2014 BCS National Championship Game
The 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game was the national championship game of the 2013 college football season, which took place on Monday, January 6, 2014. The game featured the Auburn Tigers and Florida State Seminoles. It was the 16th and last time the top two teams would automatically play for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title before the implementation of a four-team College Football Playoff system. The game was played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, kicking off at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game was hosted by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the organizer of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day. The winner of the game, Florida State, was presented with the American Football Coaches Association's "The Coaches' Trophy", valued at $30,000. Pre-game festivities began at 4:30 p.m. PT. Face values of tickets were $385 and $325 (end zone seats) with both teams receiving a total of 40,000 tickets.
|2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game|
|BCS Bowl Game|
|Date||January 6, 2014|
|MVP||Offense: Jameis Winston (QB, FSU)|
Defense: P. J. Williams (DB, FSU)
|Favorite||Florida State by 8.5|
|National anthem||John Legend|
|Referee||John O'Neill (Big Ten)|
|Halftime show||Auburn University Marching Band|
|Payout||US$23.9 million to each team|
|United States TV coverage|
|Network||ESPN and ESPN Radio|
|Announcers||Brent Musburger (play-by-play)|
Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi (sideline) (ESPN)
Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe, and Joe Schad (ESPN Radio)
|Nielsen ratings||15.7 (26 million viewers)|
|International TV coverage|
Starting immediately after the 2014 Rose Bowl Game, a fresh field was placed on top of the existing field. The field was laid on Thursday, and painting of the field began Friday. The field was completed Saturday in time for it to rest on Sunday for the game on Monday.
Florida State scored first on a 35-yard field goal to take an early 3–0 lead. Auburn responded with a touchdown in the first quarter and two in the second to storm out to a 21–3 lead. After a successful punt fake, the Seminoles managed a touchdown late in the second quarter, making it a 21–10 game in Auburn's favor going into halftime. Both teams dominated on defense in the third quarter with the Seminoles hitting a field goal to cut Auburn's lead to eight. In the fourth quarter, Florida State scored a touchdown early to make it a one-point game. Auburn extended its lead to 24–20 on a field goal, but Florida State took the lead 27–24 when Levonte Whitfield took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Auburn then retook the lead 31–27 with 1:19 remaining in the game, but Florida State was able to respond, winning the game 34–31 with a Kelvin Benjamin touchdown with 13 seconds left on the clock.
Teams playing in this game were officially selected on Selection Sunday, December 8, 2013. They are the No. 1 and No. 2 nationally ranked teams in the final BCS standings. In the final BCS Standings, Florida State ended up ranked No. 1 and Auburn ended up ranked No. 2. Auburn and Florida State have played 17 times before, with Auburn leading the series, 13–4. Their last meeting was in 1990 at Auburn, Auburn winning 20–17.
The teams were housed in Newport Beach, Orange County. They held practices at UC Irvine (Auburn) in Irvine, CA and Orange Coast College (Florida State) in Costa Mesa, CA. On game day, Auburn wore its white away jerseys and used the west bench while Florida State wore its dark home jerseys and used the east bench.
The Auburn Tigers staged a large turnaround in 2013, improving from a 3–9 record in 2012 to a 12-1 record in 2013. Auburn was coached by Gus Malzahn, who was in his first season at Auburn. The Tigers began the season unranked and were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West in the SEC Media Poll. The Tigers won their first three games of the season, before losing to LSU 21-35. The Tigers then won the final eight games of the regular season to move to an 11-1 record and a SEC West division title. Auburn's regular season was capped off by two improbable victories: the Prayer at Jordan–Hare and the Kick Six (Chris Davis' game-winning touchdown with a 109-yard return of a missed 57-yard field goal attempt). In the 2013 SEC Championship Game, the Tigers defeated Missouri 59-42. It was with the improbable finishes and the single-season turnaround that the Auburn Tigers were dubbed "a team of destiny." After Auburn’s victory over Missouri in the SEC Championship, #10 Michigan State defeated #2 Ohio State 34-24 in the 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game, keeping Ohio State out of the BCS Championship Game, while Auburn moved up to take Ohio State’s spot.
The Tigers led the nation in rushing (335.69 yards per game). Auburn's rushing attack was led by Tre Mason, who rushed for 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns. Wide receiver Sammie Coates had 38 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns, which was good enough to rank him second in the nation on yards per reception (21.3). Quarterback Nick Marshall threw for 1,759 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Marshall also ran for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Florida State entered the 2013 season ranked #11 in the AP Poll. Despite losing 11 starters to the 2013 NFL Draft, the Seminoles were dominant during the 2013 season, winning by an average of 42.3 points en route to a 13–0 record. FSU's closest game was a 48-34 victory over Boston College. FSU's offense averaged 53 points per game, while the defense allowed only 10.7 points per game. The team was coached by Jimbo Fisher, who was in his fourth season at Florida State.
