We're hours away from the final college football game of the 2013-2014 campaign. The Auburn WarTiglesMen are taking on the Florida State Seminoles in the final championship game of the BCS era. The DawgSports staff has assembled to predict the outcome of this contest. Please share your predictions in the comments below.
Spears: I can't shake the sinking feeling that Auburn is going to win this one because all of the intangibles favor them. They're the hot team, having won 9 in a row since a September loss to LSU. I have it on good authority that every rabbit in Alabama has been dismembered. Plus, Jameis Winston's Heisman victory puts some bad juju on FSU. But, fortunately, all of the tangibles favor the Seminoles. Statistically they have the best defense in the country, and their offense is second only to Baylor's. Vegas thinks these tangibles will carry the day. They've installed FSU as an 8.5-point favorite. I agree. FSU wins 42-33. Go 'Noles!
Vineyarddawg: I am very confident that FSU will beat Auburn 40-0. Why? Because the worst that Georgia has ever beaten Auburn was 41-0 (on November 16, 1946), and while I want the Tiglesmen to get ground into a fine powder on national TV, I also don't want any additional teams to chalk up a bigger win over them than we currently have. (We were only a field goal away from tying this mark just last season, by the way...)
Sanchez: I think Malzahn's offense is brilliantly simple. A small handful of plays, all designed to exploit different reactions to other plays, at a fast pace with excellent execution, and done so often that the reads become second nature to those involved. But their defense is a problem, and one that Florida St with Winston and a beastly OL and a bevy of WRs and capable rushers, is going to be able to put a lot of points on (the over looks quite tasty). Florida St's defense on the other hand is as good as their 90s crews led by Joyner at CB and Jernigan up the middle. Those are the keys in my mind, the big DT from Lake City, Fla is capable of getting off his blocks and doing a lot of damage to the inside runs Auburn uses so effectively to base their offense around. And Joyner and his cohorts are good tacklers on the edges, and fast enough to cover big plays over the top at the same time. Auburn will get points, but their defense isn't good enough to get the number of stops the Seminole D can make. Florida St holds up the crystal ball after a 51-37 night.
RedCrake: It doesn't matter who wins, free shoes and bookbags full of cash for errbody!!! But watch out guys, that sort of stuff has a way of "disappearing" when Nick Marshall is around. Anyway, FSU 48 - Abuurn 21... I hate Auburn.
MaconDawg: Auburn wins because apparently we can't have nice things. Just kidding. Auburn is a tough team to draw a bead on. My sense is that they're a better team now than they were to start the season. That means that any sort of advanced statistical analysis of the game is likely too skewed to be worthwhile. And that's before we get into all the garbage-time points racked up by the Seminoles as they blasted through the ACC and whatever is left of the Florida Gators.
I've watched most every game these two teams have played this season either live or via DVR and I've come to a couple of conclusions. One, Florida State is a physically superior team, a more experienced team, a team which on paper Auburn has no business being on the field with. Two, the same could have been said of the Missouri and Alabama teams the Aubbies beat to get here. Gus Malzahn's offense in particular is designed to take away some of the advantages the FSU defense has and will expose one area where the Seminoles haven't always been lights out in 2013: tackling. In the end however I don't think it's enough of a challenge. Unless FSU suddenly gets cold feet on the big stage I expect them to execute well enough to outscore Auburn. Your final: FSU 48, AUB 38.