The current college football season is set to come to an end on Monday night with the BCS National Championship Game. Undefeated Florida State is set to take on one-loss Auburn at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Seminoles have been ranked in the top two since the beginning of November, while Auburn didn’t do so until they won the SEC title game.
Below are a few things to know about the 2014 BCS National Championship game.
2013 Season Recap
Florida State proved early on that they were one of the best teams in college football. They entered the preseason ranked No.11, and were dominant in their first four games, scoring at least 40 points in each. When they finally started playing ranked opponents, though, they truly separated themselves from the rest of the teams in the NCAA. In their fifth and sixth games, they defeated Maryland and Clemson by a total of 100 points. On their 13-game schedule, no team gave the Seminoles a legitimate challenge. They go into Monday night’s game with the No.1 offense (53 ppg) and No.1 defense (10.7 ppg) in the country.
Auburn had a much different road to the national title game. Florida State may have not been the favorites to start the season, but their 13-0 record isn’t that far off from their preseason projection. The Tigers, on the other hand, were not even expected to get close to reaching a BCS bowl game. They didn’t receive one top 25 vote to start the year, but they proved most of the experts wrong. After losing to then-No.6 LSU in their first SEC game, the Tigers went undefeated in the conference. They weren’t nearly as dominant as Florida State, winning six games by one score. However, they have more impressive wins than anybody in the country, defeating five ranked opponents. Victories against Alabama and Missouri in their last two games, as well as a loss by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, assured them a shot at the national championship.,
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Most eyes will be on Jameis Winston on Monday night. The quarterback won the Heisman Trophy by a landslide, and for good reason. Winston threw for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns to lead the Seminoles to their first national title game since 2001. Playing on his 20th birthday, Winston spearheads a Florida State offense that has scored at least 37 points in each game this season.
The Tigers' best bet might be to control the clock with their running game. While quarterback Nick Marshall ran for over 1,000 yards this season, running back Tre Mason played a crucial role for Guz Malzahn's squad. Mason helped the Tigers score 59 points in the SEC title game by rushing for over 300 yards. The junior may have to have another dominant performance in order for Auburn to pull off the upset.
Recent Team History
Florida State, essentially, reaches a bowl game every year. They are in the midst of the longest all-time streak, having reached a bowl game in every year since 1982. The Seminoles have won their last five bowl appearances, including a victory in last year’s Orange Bowl. They last played for the national championship in 2001 when they lost to Oklahoma. In the previous season, they defeated Virginia Tech for the title.
The 2012 season was Auburn’s worst year in 60 seasons. Before that, though, they had a long run of consistent success. Between 2000 and 2011, the Tigers failed to reach a bowl game just once. The Tigers have one national title in the BCS era. Cam Newton led the team to a victory over Oregon in January 2011.
BCS National Championship History
The contest between Florida State and Auburn is the 16th and final BCS National Championship Game. The Seminoles’ appearance in 2014 ties them with Oklahoma with four trips to the big game. Alabama leads the way with three victories.
The Seminoles are favored by double-digits, which may not be surprising considering the game hasn’t been close in recent years. Six of the last seven matchups have been decided by at least 10 points. The average margin of victory in the game’s history is 15 points. Last year, No.2 Alabama routed No.1 Notre Dame, 42-14. The No.1 ranked team is 7-8 in the contest.
TV And Online Info
The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET. Fans who can’t get to a TV can watch a free live stream online with WatchESPN. In 2013, over 26 million people watched Alabama win their second consecutive national championship. The year before, just over 24 million people tuned into the game.