PASADENA, Calif. – Florida State and Auburn, the top two teams in the final BCS Standings released December 8, will battle for the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship on Monday, January 6, 2014, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EST.
"The Tournament of Roses is pleased to host the top two teams in college football to play in 16th and final BCS National Championship," Tournament of Roses President Scott Jenkins said. "We look forward to a terrific matchup between Auburn and
Florida State and congratulate both teams on an amazing season."
In its first season under Gus Malzahn as head coach, Auburn completed an amazing turnaround from a 3-9 record a year ago to 12-1 this season. The Tigers were winless (0-8) in the SEC in 2012, but were 7-1 this year before beat Missouri 59-42 in the conference championship game in Atlanta.
Auburn is making its second appearance in the BCS National Championship, and their first since beating Oregon to claim the 2010 season BCS title.
Florida State finished out the regular season as the only undefeated FBS team at 13-0, (8-0 in conference) and defeated Duke in the ACC Championship Game.
The Seminoles are making their fourth appearance in the BCS National Championship game, and their first since falling to Oklahoma in the 2000 season title game. Florida State won the 1999 season title over Virginia Tech and lost to Tennessee in the 1998 season championship contest.
The game will mark the 19th meeting all-time between the Tigers and Seminoles with Auburn holding a 13-4-1 series advantage. However, the schools have not met since October 20, 1990 when Auburn prevailed 20-17 to end a 3-game losing streak to FSU.
Florida State is led by its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, and redshirt freshman sensation, Jameis Winston. The Seminoles outscored their opponents by an average of 43 points as Winston threw for 3,820 yards on 67.9% completions. He tossed 38 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions and added 193 yards and 4 more scores on the ground. Florida State opponents scored a total of 139 points as 7 were held to single digits and only Boston College (34) managed to score more than 17.
Auburn running back Tre Mason was 6th in 2013 Heisman balloting after rushing for 304 yards and 4 TD's on 46 carries against Missouri in SEC championship to give him 1,621 yards 22 touchdowns for the season. He hit or topped the 100-yard mark in 8 games this season, including 164 yards vs. Alabama.
Auburn seemed like a team of destiny as it won three crucial SEC games in the final 25 seconds. The first came against Mississippi State on September 14 when QB Nick Marshall hit C.J. Uzomah for an 11-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left. On November 16, Ricardo Louis scored a 74-yard touchdown on a pass he seemingly never saw until it tipped off the hands of a pair of Georgia defenders and landed in his arms in full stride with 25 seconds left. And the Iron Bowl game against rival Alabama on November 30 ended with Chris Davis' improbable 109-yard return of a missed Alabama 57-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game.
Auburn's weak link is a defense that surrendered 423.5 yards per game to rank 90th among the 125 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Florida State's offense ranked 5th nationally entering the bowl season with an average of 529.4 yards per game while Auburn ranked 10th at 505.3. FSU ranked 3rd in defense at 268.5 yards per game.
Pre-game festivities for the VIZIO BCS National Championship begin at 4:30 p.m. PT (7:30 p.m. ET) and include a musical performance of the
Star-Spangled Banner by Grammy-award winning artist, John Legend. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi calling the action.
The Congrove Computer Rankings' preseason projections had Florida State going 10-2 and Auburn 3-9 as the Tigers were off the radar of every preseason forecast. It projects Florida State to win this game by 16.67 points to end the SEC's 7-year stranglehold on the Waterford Crystal football and the state of Alabama's 4-year run.