The warm sports bars and cold streets of Atlanta were already full of screaming, hugging, euphoric Auburn fans, just beginning the jubilation that lasted well into the night after the SEC Championship Game win over Missouri. Thousands of Tiger fans from Alabama were heading west and south on I-20 and I-85, orange and blue flags flapping in the wind. And at Toomer’s Corner in downtown Auburn, for the third time in 22 days, a celebration was underway that left the fabled intersection looking like a winter blizzard.

At that same time, in two cities hundreds of miles away, Auburn’s postseason bowl fate was being decided.

In Charlotte, Florida State, the nation’s top ranked team, was taking care of business, steamrolling Duke, 45-7. The Blue Devils … college football’s 2013 feel-good story, if not for Auburn … was no match for the Seminoles. Score one for Domination.

In Indianapolis, Michigan State, the nation’s best defensive team, put the clamps on Ohio State, the team with the nation’s longest winning streak. Urban Meyer, a head coach with two BCS championships of his own, suffered his first loss in scarlet and grey, sending Auburn, perhaps the most unlikely contender in BCS history, to Pasadena for its second national title game in four years. Score one for Destiny.

Early on in the season, this was not the…

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