BCS: The Most Intriguing Stories Heading into Florida State's Clash with Auburn
With the BCS National Championship game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Auburn Tigers set to take place on Monday evening, there are a few storylines that you will need to keep close attention to during the game.
The Seminoles have been dominant throughout the entire season. The Tigers have been the beneficiary of Lady Luck's love.
Which team will prevail?
The following subplots will likely decide the winner. Each subplot was ranked by how they would each impact the outcome of the game.
Though these subplots did not make the list, they definitely need to be mentioned:
- Coach Gus Malzahn led the Tigers to the national championship the year after Auburn went 3-9. He is coming off of a 9-3 season with Arkansas State in 2012.
- The Seminoles receiving corps present a major matchup problem for the Auburn defense.
- A month layoff could have an effect on the Seminoles, who were cruising all season long.
5. Team of Destiny
Auburn won four games in the last 1:20 including the incredible 34-28 win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Its only loss was a 35-21 decision at LSU in September.
Florida State appears to be the more talented team, but Auburn has made a habit of defying the odds this season.
If there is a close game, will we see yet another miracle?
4. Reality Will Eventually Hit
A team in the BCS National Championship should not be labeled as "lucky".
However, let's be honest: Ricardo Louis’ catch against Georgia and Chris Davis’ field-goal return to beat Alabama aren’t ideal ways to win football games.
The Tigers did beat Alabama, Texas A&M and so on, but they haven't been dominant all season. Former powerhouse teams such as Florida and Georgia were not at the best health during their contests against Auburn. One-score wins against struggling teams like Mississippi State won't help the cause either.
Without those wins, Auburn could have easily finished in the middle of their conference season. They did finish 3-9 in 2012, folks.
One can only dream for so long until reality sets in. Reality looks to be knocking on Auburn's door.
3. Jameis Winston Under the Bright Lights
What a first season for the redshirt freshman, eh?
Jameis Winston became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy; his team is undefeated, and he set freshman records by passing for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns all while leading his team to the national championship game.
What could be the real icing on the cake? Taking home a trophy on his 20th birthday, which is January 6th—in case you didn't know.
2. Auburn's Offense vs. Top-Ranked Defense
The biggest question will be if Nick Marshall can lead an offensive attack that can stay with the Seminoles. The Auburn quarterback's numbers do not compare to that of Winston's, but he did play well enough to get his team to the big game.
Marshall isn't the only big name on offense. Tre Mason, who’s sixth in college football with 1,621 yards on the ground, recorded 304 yards in the SEC Championship game.
The Tigers offense will be matched up against what is arguably the top-ranked defense in all of college football.
1. Blow-out Bowl?
The Seminoles have won every game on average by at least two scores. The Tigers will already have a tough test scoring on the Seminoles third-ranked defense, but keeping them from scoring will definitely be a problem.
Florida State has yet to score less than 37 points in any game this season. It will be interesting to see what type of game it becomes. Auburn is an SEC team that has defeated some tough teams to get where it is. I wouldn't expect it to be a blowout.
The Seminoles destroyed teams, on average, by about 42 points per game. As arguably toughest defense in the NCAA, Florida State only gave up more than 17 points once in a 48-34 victory against Boston College.
Winston and the Seminoles are trying to become the first team to go undefeated while winning the national championship since the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers, who were arguably the best team in college football history. That team beat Florida 62-24 for the national title while averaging a 38.7 point margin in victory.
I'm not predicting a 60-point performance from the Seminoles, but history shows that a team who is dominant on both sides of the ball will have an easy time getting the job done.
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