Last updated April 4th, 2015
In the BCS’ final curtain call before making way to a playoff system, college football’s two best teams, the Auburn Tigers and Florida State Seminoles, will take to the field at the Rose Bowl with the national title on the line (Monday 8:30pm ET).
Florida State: An End to the SEC Streak?
For the past seven straight years, the SEC has been well-represented in the National Championship. Florida, Alabama, LSU and Auburn have all been victorious during the SEC’s dynasty. They were the first conference to send two teams to the title game and in total, the conference has won 9 of the 15 national championships.
The SEC isn’t the only one with a tradition rooted in the BCS however. Florida State was the first team to lose the title game in 1998 and then became the first non-SEC team to win the following year. Before Alabama, Oklahoma and Miami before that, Florida State was the first team to go to back-to-back championships.
While the SEC’s best successes have come recently, Florida State hasn’t come close to the national championship since its back-to-back run during the game’s first two occurrences exactly 15 years ago.
But if there was ever a year for the Seminoles to take home the prize it would be this year. Florida State is ranked 23rd in rushing yards and 14th in passing yards per game. Most importantly though, the team leads all in college football with an average of 53 points per game and leads all in college football in allowing opponents just 10.7 points per game.
This is a team that excels both offensively and defensively and has done so all season. Of course, they haven’t been faced with a challenge as tough as Auburn but Florida State has the luxury of the Heisman trophy winner in Jameis Winston who threw for 3,820 yards and 38 TD.
Auburn: Running Away with It
Perhaps the greatest matchup you will ever get to see in a national championship is one that will be displayed on Monday as Tre Mason and Auburn’s best in the nation 335.7 rushing yards per game will be pitted against a Florida State defense that didn’t allow a single rushing TD all year long.
Mason, who finished the season with 1,621 yards and 22 TD on 283 rushing attempts, follows in a long line of SEC running backs that have led their teams to success. He has been the cog for the Auburn offense all season long as the Tigers are not a pass-happy team (107th in the nation) by any means. QB Nick Marshall finished the year with just 100-some total yards less than Mason.
Auburn’s rushing attack has been one of the best in quite a few years but in terms of defending the run, Florida State has been unstoppable. As mentioned, they haven’t allowed a single rushing TD all season.
It is hard to imagine anyone keeping Mason out of the endzone though as he scored a touchdown in all but one game this year. Mason also finished the year on an absolute tear, recording over 100 yards in six of his last seven games including each of his last five. Against Missouri in the final game of season, Mason put together the best performance of a RB this year. He toted the ball 46 times for 304 yards and two TD.
If ever a player could be on fire, Mason was. Unfortunately for Florida State, some of that heat should still be burning come Monday.
Tigers v Seminoles Betting Picks Verdict
Florida State is the Cinderella team, the team of destiny even. They weren’t expected to make it this far with a soft schedule that included just two games against top-10 teams. Auburn meanwhile defeated Alabama, the sure-fire favorite, to represent the SEC in the game which seems to have reserved a permanent spot for at least one team in that conference.
- While I do expect Florida State to pull off the would-be upset if not for the fact that they were actually the No. 1 seed, nine points is steep for two teams that are on close to equal footing. So take Auburn +9pts at -110 odds with BetOnline Sportsbook or Bovada in a close game.
- I also expect it to be high scoring and should easily surpass the 67 total points that the sportsbooks have set as the mark to bet above or below. Go over 67pts at -110 with BetOnline (it is the same odds but over 68pts with Bovada).
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.