The final BCS National Championship Game is tonight at 8:30 pm on ESPN between Auburn and Florida State. The Seminoles, behind Heisman winner Jameis Winston and a robust defense, are heavily favored, but that’s no reason to think the Eagles/Tigers/Plainsmen can’t win. When I previewed all the bowl games last month, I wrote of this one:
Florida State and Auburn round things out in the final BCS National Championship Game before the implementation of the College Football Playoff next season. If this game was being played this weekend, I’d have an easier time picking Auburn to win. Although the Eagles/Tigers/Plainsmen have beaten Alabama, Missouri, Texas A&M, and everyone else on their schedule with the exception of LSU on the road, I think all of the time off will allow Florida State to better prepare for Auburn’s packaged offensive scheme. I can’t help being reminded of Auburn’s last national championship, in a game in which I also thought they were severely overmatched. Auburn’s giving up forty-two points to Missouri in the SEC championship game worries me, but they’re still my tentative pick to win it all on January 6.
I don’t know that anything has happened since then to make me feel more confident that Auburn can win, so I’m going to leave my prediction as it is. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
(Sidebar: Picking bowl games is a little bit difficult. This year, my picks were pretty scattered, none worse than picking Rice to beat Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl, which ended up being one of the few bad games this postseason. Still, I would like to note that ESPN the Magazine went 0-fer in its BCS bowl predictions. They had Alabama by 14 in the Sugar (Oklahoma by 14), Baylor by 20 in the Fiesta (UCF by 10), Ohio State by 6 in the Orange (Clemson by 5), and Stanford by 15 in the Rose Bowl (Michigan State by 4).)
For your pregame reading, I offer the following selections:
- The Making of a Modern-Day Guru: How Gus Malzahn went from high school defensive coordinator to college offensive mastermind, and took Auburn to the brink of championship glory in the process – Grantland
- Florida State: Unbeaten and Untested. In contrast to Tigers, Seminoles Took the Path of Least Resistance – Wall Street Journal
- Equal Justice Under College Football Playoff: College football will take a big step forward when it adds a two-round, four-team playoff, but it will take a step backward when it replaces the BCS ranking system with the College Football Playoff Selection Committee – ALDLAND
Enjoy the game tonight.
Enhance your game-watching experience with this bingo card, courtesy of SB Nation:
Is there a term for bandwagoning something after it’s dead? I can’t think of another object in the media that has gone from so loathed to missed. Yes some of the BCS angst has been about AQ conferences and only two teams and what not, but there was also blame put on the computers when teams felt they should have a chance and didn’t get invited to the national championship game. Now people yearn for a more elegant past that, when I wrote this anyways, isn’t even over yet.
It’s an easy and lazy article to write, and it’s a faux-unpopular opinion that will generate web clicks. I like to think I was on the topic before it became the hearsewagoning scene you describe, and I also think I took a more serious, thoughtful, and nuanced approach.
It’s sort of like the difference between all the people at major sports sites (saw this at Yahoo and Fox among hundreds of others, I’m sure) who hustled to write parrot posts that amounted to “Chris Kluwe said thing. Here’s the thing he said. Whoa.” and the few (who might exist, I have neither seen nor sought out) who wrote something thoughtful, substantive, and original.