BCS National Championship Game Predictions

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Finally, it’s here. We’re going to crown a new national champion tomorrow night. How fitting that the BCS Championship ends with Florida State playing the SEC Champions, just like when the era was ushered in back in 1998 between Tennessee and FSU.

Vegas largely has FSU a 9-point favorite as it stands one day from game time.

RELATED: Five reasons Auburn beats FSU

Let’s get it…

Kevin:

This is why college football is great. This game is impossible to predict! Since the BCS games are proving how difficult predictions are, I’ll simply explain my thoughts and then end with a score prediction.

First, I tend to go with the battle-tested team in this situation. That of course is Auburn. Florida State’s schedule is a joke, and their closest game was Boston College in which they won by 14 points. Auburn on the other hand has had to grind it out against SEC teams. Auburn finished with wins against Georgia, Alabama and Missouri. Those are impressive wins late against good defenses (not so much Georgia). Florida State ended with a corpse of a team in Florida and Duke. Not the same.

I’ve been comparing this game to Ohio State and Florida following the 2006 season. Ohio State dominated an easy schedule with the Heisman Winner in Troy Smith leading their team. They were heavy favorites against Florida who backed in (similar to Auburn). Florida crushed Ohio State.

Do I think Auburn crushes Florida State? Definitely not, because Florida State will score on Auburn. Their offense is elite and Auburn’s defense, well, isn’t elite. But the fascinating thing to watch will be Florida State’s defense against the tempo and against that power run game. With a month off, facing an up tempo attack like Auburn is hard. FSU players will be gassed early especially if Auburn can keep that FSU defense on the field.

With that said, Florida State has way more elite athletes than a team like Ohio State in 2006. Florida State recruits like SEC teams. They’re physical, fast, and deep. Make no mistake about it, Florida State is an elite football team.

I don’t think Auburn’s run game can be stopped. But if Florida State manages to contain it, they could blow Auburn out. Auburn needs to get the FSU defense on their heels and hope they can outscore Florida State – similar to what they did against Missouri in Atlanta. This will be harder against FSU than it was against Missouri.

Florida State’s passing game will likely thrive, but if Auburn can get SOME pressure on Winston, it could be enough. He’s young and hasn’t been roughed up much.

At the end of the day, I lean toward Auburn for the reasons cited above. Battle tested, simple offense which should still be super effective even with timing off after a month off, they beat the best teams they played, and I like Gus Malzahn to add a wrinkle that FSU hasn’t seen before.

48-41. War Eagle.

RELATED: What AU fans need to know about FSU

Jon:

The national championship features the most dominant team in the country in FSU against the hottest team in the country in Auburn.

I’ve been mulling this game over for the last several weeks and trying to decide how this game will go. I’ve truly been torn over which team should win and which team will actually win.

Now, as we sit here and look at the BCS landscape, every single underdog has won a BCS game. UCF beat Baylor; Oklahoma beat Alabama; Clemson beat Ohio State; Michigan State beat Stanford. That’s unprecedented. And, of course, Auburn enters as the 8-point underdog against FSU, who has looked utterly dominant in ACC play. That bodes well for the Tigers.

FSU truly thinks they are the best team in the BCS era, and they are so talented at every single position. There’s an outside chance that all 22 starters get drafted. Has that ever happened before? From the offensive and defensive skill positions to the line of scrimmage, FSU has been built like an SEC team, talented and physical at every position.

Auburn, on the other hand, is talented, too, but because of the tougher schedule, they haven’t been perceived as dominant. The Tigers have progressively gotten better throughout the season, and QB Nick Marshall exemplifies that. Several call Auburn a ‘lucky’ team, but truly every championship team catches breaks, and it’s about how teams capitalize on those breaks that makes them ‘lucky’ or not. See, college football is all about timing, and the Tigers have had the right timing this season, and they’ve made the most of their timing. I’ve compared Auburn to Oregon, but they’re much more physical on the line of scrimmage. And there’s no difference between Oregon tempo and Auburn tempo.

My biggest questions actually revolve around FSU, not Auburn. How will FSU react to playing a close game in the fourth quarter? Namely, how does Jameis Winston react to a close game? The stage isn’t too big for him, but it’s the pressure at the end of a game I want to see him handle.

Here’s how I perceive this game going: Auburn comes out hot and goes up by two touchdowns early, but FSU’s defense will get a grasp for the offense throughout the game and will sell out to stop the run. The Noles’ offense will score many points on Auburn’s defense unless the pass rush puts Jameis Winston on the ground. He’s been great with pressure in his face all season, and he’ll pick apart the secondary like he’s done to any other team this season if the pass rush isn’t physical with him. As long as Auburn doesn’t turn the ball over, the offense is so multi-dimensional that it won’t be shut down. And if Auburn keeps it within a touchdown margin in the fourth quarter, their chances increase tremendously.

That being said, I do think FSU wins the game. I hope Auburn brings home the SEC’s eighth straight championship; I truly do. But I just don’t see that happening Monday night.

