 #1 teams in the same year. FSU is undefeated and I see them finishing the season with a perfect record, ending the SEC's streak of 7 championships in a row.
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