The Florida State Seminoles and Auburn Tigers will meet in the Vizio BCS National Championship on Monday inside the Rose Bowl. The game is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. start time and it will by televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Florida State favored by more than a touchdown to win the national championship.
Both teams are heading into this game with a lot of steam. Florida State managed to run the gauntlet of the regular season without losing a game. Auburn was pretty good this season as well, evidence by their playing in the national championship. But when we look at these clubs, what do we see from an advantage standpoint?
The Seminoles have the Heisman Trophy winner in Jameis Winston. They have a tenacious defense that is both aggressive and physical. They'll need to be against an Auburn team that runs the football just about as good as anybody in the country.
When Auburn beat Missouri in the SEC title game, the Tigers were able to roll up almost 60 points and 545 yards on the ground. Yes, 545 yards on the ground — they shredded the Missouri defense which came into that game pretty solid. If they are able to run like that against Florida State the Tigers might get close to 60 points yet again.
We don't envision that happening, but Tre Mason and Nick Marshall provide a massive 1-2 punch running the football. There could be a lot of pressure on Marshall in this contest if Auburn can't run the ball effectively. He's not the best passer in the world and if he is forced to have to spend a lot of time in the air, Auburn could be in trouble.
It's worth mentioning that if the Tigers win this game, they'll become the only school outside of Alabama to win a national title since the 2008 season. The Crimson Tide have won of the last four championships and Cam Newton led Auburn to a title in the 2010. The last non-SEC school to win a national championship was Texas in 2005 when they beat USC in the Rose Bowl.
Florida State will want to get the football to their big wide receivers, led by Kelvin Benjamin. Rashad Greene also is over 900 yards in receiving and we expect both guys to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in this contest. If Florida State can take advantage of the Auburn secondary the Seminoles are going to score points.
But the winner of the national championship will come down to defense. We believe Florida State's defense is the better overall unit, as they led the country allowing only 10.7 points per contest to opponents. Of their 13 games, the Seminole defense held their opponent to single digit points in seven contests. Auburn will get to double figures, but we like Jimbo Fischer to win a national crown in this one.
Free Pick: Florida State 34, Auburn 20
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