Prediction: FSU 44, Auburn 38

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • This year is tough because I’m an Auburn Alum but I’m also a realist (and a gambler!)…So I KNOW there’s a chance FSU is as good as advertised…but here’s to believing in the War Eagles!!!

  • FSU did beat everyone convincingly, but after Auburn beat my Mizzou the way they did I’m wanting Auburn to win so I won’t feel so bad about getting beat by the best.

  • War Damn Eagle! Auburn 38 FSU 21

  • I think if Auburn can force 2 turnovers they win the game. And I think they will.
    Auburn over FSU 35-31

  • The turning point for the Barn this season was actually a couple of years ago when Nick and his posse stole from their UGA Team Mates and was booted off the team.

    Funny how this type of player ($cam) ends up at the Barn. PPPP U

  • ***Before you rip me–I HATE BAMA and Mr. Whiner (Saben)
    1) “Auburn’s offense cannot be stopped” People are drunk off the Missouri game. Auburn was slowed by Bama (and out gained by 100 yards). 28 points will not cut it vs. FSU
    2) And that was with Bama playing 2-Deep the whole game to protect their horrible corners (the same ones who were exposed in that glorious Sugar Bowl). FSU will bring one or both safeties down.
    3) FSU has better players –the actually have a great defense.
    4) They have an advantage at the most important position on the field–QB
    5) Sure FSU played a weak schedule but they won by an average of 42. The Noles aren’t a weak N.D. or OSU team that limps by against weak teams. Georgia lost nail bitters to Clemson and Auburn–and we know what FSU did to Clemson.

    • Auburn was slowed against Bama? They rushed for almost 300 yards against them. That’s pretty dominant.

      • 28 points is not unstoppable. By playing nine in the box hey slowed them enough to win (if their kicker didn’t miss three field goals). Again, FSU is going to score more than 28 points on Auburn’s D AND they will be able to put 10 or 11 in the box.

        • To be fair, Missouri’s run defense numbers were just as sexy as FSU’s…before Auburn hung 545 yards against them. But I hear what you are saying. On paper this is lopsided, but so was 2006 when Florida hammered Ohio State. FSU should win big…but will they?

  • Auburn is a very good team, hopefully better than any team FSU has played this year. Assuming that’s the case, FSU is still better. Better in all 3 phases, with better players at all but a few positions. Auburn can win, but the most likely scenario would be FSU beating itself, which is not likely. FSU is not batte tested, because none of it’s opponents could survive the battle for more than a quarter. The most recent opponent which did that was Duke, who ended up losing 45-7, but in their bowl game against A&M, Duke led from the beginning until late in the game, finally losing 52-48 in one of Johnny M’s best games of the year. After Monday’s game, the mighty SEC’s 2 highest ranked teams will have fallen to 2 teams from different conferences, leaving the SEC 0-2 n this year’s BCS Bowl Games. Times are changing.

  • lol are you serious are you really hating on the SEC don’t you remember last year when they thought Notre Dame was going to beat Bama and do you even remember how dominating Alabama put on the Irish 42-14 don’t even talk about FSU winning don’t forget its a lot harder to go undefeated and win a lot of games in the SEC

    • Hilarious. Sure, the SEC is the best conference, but FSU is the best team FYI–N.D. was a TERRIBLE team that barely stumbled through an easy schedule. Bama could have won that game by 50 if they didn’t let up. Don’t compare them to the team that destroyed Clemson (who played even with Georgia who played even with Auburn). Scoreboard.

  • The worst thing that could have happened for Auburn is the month-long break between the SECCG and this game. They were rolling after UGA and Bama and, even though their D had trouble containing Mizzou, their offense was ridiculous in that game. Nevertheless, Auburn is the best team that has ever suited up, college or pro. I say Auburn 140, FSU 2. Auburn will heave 10 hopeless, poorly-thrown passes that get tipped into Ricardo Louis’ hands for TDs and they will return 10 missed FGs for TDs. Jameis Winston will be so distraught after the loss, he will hatch a plan to steal the crystal ball and get caught. After being convicted of grand theft, he will transfer to Auburn, where he will lead the Plainsmen to another national championship.

  • I’m sorry Kevin did you say Auburn backed into a championship game? let me go back and read that again. WHAT?!? it seems to me that Auburn bulldozed their way into the championship game. War Eagle baby!

  • alright I may have misconstrued what you were saying Kevin. I’ve been pulling for the Tigers all year. it’s the only team from the west that I could do that.

  • Jon’s seems to be the more reasonable pick. I’d take FSU by 13. They’ve looked great all year, no real weaknesses. But, like we saw in the Bama game, ya never know. After all, SEC isn’t gonna win all the bowls and 7-3 is still pretty damn strong.

  • To win this game, Auburn has to score 35+. If they do that then it becomes a coin toss. If they are held below, chances are Jameis will rape them (too soon?)

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