Florida State Ends BCS Era With Title Game Victory

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Undefeated and No. 1, Florida State came through in the clutch late to capture the final title of the BCS era, topping Auburn, 34-31.

After giving up a late lead to Tre Mason and the Tigers, Jameis Winston and the Seminoles marched quickly back up the field for a game-winning touchdown with just 13 seconds left.

With help from a costly pass interference penalty and a 7-play, 80-drive where Winston was 6-of-7, Florida State ended the SEC’s lengthy title streak and closed the BCS era out with style.

Florida State ends the era as the only non-SEC team to win multiple BCS titles.

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Final Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — December 8

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The BCS — at least the part that everyone hated with an undying passion — ends Sunday. But the bowl games, which could range anywhere from epic showdowns to embarrassing blowouts, will stretch into January.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Florida State vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Michigan State
Sugar Bowl Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl Baylor vs. UCF
Scroll down for more

When a BCS season ends like this one did, though, there isn’t much to say other than to just try as best as you can to relive the great games that filled the final week of the season.

It’s clear now that Auburn’s victory in the SEC championship game added to Ohio State’s loss to Michigan State will send the Tigers to the BCS title game. But where is everyone else headed? We project here:

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (BCS No. 1) vs. Auburn Tigers (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Auburn waited all day to see if they’d either have to bite their fingernails or be a little less frazzled come Sunday when it came to their national title hopes. It turned out that Michigan State was ready to help the Tigers out, so Auburn will be walking into Pasadena with a chance to close out the BCS era with another SEC national championship. They’ll meet No. 1 Florida State, the only team to finish the year undefeated in regular season play.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Stanford certainly looked the part of Pac-12 champion against Arizona State in the conference title game, and for that the Cardinal will be on their way to the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champs. They’ll get the chance to take on Big Ten champions Michigan State, who closed out its season with a huge victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, clinching their spot here.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: Alabama will get the first look from the Sugar Bowl when it tries to replace its lost SEC champion in Auburn. Sure, the Orange Bowl will have a first shot to replace Florida State, but knowing the way the BCS bowls work, the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl are sure to work out a way to share the responsibility of getting their fans what they want. Oklahoma would be a nice pairing for the Sugar Bowl’s final BCS bow.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (At-large selection)

Comment: Clemson will be the first place the Orange Bowl will look when trying to replace Florida State, but the real question and big story here will be how the bowls treat Ohio State. The once-beaten Buckeyes looked ready for a trip to the BCS title game, but instead will be missing out on the chance to close out the BCS with a title. Instead, the Orange Bowl will have a chance to pick first and third, and could pick a variety of teams to square off with Clemson, but Ohio State looks like the pick.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor Bears (Big 12 champion) vs. UCF Knights (AAC champion)

Comment: A final weekend of classic BCS football played right into Baylor hands. First, Northern Illinois dropped its final chance to secure a BCS bowl bid, opening up the door slightly for the Bears to get an at-large bid. But come Saturday night, Baylor was playing for it all — a Big 12 title opportunity after Oklahoma State faltered. And with a victory over Texas, Baylor is BCS bowl bound. They’ll likely get AAC champion UCF as the Fiesta Bowl will be saddled with the last pool choice pick, which in all likelihood will be the Knights.

Harris Interactive Poll Week 14: Auburn Looming At No. 3 Behind FSU, OSU

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Florida State takes over at No. 1 in the Harris Poll, but with Auburn’s victory over Alabama, the Tigers position themselves for a last-week push for a spot in the national title game.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – December 1

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Florida State Seminoles 2617 .997
2 Ohio State Buckeyes 2488 .948
3 Auburn Tigers 2422 .923
4 Alabama Crimson Tide 2262 .862
5 Missouri Tigers 2231 .850
6 Oklahoma State Cowboys 2083 .794
7 Stanford Cardinal 1873 .714
8 South Carolina Gamecocks 1841 .701
9 Baylor Bears 1778 .677
10 Michigan State Spartans 1758 .670
11 Clemson Tigers 1444 .550
12 Oregon Ducks 1398 .533

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 14: Florida State Takes Over

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Florida State claims the USA Today Coaches’ Poll No. 1 spot after Alabama’s loss, while Auburn gains major ground on Ohio State, leaving the possibility for a title game bid for the Tigers well open.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – December 1

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Florida State Seminoles 1546 .997
2 Ohio State Buckeyes 1462 .943
3 Auburn Tigers 1437 .927
4 Alabama Crimson Tide 1333 .860
5 Missouri Tigers 1315 .848
6 Oklahoma State Cowboys 1248 .805
7 Baylor Bears 1100 .710
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 1100 .710
9 Michigan State Spartans 1037 .669
10 Stanford Cardinal 1034 .667
11 Clemson Tigers 853 .550
12 Oregon Ducks 843 .544

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — December 1

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The BCS always did cause lively debates, most of which were reliant upon projections. That’s why a site like this could even exist. What would happen if a team won out? Or if a top team lost?

