By Mitchell Kelley / 92-9 The Game’s GameTime
On January 6th in Pasadena, California two top teams, No. 1 FSU and No.2 Auburn will battle it out for the right to call themselves National Champions. Both teams will be going for their third National title, the first under their current respective coaches.
Both Auburn and FSU had great regular seasons. FSU finished with a perfect 13-0 record while Auburn finished with an impressive 12-1 record. After Auburn’s season to forget from a year ago, this year’s season has definitely come as a nice surprise. On the other hand, FSU has finished in the top 25 each of the last three years so their success this season is definitely less of a surprise. But even though Auburn has had one of the luckiest seasons of any team in quite some time, they’ve shown in both the win against Alabama and the win against Missouri in the SEC Championship game that they are no hoax.
If you like high scoring games, you’re going to be in for a real treat when the two teams square off in a couple of weeks! Both teams finished near the top of college football this season when it came to total offense. FSU had more of its success in the passing game while Auburn found most of its success running the football.
As we saw throughout the college football season from both FSU and Auburn, stopping teams on defense has been a little bit of a struggle. FSU ranked 23rd overall in total defense while Auburn ranked a horrendous 40th overall. Defense will be the key to victory for both teams come January 6th. FSU is going to have to find a way to stop Auburn’s running game headed by their 5’11, 205 pound RB Tre Mason. Mason ran for 304 yards in Auburn’s big win over Mizzou a couple Saturday’s ago. Regardless of what either team does on the defensive side, I expect guys like FSU QB Jameis Winston and AUB RB Tre Mason to have big days.
On the coaching side of things, Gus Malzahn and Jimbo Fisher will be competing for huge bonuses. With a win, one of these coaches will receive a large payout! And by large, I mean LARGE! With a win Malzahn would receive a hefty $375,000 and Fisher would receive nice $225,000. For the other coaches out there, there is really nothing to play for in terms of receiving big bonuses.
I expect this year’s National Title Game to be a lot more interesting than last year’s blowout. You’ve got two similar teams with two high powered offenses. I think it will be a very close, down to the wire type of football game. It’s going to come down to which team can get the most stops on defense as I stated earlier and I believe that FSU will have the edge in that category. And for that reason, I believe FSU will have the upper hand over Auburn when these two teams face off.