Your 2014 BCS National Championship Guide

8058246PASADENA,CA– Finally, the end is near. After tonight’s match-up there will be no more BCS National Championship games. Next season, Division 1 FBS will finally copy the divisional format of college football and use a playoff-style format to determine the National Champion, using a four-team playoff format. But before we get to that, we have one more game under the old system and we’re here to help, so here’s your 2014 BCS National Championship Guide.

This season’s National Championship, hosted by the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, will feature Atlantic Coast Conference champion and No. 1 ranked Florida State University against Southeastern Conference champion and No. 2 ranked Auburn University. The Seminoles are riding Heisman Trophy winning quarterback/redshirt freshman Jameis Winston, while the Tigers are riding the coattails of destiny into Monday night’s tilt, which has the makings of a game for the ages.

All eyes on ESPN for the last BCS National Chapionship Game.
All eyes on ESPN for the last BCS National Championship.

The keys to victory for each team Monday night:

No. 1 Florida State (13-0): If Florida States wants to come away victorious Monday they will need QB Winston to play the game of his life. You can make a good argument that the Seminoles haven’t faced the pressures Auburn has faced this season; with but one game against a BCS Top 25 team this season, it’s easy to say Florida State hasn’t played the type of opponents that Auburn has. Unlike Florida State, Auburn has beaten four opponents that will likely finish in the final BCS Top 25 rankings this season.

Is Jameis Winston ready for a the big stage of the BCS National Championship Game?
Is Jameis Winston ready for the BCS big stage?

However, the Seminoles had their way with the teams on their schedule every week and is going into tonight’s tilt at the top of the nation in points for and against… an impressive stat to say the least. FSU only let two teams score 17 points this season, while beating every team by at least 14, yet the average margin of victory was 42.

These impressive numbers and a Heisman Trophy winner leading the charge are enough to make the Seminoles at as 10-point favorites, but if Florida State finds themselves in uncharted waters early and is down a couple of touchdowns, the 19 year-old Winston must not panic. If he can play beyond his years – as he has –  No. 1 FSU should stay atop the rankings tomorrow morning. If he doesn’t, the door will be left open for Auburn.

No. 2 Auburn Tigers (12-1): On paper, Auburn shouldn’t be playing in the National Championship. This was supposed to be Alabama’s game; the Tide’s shot at a three-peat. But that’s why the games are played. After an embarrassing 3-9 2012 season, including a 0-8 record in the SEC, and the firing of head coach Gene Chizik, Auburn has done the unthinkable making it to the VIZIO BCS National Championship. Despite having the deck stacked against them with a new head coach and a rotten 2012, Auburn pulled off two miraculous victories to end the regular season. Winning on a 75-yard touchdown catch with 25 seconds left against then-No. 25 ranked Georgia and a last second 100-yard field goal return touchdown against then-No. 1 ranked Alabama in the Iron Bowl, earned Auburn the shot at the SEC title.

Does Auburn have what it takes to pull of the upset?
Does Auburn have what it takes for an upset?

Credit goes to the nation’s top rushing attack, which averages 335.7 yards a game. The Auburn offense features the quadruple-option, which was bred from new coach Gus Malzahn’s Wing-T offense and the Zone Read. The quadruple-option provide’s Auburn QB Nick Marshall up to four options almost every play.  Marshal can throw a screen to a receiver, hand it off to running back Tre Mason, keep the ball himself or use the option to toss it to a receiver on the outside or tuck it down.

Auburn’s offensive style has the potential to give the Seminole defense fits. It’s a scheme that is so unique, it’s extremely hard to prepare for. But aside from the offense, Auburn comes in with a reckless type attitude. They are the underdogs who are not supposed to be in the game – it was ‘Bama’s dance. But this squad has defied the odds and made it to Pasadena.

Who wins and why: Most analysts are going with Florida State but I’m not most analysts. To me, it just feels like destiny for Auburn to win. Auburn’s offense is so difficult to stop.  Once you think you’ve stopped one option, The Marshall Plan allows for three others. This quadruple-option is so hard to stop, not even Alabama could stop it. Auburn put up 34 points on a team that only allows 14 points a game. Add that to the National Championship possibly being too big a spotlight for Jameis Winston and Florida State will get behind early. That will prove too much to recover from against a team with a run-heavy offense like Auburn’s. The Tigers win in a shootout. Auburn: 49-41

Tune in tonight to at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN and the WatchESPN App… and come back tomorrow for Al Sternberg’s Fake Sandy Alderson.

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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.