Offensively, the Seminoles were led by Heisman Trophy winner, redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who turned 20 years old on game day. Winston completed 237 of 349 passes with 3,820 yards for 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The offense was also led by wide receivers Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin, who each had over 900 receiving yards. FSU's rushing attack was led by Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 943 yards. Roberto Aguayo lead the team in scoring with 147 points (perfect 90 PAT and 19 out of 20 field goal attempts).
|Selected in an NFL Draft (number corresponds to draft round)|
† = 2013 All-American
|Kelvin Benjamin 1||WR||Sammie Coates 3|
|†Cameron Erving 1||LT||Greg Robinson 1|
|Josue Matias||LG||Alex Kozan|
|†Bryan Stork 4||C||Reese Dismukes|
|Tre' Jackson 4||RG||Chad Slade|
|Bobby Hart 7||RT||Avery Young|
|Nick O'Leary 6||TE||C.J. Uzomah 5|
|Rashad Greene 5||WR||Ricardo Louis 4|
|†Jameis Winston 1||QB||Nick Marshall|
|Devonta Freeman 4||RB||†Tre Mason 3|
|Eddie Goldman 2||DE||Dee Ford 1|
|Timmy Jernigan 2||DT||Nosa Eguae|
|Nile Lawrence-Stample||DT||Gabe Wright 4|
|Mario Edwards Jr. 2||DE||Elijah Daniel|
|Dan Hicks||SLB||Robenson Therezie|
|Christian Jones||MLB||ILB||Jake Holland|
|Telvin Smith 5||WLB||Cassanova McKinzy|
|P.J. Williams 3||CB||Chris Davis|
|†Lamarcus Joyner 2||CB||Jonathon Mincy|
|Jalen Ramsey 1||S||Ryan Smith|
|Terrence Brooks 3||S||Jermaine Whitehead|
The 2014 BCS National Championship Game kicked off at 8:30 p.m. EST at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. A crowd of 94,208 people attended the game. The game was televised by ESPN, with Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit as commentators. Other ESPN networks (including ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, and ESPN3) provided supplemental coverage with analysis and additional perspectives of the game, which the network branded as the BCS Megacast. An estimated 26,061,000 people watched the game on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, for a combined Nielsen rating of 14.8.
The opening kickoff went for a touchback, thus Auburn began its opening drive at its 25-yard line. On a third and 7 situation, the Tigers had a chance to score first when Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall threw a pass to an open Ricardo Louis. Marshall's pass fell short, however, forcing the Tigers to punt the ball away to FSU. On the Seminoles' first drive of the game, Florida State was able to drive to Auburn's red zone. However, on a third and 8 situation at Auburn's 16-yard line, Jameis Winston was sacked by Nosa Eguae, forcing the Seminoles to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Roberto Aguayo to give the Seminoles a 3–0 lead.
The ensuing Auburn drive ended in a punt. However, the Tigers were able to down the punt at FSU's 2-yard line. Auburn's defense then forced a three-and-out, forcing the Seminoles to punt from the endzone. Auburn's Chris Davis returned the punt 22 yards to Florida State's 25-yard line. Taking advantage of the good field position, Auburn went up 7–3 on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tre Mason. On the ensuing Florida State drive, the Seminoles stalled at their 26-yard line after Winston was sacked by Dee Ford. On the punt return, Auburn was called for a roughing the kicker penalty, giving FSU a first down at the Seminoles' 41-yard line.
Florida State opened the second quarter with an incomplete pass to Rashad Greene, forcing the Seminoles to punt on fourth down. On the first play of Auburn's drive, Mason rushed for a 23-yard gain. On the next play, Auburn's Corey Grant was stopped for a three-yard loss. However, FSU received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, bring Auburn midfield. On the next play, Marshall connected to Melvin Ray for a 50-yard touchdown reception, giving Auburn a 14–3 lead. The next Florida State drive ended in a three-and-out, giving Auburn the ball back once again. Auburn was able to drive deep into Florida State territory. However, the Tigers came up empty after Cody Parkey missed a 33-yard field goal. Florida State did not hold on to the football long, however, when Winston fumbled at FSU's 27-yard line. Taking advantage of the turnover, Auburn went up 21–3 on a 4-yard touchdown run from Marshall.
On the following Florida State drive, the Seminoles faced a fourth and 4 situation at its own 40-yard line. FSU went for a fake punt, which was successfully converted after Karlos Williams ran seven yards for a first down. Six plays later, facing a third and 7 situation at Auburn's 24-yard line, Winston ran 21 yards for a first down. On the next play, the Seminoles made it a 21–10 game on a 3-yard Devonta Freeman rushing touchdown. The game remained 21–10 going into the half.
