So this will be a good game of course, a matchup we all want to watch. Florida State was flirting with a ticket here all season long, while Auburn on the other hand was certainly a late comer to the party. But both teams deserve to be here, Auburn with a timeless late victory over the best team in the country (and a huge title game loss from the Buckeyes) and the Seminoles after having played stellar football for four months. Although this is not the end of the championship game as we know it, it is true that we will never again see a game like this, where both teams are elected in and have not won playoff games to get here. That's a good thing, I think most everyone is happy to wave goodbye to a flawed BCS system, but still, the nostalgia deserves mention I should think. The spread here is (as of Sunday afternoon) 8.5 points against Auburn, fairly reasonable I find.
|A lot of pride on display|
|Not quite as cool, and War Eagle is vastly preferable.|
|A formidable unit|
|He shows up when it counts, every time.|
Auburn, I regret to say, wilts a little when held up to the same scrutiny. Their defense by conventional standards has been mediocre. Though they have found the big stops all year long, they rank 95th nationally in yards per play allowed (5.96), by far the worst of any team ever to reach the BCS National Championship Game. They also rank last in passing defense in the SEC. Of course, one look at the quarterbacks they have faced this year might offer some solace to Auburn fans, as this year has seen Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger, AJ McCarron, and Aaron Murray, 4 SEC studs who make most defenses look terrible. Additionally Auburn has allowed a much more comforting, respectable 24 points per game this season, so perhaps all the big plays they let up don't always translate into big points. Regardless, this is at best a solid defense, good in the red zone and bad out of it. Realistically, that won't be enough to stop Jameis Winston and his offensive powerhouse. So if Auburn is to win, then, it will be on the backs of two young men, Nick Marshall and Tre Mason.
|He'll have to do that a lot on Monday night.|