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BCS National Championship Prediction

1 Florida State (13-0, 8-0 ACC) vs. 2 Auburn (12-1, 7-1 SEC)

A year of miracles will conclude this Monday night as the undefeated Florida
Karlos Williams
State Seminoles hope to tame Auburn and their dominant rushing attack. The often-criticized BCS will hope to go out with one last hurrah after two straight pretty boring championship games that resulted in two dominant Alabama victories. The Seminoles possess one of the nation's most exciting offenses led by Heisman winner Jameis Winston and junior back Devonta Freenan. Winston threw for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns in his first year as starter in Tallahassee, while engineering an offense that averaged over 50 points a game this season. Florida State has a plethora of big play offensive talents like junior receiver Rashad Greene (981 yards) and sophomore Kelvin Benjamin (14 touchdowns, 19.1 yards per catch). They also possess powerful back Karlos Williams who is a bruising runner.

Auburn has rebounded from a stunning fall to 3-9 in 2012 led by a rush offense that was among the best in the nation. First year coach Gus Malzahn used former defensive back, junior Nick Marshall and Heisman finalist Tre Mason to be the main pieces of the offense. Mason, a small and elusive back, ran for 1,621 yards on the year, including 304 yards on 46 attempts in their SEC Championship Game victory over Missouri. The Tigers also have play makers in the passing game in sophomore Sammie Coates, who recorded 841 yards on 38 receptions, averaging 22.2 yards per every reception. Speedy Ricardo Louis was the receiver who helped pull off Auburn's miraculous "Prayer at Jordan-Hare" and should be a factor.

As many fireworks as their offenses put up this year and how many they are likely to put up in this one, defense will be extremely important. People tend to overlook Florida State's defense which only allowed 10.7 points per game this year. The 'Noles have a number of defensive stars, ranging from senior defensive back Lamarcus Joyner to playmaking linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith. Up front, Florida State will hope their defensive line can hang with Auburn's up-tempo offense. They will need some play up the middle from tackles Eddie Goldman and Timmy Jernigan to open up plays for Jones and Smith. Expect the 'Noles to dial up pressure on Auburn; they clearly want Marshall to throw and beat them through the air. Auburn will hope to bring pressure on Winston and the Seminoles as well, led by senior defensive end Dee Ford. Ford is a load to handle as his incredible instincts and great speed off the edge constantly bring double teams which opens up lanes to opponents' backfields. Senior cornerback Chris Davis will probably only always be remembered for the return of Alabama's missed field goal for a touchdown to win the Iron Bowl, but he is a solid defender. He won't pick off passes but he is a key run support defender who moves to the ball well.

Nick Marshall

It will be interesting to see if Florida State can slow down Mason, Marshall and the Tigers' ground game. They will need pressure up the middle and will need to force Marshall to throw as much as possible. Marshall is not a bad passer, but he has yet to prove that he can take over a game with his arm the same way he can with his legs. Auburn should put up points, but them stopping the Seminoles will not be an easy task at all. As good as Auburn has been this year, their defense has been suspect against explosive offenses like Texas A&M, Missouri and LSU. The Tigers may be hoping for another one of their signature last-second plays. Florida State is the better team, they have yet to show any signs of weakness in wins over ACC opponents Clemson, Miami and Duke. But, Alabama, Texas A&M and probably even Missouri were better teams than Auburn on talent alone. Talent alone doesn't win football games. Auburn has been labeled the "Team of Destiny" and for good reason. Last year, I went with the upset pick of Notre Dame over Alabama and I was dead wrong. This year I decided to go with the "safer" pick. There has been no denying how dominant Florida State has been and they should close out a spectacular year against the Tigers.

Florida State, 38 Auburn, 33

The Championship Game by the Numbers
0- The number of single-digit wins that Florida State has recorded this year. Their closest game was a 14 point victory over Boston College.

42.3- Florida State's average margin of victory this year. 

9- Win improvement in just one year for Auburn entering this game. They went from 3-9 to 12-1 and improved from an 0-8 conference mark to 7-1 inside the SEC.

71%- How often Auburn runs the ball. Rushing the ball 71 percent of the time is the highest amount of any non-triple-option offenses such as Navy, Air Force or Georgia Tech.

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