The 2013 college football season once again failed to disappoint and after all the smoke and ash had cleared, two teams that weren’t on anybody’s radar at the start of the season have risen to the top and will play for the national championship on Jan 6, 2014 in Pasadena, California.
The No. 1 ranked Florida State Seminoles enter the game as touchdown favorites (-7) against the No. 2 seed Auburn Tigers. But in looking at the way both teams made it to the title game, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that these two teams would be in the positions that they are in now.
On one end, the Seminoles rode the arm of redshirt freshman quarterback and Heisman finalist Jameis Winston on its way to sporting an undefeated 13-0 record. They’ve also been the most dominant team in college football this year, winning their games by an average of 42 points so it wasn’t a surprise that they’d be competing in the biggest game of the season. It’s been that kind of year for Florida State, hence the seven-point spread tacked on it against an Auburn Tigers team that wasn’t even supposed to be here.
Last year, Auburn was out-and-out irrelevant, losing nine of their games and not even making it to any discussion of being one of the best teams in country. But with the flip of a calendar season, things dramatically changed and the Tigers run away to a 12-1 record, highlighted by back-to-back improbable victories against Georgia and Alabama, the latter featuring one of the craziest finishes we’ve seen in college football in years.
Even then, Auburn needed the Ohio State Buckeyes to lose in the Big Ten Championship to send the team to Pasadena. Lo and behold, the Spartans did just that in true come-from-behind fashion, vaulting Auburn to the title game and setting up a compelling showdown between two that took different routes to get to where they are now.
A 7-point spread seems a little low, especially with the firepower of Florida State. Auburn has been a revelation this year, but there’s something about this Seminoles team that feels like it won’t be denied. Take the points before it goes up is what we’ll tell you because it won’t surprise us to see the line move to -10 before kick-off.