2014 BCS National Championship Game Preview

January 6, 2014

Well, we’ve finally made it. The final day of the 2013-2014 college football season.

It’s always a bittersweet event; the frenzy that is the BCS National Championship Game is more than just the game. It’s the media surrounding it for almost a week beforehand, the fans of each team playing and the rest of the nation that will watch the game simply to see what transpires. But more importantly, it means that no more college football will be played (with the exception of games to highlight seniors) for eight months. It’s sad.

What should make everyone happy, though, is that this is the final season in which we have to put up with the BCS. A playoff is on the horizon.

At 17-17, I’m out of the Bowl Mania picture as far as winning is concerned. At some point this week I’ll include the winner of the group in an article wrapping up the season.

But for now, here is the preview for the BCS National Championship Game.

BCS National Championship Game presented by Vizio (Monday, 8:30 PM ET – ESPN)

No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 1 Florida State

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been this excited to watch a national championship game where I don’t have a dog in the fight. It’s not an over exaggeration that no one is quite sure what is going to happen in this game. Literally no one does. For the first time since Florida took on Ohio State in 2007, the SEC squad is the underdog in the game for the crystal football. But it’s difficult to accurately gauge Florida State’s season due to the perception of the ACC as a whole. As Brent Musburger will probably say, “strap in, folks. This is gonna be a good one.”

If this game pits Domination against Destiny, then the Auburn Tigers are the definition of destiny. In back to back weeks to end the regular season, Auburn showed the nation why college football is so fun to watch. The Tigers aren’t here because they are the best team in the nation. Rather, Guz Malzahn’s squad survived what is still without a doubt the toughest conference in college football. The variation of the triple option that Auburn runs is very difficult for teams to stop, if not simply because it is so very difficult for the Tigers to screw it up. Auburn might not be the most talented team on either side of the ball, but when push comes to shove, I think that the SEC’s representative in this game will make things work offensively. The biggest question facing the Tigers is whether a porous pass defense can contain Florida State’s lethal attack.

Florida State comes into this game knowing what the stakes are. A chance to dethrone the SEC, at least for a year. A chance to bring some credibility back to the struggling ACC. A chance to silence the critics who don’t believe in the regular season domination. But aside from all of that, the Seminoles need to prove that they can produce on the biggest of stages. The ACC is 4-6 in bowl games this season compared with the SEC’s 7-2 record, and the SEC is 2-0 in head-to-head matchups. The way that Florida State has been going about its business this season, the “conference strength” argument hasn’t held much weight with Seminoles supporters anyway. But this game isn’t going to be a blowout. Florida State is playing a quality opponent, and Jameis Winston will be expected to make plays in a high pressure situation. This will be a first for the redshirt freshman, and I’m curious to see how he responds.

I don’t really want to make a prediction for this game, because I’m more interested about the 60 minutes of play than about being right at the end. But here is what I will say about this one: the team that makes fewer mistakes will win this contest. Florida State has a ton of talent, but I don’t know how the team will respond in the face of adversity. I think I have a pretty good idea of how Auburn will respond, and I also think the Tigers operate in a way that results in fewer mistakes. I’m taking Auburn for 18 points.

My Pick: 38-30 Auburn

I want to thank all of you that have read my work throughout the 2012-2013 college football season. You are the reason that I continue to write on this blog, and also the reason why it is so interesting to discuss topics related to the sport. With 2014 being a Winter Olympics and World Cup year, expect a lot of activity on both this site and my Bleacher Report profile in the coming months. Again, thank you for the support and I look forward to another great year of writing and sports.

– K. Becks

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