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Florida State vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Michigan State
Sugar Bowl Auburn vs. UCF
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Alabama
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State vs. NIU
Scroll down for more

As the season comes to an end and the unexpected does happen — Florida State is the No. 1 team in the country, Auburn beats Alabama on a returned field goal with no time remaining — things begin to become less about the projection and more about the on-field performance.

Prove your team is better. The BCS bowls give teams the last chance to do that. Where do these great squads belong when the season ends?

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (BCS No. 1) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (BCS No. 2)

Comment: When the season plays out like it has, traditional powers like Ohio State and Florida State seem to often take advantage. Sure, if Auburn is to win the SEC next weekend they’ll feel like the BCS was created specifically to leave the Tigers out, having already been left cold in 2004. For now it seems like these two teams — save for the conference title games they’re still yet to play — have done all they can to earn these spots.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Michigan State Spartans (At-large selection)

Comment: With Ohio State BCS title game bound, the Rose Bowl would normally look to the Big Ten’s roster of highly ranked teams for a replacement. The problem, especially after Wisconsin dropped its best shot at securing a at-large bid against Penn State, is that there aren’t many of those around this year. Michigan State has a shot to remain in at-large contention, but they’ll have to make a strong statement against Ohio State in the conference title game to keep these hopes alive and stay in the top 14 at season’s end if they lose.

Sugar Bowl: Auburn Tigers (SEC champion) vs. UCF Knights (AAC champion)

Comment: Amazing to see the ‘SEC champ’ title go next to the Sugar Bowl selection, isn’t it? For years we’ve seen the SEC champion head straight to the BCS title game, no questions asked. Of course, the Sugar Bowl turned around each year and took a replacement pick from the conference to fulfill its regional preference. But if Auburn misses out on the title game, they’re slotted here automatically. And with the second ‘draft’ pick among at-large picks, the Sugar will have to give AAC champ UCF a serious look so as to not select Northern Illinois.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection)

Comment: Does the Orange Bowl actually have the guts to bypass the ACC? Clemson’s loss to South Carolina might allow the bowl to do that, and select somewhat underwhelming, but powerful, Oregon. The chance to pair the Ducks with Alabama might present itself if ACC champ Florida State is title game bound as expected. But can the Orange Bowl really afford it? For now, a two-loss Tigers team probably gets the choice over two-loss Oregon and once-beaten Baylor.

Fiesta Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies (At-large selection) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: A Big 12 that has been unpredictable and a whole lot of fun to watch is finally winding down with Oklahoma State holding poll position. All the Cowboys need to do is top Oklahoma in Bedlam next weekend to grab this spot. Though facing Northern Illinois might not be the reward the Cowboys are looking for, the Huskies have played a strong followup season after making a BCS bowl last year and a win next week all but assures them of a return trip.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 11: Florida State Convincing No. 2

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Oregon’s loss allows Florida State to slide easily and convincingly into the No. 2 spot in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, with Ohio State taking the No. 3 spot and Baylor in at No. 4 before one-loss No. 5 Stanford.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – November 10

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1546 .997
2 Florida State Seminoles 1485 .958
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1401 .904
4 Baylor Bears 1376 .888
5 Stanford Cardinal 1307 .843
6 Clemson Tigers 1164 .751
7 Oregon Ducks 1162 .750
8 Missouri Tigers 1083 .699
9 Auburn Tigers 1069 .690
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys 965 .623
11 Texas A&M Aggies 898 .579
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 830 .535

Harris Interactive Poll Week 11: Alabama Unanimously No. 1, FSU No. 2

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Oregon’s loss not only solidifies Florida State as the No. 2 team in the Harris Interactive Poll, but convinces voters that Alabama is overwhelmingly and clearly the No. 1 team in the country after the Tide top LSU.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – November 10

