Florida State vs. Auburn: Finally, A BCS Title Game We Can All Enjoy

By Brian Neal

Who else was thrilled after Auburn shocked the world with their time-expiring missed field goal return to beat Alabama last weekend? Huh, show of hands?

(If you’re raising your hand right now, I do apologize for how you must feel.)

Anyway … I just didn’t want to see the same team who won the last two and three out of four championships to make it into the BCS National Championship Game again. It’s old, boring, redundant — we get it; you’re really, really good. But it was time for something new, and I, for one, am very excited for the upcoming matchup.

Florida State, for those of you who are unaware, finished 13-0 and beat Duke in their ACC Championship Game. Shocker, I know. They’re led by the hopefully-not-a-rapist — well, not legally anyway — redshirt freshman sensation: Jameis Winston. That in itself makes this a very interesting and exhilarating game. Not only is Winston a Heisman finalist with a tremendous shot to win it and become the second freshman to do so since Johnny Manziel did a year ago, but he also has a shot to be the first freshman to ever win a BCS Title Game as the starting QB. To do both of those things in the same season? That would make him the biggest college football star since Tim Tebow … Or maybe just Manziel. Johnny Football is pretty big.

As for Auburn, they took down Missouri in their “Tigers (East) vs. Tigers (West)” matchup — and I’m still not sure which one is which, but you get the point — to be crowned SEC champs. It was a great game, finishing 59-42, with a ton of points scored.

And although Auburn has one loss, they still certainly deserve this and have proven to be the Cinderella of college football this year.

Since losing Cam Newton to the NFL, they’ve been relatively irrelevant. They were the team who got in the way of Alabama’s first potential back-to-back championship run in 2010-11, and considering their historic rivalry, it’s only fitting that they took the Crimson Tide out of it once more. And again, in such dramatic fashion. Because of everything that’s gone down, they’ll certainly be bumped up to No. 2 in the polls with FSU remaining at No. 1.

This year, we finally have what appears to be a great contest, and one that much of the country can be pumped for and realistically expect a close game. Something we didn’t get when Bama took on Notre Dame, or when Bama took on LSU, or when Bama took on Texas. In fact, the last close title game we saw was Auburn-Oregon, and that was a heart-pounding 22-19 game.

Obviously, this Tigers team is much different than before, and the Seminoles aren’t quite the Ducks, but this is a game of two teams who boast dominant offenses — one through the air and one on the ground — and solid defenses. On paper, they stack up pretty well.

And really, it’s just the fact that these two teams aren’t so polarizing where everybody loves or hates them (unless you despise Winston thinking he got preferential treatment, I guess). Instead, they’re two amazing stories with a lot of guys you want to root for and see succeed.

The New Year will bring great change. And at the very least, in the last BCS Bowl season before the four-team playoff system is implemented in the NCAA, we’ll have the luxury of such a good matchup with two teams who undoubtedly earned the right to be there. Isn’t that weird? Right when they’re about to change it, it seems like it actually works.

Tigers vs. ‘Noles — can’t wait.

Brian Neal is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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