BCS National Championship Game
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn
7:30 p.m. Monday, Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif.
Records: Florida State 13-0, 9-0 ACC; Auburn 12-1, 8-1 SEC
Key points: In its final year, the BCS has produced another big-time matchup for the crystal football. Auburn needed two miracle endings to reach the title game: a tipped catch for 73 yards and a touchdown on fourth-and-18 with 25 seconds left against Georgia and a 100-yard missed field-goal return for a TD with no time left against Alabama. The Tigers are underdogs against an undefeated Florida State team led by redshirt freshman quarterback sensation Jameis Winston, but Auburn will be fighting to keep the SEC’s championship streak going. An SEC team has won the BCS’s top prize every year since Texas won in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 4, 2006. Auburn is also trying to keep the national championship in the state of Alabama for a fifth straight year. Alabama has won three, with Auburn’s title coming against Oregon on Jan. 10, 2011. The Tigers have a strong offense led by quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason, (1,621 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns on 283 carries). But Auburn’s defense will have a tough task in slowing Winston, who has thrown for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns and is the second freshman to win the Heisman.
Tarrant ties: Florida State sophomore kicker Clay Pickler played for Colleyville Heritage, and Auburn senior defensive end Nosa Eguae played for Mansfield Summit.
— Brent Shirley