It's Been Settled: Florida State v Auburn for the Crystal Ball
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The dust has settled, and we can finally, after exhausting every possible BCS Championship scenario imaginable, declare that the Florida State Seminoles and the Auburn Tigers are by far the only two teams in the nation who will play for the BCS Championship Trophy on 6 January in Pasadena.
Yeah, that's the best we can do. Sorry, Lou.
Both teams did their voter-pleasing bit in last weekend's conference championship games. Auburn's dynamic running game marched up and down the field more than the bands at halftime and seemingly with less resistance. Tre Mason has officially put himself on the map and is by far one of the most dominant and explosive running backs in college football. Nick Marshall has established himself as a dual threat.
Both are custom-designed for Gus Malzahn's divide-and-conquer offensive system.
Missouri had the second-best rush defense in the SEC, and they had no clue how to stop Auburn's lethal run option. Even after the game, head coach Gary Pinkel couldn't explain how to stop Malzahn's running schemes. He really needs to read the papers more often. Or hit cyberspace. Or talk to the Chipster. Or better yet, put the Auburn-LSU video on continuous-loop mode.
Instead, Pinkel spent an entire week preparing in some other way. As a result, his defensive front seven was totally outworked and overpowered throughout the entire game. After the smoke had cleared, Auburn finished with 545 yards rushing and Tre Mason was unstoppable, picking up 304 of those yards himself.
Having said that, the unsung heroes, as usual, were the offensive linemen. They were so brutally efficient, they could have blown holes through the Rocky Mountains.
Meanwhile, up in Charlotte, If you heeded my advice and touched up Bovada, drinks are on you today. Florida State totally pumpkinized Duke's cinderella season, 45-7. The line was Noles at -29½. Talk about Christmas coming early!
And keeping in the spirits of the season, the Dookies did their best tribute-to-Hanukkah in the first quarter, making about two minutes of oil last for the full fifteen, but when it ran out, the Seminoles ran over them.
Felony-free Jameis Winston will be the second consecutive freshman to win the Heisman trophy, even with a subpar ACC Championship game performance. At times, he was inaccurate, shaken, and overthinking, but eventually, he settled down, realized who he was playing, and started torching Duke's young but very athletic secondary.
Now that he and the Seminoles have an entire month to prepare for Auburn's spectacular ground game, we'll see what Jimbo Fisher has learned about the roots of Malzahn's game. Surely, he'll study the coaching tree that got Gus to his current guru status, what with Chip Kelly off to the NFL.
Without a few fluke plays -- last-minute miracles against Georgia and Alabama come to mind -- Auburn wouldn't have this opportunity, but here they are, ready for the chance to claim the SEC's eighth consecutive BCS Championship trophy.
But a Seminole bulldozer stands in their way, the only undefeated team left in the country with one thing left to prove.
That is, besides the point that the BCS format sucks and college football will be better off with it in the rear-view mirror.