No. 2 Rose Bowl presented by VISIO – January 1st on ESPN at 2pm PT
Jan 1, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw holds up the Rose Bowl trophy after the 2013 Rose Bowl game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Rose Bowl. Stanford won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
At first glance, it would seem the pairing of No. 4 Michigan State (12-1) with No. 5 Stanford (11-2) should make the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl something special. When you take a look at schedules, well, there’s evidence of what might happen on January 1st in Pasadena. Stanford played seven ranked teams this season. How many did they defeat? All seven. The Spartans played just three ranked teams, losing once. Coach David Shaw uses methodical, fundamental football to win big games. Too bad for MSU his laser-like focus will be targeted squarely on their strengths and weaknesses. Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio employs a similar style and attitude, but lacks the “big stage” experience of Shaw. Neither team lets opponents put many points up on the scoreboard and prefers to run their offense right at you. No gimmicks. No finesse. Just line up and let’s see who can block and tackle the best. If you like old school football, it doesn’t get any better than the 2014 Rose Bowl game.
No. 1 VIZIO BCS National Championship – January 6th on ESPN at 5:30pm PT
Dec 7, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) scores a touchdown as Duke Blue Devils cornerback Bryon Fields (14) and linebacker David Helton (47) and defensive end Kenny Anunike (84) and safety Dwayne Norman (40) defend in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
All debate and argument aside, the BCS selection committee ends their reign over college football with a logical, well-chosen matchup between No. 1 Florida State (13-0) and No. 2 Auburn (12-1). Running the table, including games with four ranked teams, certainly makes the Seminoles deserving of shot at the National Championship. The Tigers were challenged by six ranked teams, winning five. Both of these great teams have outstanding quarterbacks. FSU QB Jameis Winston is the Heisman favorite for his actions on the gridiron. But Auburn QB Nick Marshall is equally talented having progressively improved with each game in 2013. Where the significant difference lies between the two clubs is the matchup between the Seminole passing attack and the Tigers inconsistent secondary. Auburn will run the ball and do so effectively which should shorten the game. If, and it’s a big “if”, the Tigers ‘D’ can limit the explosive potential of Winston and company the title is theirs for the taking. But the last time I looked, no team has been able to do that for four quarters in 2013. Be prepared to watch FSU faithful do their tomahawk chop until they blow out their collective rotator cuffs.
It tough to fight melancholy regret when facing the end of another season of college football. We’ll have to soak in the final 35 games to fill our appetite before going into hibernation until it all starts again at the end of next August.
Enjoy bowl season my friends!