The Southeastern Conference has won the last seven BCS National Championships, and it appeared that streak would come to an end this season. But with the Ohio State Buckeyes suffering their first loss on Saturday, the door re-opened, and the Auburn Tigers walked right through.
Auburn will face the Florida State Seminoles in the BCS National Championship Game on January 6 in Pasadena. Auburn, which won the national title in 2010, will try to win an eighth straight title for the SEC. It would also be the fifth straight championship from the state of Alabama (Auburn in 2010, and the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2009, 2011 and 2012).
The Tigers will face a stiff challenge from the unbeaten Seminoles, who are widely considered the best team in the country this year. Led by Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston, the Seminoles have cruised through their schedule to this point.
Auburn will counter with a running attack that is hitting on all cylinders right now. Running back Tre Mason had 303 yards rushing in the SEC Championship Game win over the Missouri Tigers, who came into the game as one of the best defenses in the country. Mason and quarterback Nick Marshall have turned the read option into a science, even against some of the nation’s best defenses (specifically, Alabama and Missouri).
Head coach Gus Malzahn was the offensive coordinator when Auburn won the BCS Championship in 2010 behind a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback named Cam Newton. Now the head coach, Malzahn has quickly turned a 3-9 team into a national championship contender, which is good news not only for Auburn, but also for the SEC.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.