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2625 1.000
2 Florida State Seminoles 2514 .958
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 2373 .904
4 Baylor Bears 2304 .878
5 Stanford Cardinal 2240 .853
6 Oregon Ducks 1968 .750
7 Clemson Tigers 1940 .739
8 Missouri Tigers 1855 .707
9 Auburn Tigers 1843 .702
10 Texas A&M Aggies 1582 .603
11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 1545 .589
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 1417 .540

Harris Interactive Poll Week Nine: Stanford’s Leap Makes A Statement

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Stanford’s leap from No. 8 to No. 6 in this week’s Harris Interactive College Football Poll is the highlight of a all-new Harris Poll from 104 voters.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – October 27

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2590 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 2492 .958
3 Florida State Seminoles 2386 .918
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 2301 .885
5 Baylor Bears 2130 .819
6 Stanford Cardinal 2035 .783
7 Miami Hurricanes 1997 .768
8 Clemson Tigers 1767 .780
9 Missouri Tigers 1510 .581
10 Oklahoma Sooners 1475 .567
11 Auburn Tigers 1453 .559
12 LSU Tigers 1408 .542

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Nine: Baylor Being Heard

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Though Baylor’s ranking is unchanged in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the Bears are certainly making their case as the calendar approaches November.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 27

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1542 .995
2 Oregon Ducks 1483 .957
3 Florida State Seminoles 1419 .915
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 1375 .887
5 Baylor Bears 1293 .834
6 Miami Hurricanes 1190 .768
7 Stanford Cardinal 1182 .763
8 Clemson Tigers 1064 .686
9 Oklahoma Sooners 933 .602
10 Missouri Tigers 834 .538
11 Auburn Tigers 804 .519
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys 803 .518

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 27

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A first set of BCS rankings does have the tendency to crystallize a few things about the chase for BCS bowl bids when the season is out. Who deserves any of the 10 slots available? But more importantly, who is in best shape to grab them?

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Oregon
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Missouri vs. Clemson
Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Louisville
Fiesta Bowl Baylor vs. Northern Illinois
Scroll down for more

A first BCS rankings might not answer all these questions, but it at least gives a good sense of where the conversation is headed. And, certainly, another weekend of games will have lots to say about the next step in this chat.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS No. 2)

Comment: When conference foes prove little to no obstacle to two of the best teams in the country, we can feel relatively confident that there’s not much wrong with the Crimson Tide and Ducks. Is there any one in the country who could pose a threat to this potential title game meeting? Sure, Florida State is sitting right there, but if these two win out, it seems like a foregone conclusion that this is our national title tandem.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Escaping with a victory over Oregon State might have been more important than it seemed on the surface to the Cardinal, given the precarious place they find themselves in. With a home game against Oregon looming and a Pac-12 full of potential upsets, the victory gave Stanford a much needed steadying victory and possible helped the Cardinal on its way to a Rose Bowl. For Ohio State, the name of the game is win out and hope out to not land in the Rose Bowl, but in the title game.

Sugar Bowl: Missouri Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Clemson Tigers (At-large selection)

Comment: A loss decimates Missouri’s hopes at a national title game bid, but could they still land in the Sugar Bowl? It’s possible. Especially with Auburn’s tough schedule upcoming and the bevy of current and upcoming two-loss teams in the SEC, the Tigers might still have the best shot at not only a bid in the SEC title game, but also a bid in a potential BCS bowl as a two-loss, 11-win SEC team. Clemson would play a nice counterpart to Missouri in a Sugar Bowl.

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC champion) vs. Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion)

Comment: Florida State cruised to victory, as did Louisville, but one team’s fight to get to a BCS bowl is the more difficult, while the other’s is a fight to hope that things fall their way and they don’t land here at all. After suffering the first loss of their season, Louisville must hope that UCF stumbles badly along the way, and the Cardinals can sneak by for a BCS title game bid. Florida State is hoping that a national title game is in their future.

Fiesta Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies (At-large selection) vs. Baylor Bears (Big 12 champion)

Comment: All Baylor does is score points and win these days, as does Northern Illinois recently. Both teams are undefeated and loving life on the loss-less side of things. As the AAC’s eventual conference champ is likely to be underwhelingly ranked in the BCS standings, things look bright for a potential BCS buster, and Northern Illinois seems to fit the billing just right. The Huskies’ competition will come from Fresno State, but expect Northern Illinois to prevail in the BCS standings when it counts even if the Bulldogs run the table. Baylor will hope to find its way into a BCS title game bid, but if not, the Fiesta Bowl is the landing spot as a host.