Florida State, Auburn to Play for National Title

Florida State, Auburn to Play for National Title

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The 2013-14 bowl picture is now complete with Florida State meeting Auburn on Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl. Auburn moved ahead of Ohio State into the second position thanks to Michigan State knocking off the Buckeyes and with its own win against Missouri on Sat. to claim the SEC championship. Florida State manhandled Duke in the ACC title game, taking 56 of the 60 first place AP in the final poll of the regular season. The bowl season starts on Dec. 21 and features 35 games.

BCS Poll and the First Bowl Games

The USA Today poll was even more generous to the Seminoles, awarding all 62 first place votes to Florida State. The BCS computer rankings had Alabama ranked in third place followed by Michigan State, Stanford, Baylor, Ohio State, Missouri, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Four games will be played on Dec. 21, including the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl pitting No. 20 Fresno State against No. 25 USC. Both teams had their New Year’s Day bowl aspirations dashed late in the season when Fresno State fell to San Jose State and USC to UCLA.

Northern Illinois’ BCS bowl aspirations crumbled on Sat. when Bowling Green handed the Huskies a 47 to 27 loss in the MAC championship game. They’ll now face Utah State in a non-BCS bowl on Dec. 26.

Top Tier Bowl Games

The BCS bowls include several teams that had earlier made a run for the national championship game. The Rose Bowl game, held five days before the BCS championship itself, will feature No. 5 Stanford against No. 4 Michigan State. Figure that this will be the best match up outside of the title game itself, giving the city of Los Angeles back-to-back marquee games within days of each other.

Along with the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl will also be played on New Year’s Day. No. 15 Central Florida, winner of the American Athletic Conference will take on No. 6 Baylor, the Big 12 Conference winner. On Jan. 2, No. 11 Oklahoma faces No. 3 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. On Jan. 3, No. 13 Oklahoma State plays No. 8 Missouri in the Cotton Bowl, while No. 12 Clemson faces off against No. 7 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

Season Concludes This Saturday

Officially, the college football season concludes this Sat. with the annual Army v. Navy game in Philadelphia. This season had its share of surprises with Florida State and Auburn each performing better than expected.

Florida State was ranked No. 11 in the preseason, just behind Florida. Florida, incidentally, finished its season 4-8, losing to Georgia Southern before getting walloped by the Seminoles. The Seminoles were expected to finish behind Clemson in the ACC, but instead they trashed the Tigers on the road to assert their place as the ACC leader and national champion contender.

Auburn finished 2012 at 3-9 and was expected to show improvement this year, but it wasn’t ranked in the preseason poll. The Tigers brushed off a 35 to 21 loss to LSU early in the season, then capped its regular season with improbable back-to-back come-from-behind victories over Georgia and Alabama. It then out ran Missouri 59 to 42 on Sat. in the SEC championship game.

See AlsoCollege Football Action Heats Up

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Categories: NCAA Football