Florida State received the opening kickoff of the second half. The Seminoles went three-and-out on their first drive of the quarter, forcing the Seminoles to punt. Auburn received the punt at its 37-yard line and drove to Florida State territory. On a third and 8 play at FSU's 36-yard line, the Tigers were called for a holding penalty. On the next play, Nick Marshall's pass fell incomplete, forcing the Tigers to punt. The Seminoles began their second drive of the quarter at their 9-yard line and drove to Auburn's 24-yard line. Florida State was unable to convert a third and 8 situation, however, forcing to the Seminoles to settle for a 41-yard field goal. The field goal was successful, making it a 21–13 game. The game remained 21–13 in Auburn's favor going into the fourth quarter.
Florida State opened the fourth quarter punting the ball away to Auburn. On the ensuing Auburn drive, P.J. Williams intercepted Nick Marshall at FSU's 40-yard line. Willams fumbled the interception, but the fumble was recovered by teammate Lamarcus Joyner. Taking advantage of the turnover, the Seminoles cut into the Tigers' lead on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Chad Abram. Florida State's Devonta Freeman was called for a taunting penalty, pushing Florida State 15-yards back on the conversion attempt. In turn, Seminoles had to settle for an extra point instead of a two-point conversion, cutting FSU's deficit to 21–20. Auburn responded on its next drive with a 22-yard field goal from Cody Parkey to give Auburn a 24–20 lead with 4:42 remaining in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, FSU's Levonte Whitfield returned the kickoff 100 yards to give Florida State a 27–24 lead. Auburn retook the lead on a 37-yard rushing touchdown by Tre Mason to give Auburn a 31–27 lead with 1:19 remaining in the game. Levonte Whitfield received the kickoff again, but this time was only able to return the kickoff 17 yards to Florida State's 20-yard line.
Needing to go 80-yards for the win, Winston completed five of his first six passes of the drive, including a 49-yard pass to Rashad Greene, to take the Seminoles to Auburn's 5-yard line. After receiving a delay of game penalty, Florida State faced a third and 8 situation at Auburn's 10-yard line. On the next play, Winston's pass fell incomplete. However, Auburn's Chris Davis was called for a pass interference penalty in the endzone, giving FSU the ball at Auburn's 2-yard line. On the next play, Florida State took a 34–31 lead on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining in the game. Auburn had one more chance to win the game. On the final play of the game, Auburn attempted several laterals in an effort to reach the endzone. However, Tre Mason was tackled at Auburn's 37-yard line with no time remaining, giving Florida State the victory and the National Championship.
Florida State's deficit of 18-points was the largest ever overcome to win the BCS championship. FSU's win also ended the Southeastern Conference's seven-year winning streak in the national championship game. Texas was the last non-SEC school to win a National Championship (2006).
|Time of possession||33:41||26:19|
Auburn outgained FSU 449-385 in total yards. Auburn was also more efficient in converting third downs, converting 10 of 18 opportunities. FSU only went 2 for 12 on third downs.
Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall completed 14 of his 27 passes for 217 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Marshall also had 45 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown. Tre Mason was Auburn's leading rusher, rushing for 195 yards on 34 carries for 1 touchdown. Sammie Coates was Auburn's leading receiver, catching 4 passes for 61 yards.
Florida State's leading rusher was Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 73 yards on 11 carries. Rashad Greene was the Seminole's leading receiver, catching 9 passes for 147 yards. Kelvin Benjamin was Florida State's second leading receiver, catching 4 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.
By scoring 34 points in the game, Florida State set the all-time FBS record for scoring in a single season, with 723 points. The previous record was held by Oklahoma, who scored 716 points in 2008.
Florida State's victory earned it the 2014 BCS national championship and brought the Seminoles' season to an end with an undefeated 14–0 record. This was FSU's third national title in school history. With the loss, Auburn ended its season with a 12–2 record and a #2 ranking in the AP and Coaches polls.
The 2014 BCS National Championship Game has been described as a classic. One writer described the game as the "perfect ending for the BCS." The game's back-and-forth nature and dramatic finish merited such high praise for the game.
Several players on each team announced that they would leave early to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. From Auburn, Greg Robinson and Tre Mason announced their intentions to leave early. From Florida State, Timmy Jernigan, James Wilder, Jr., Kelvin Benjamin and Devonta Freeman declared for the draft.
- October 23, 2012 – Executive Director Bill Hancock announced the game, scheduled for Tuesday, January 7, would be moved to Monday to be "more fan-friendly."
- January 8, 2013 – It was announced that following this final BCS National Championship Game, the first College Football Playoff semifinal games would be held on January 1, 2015 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, and that the first College Football Championship Game would be Monday, January 12, 2015.
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- December 23, 2013 – Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was named AP's coach of the year.
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- January 4, 2014 – Media Day.
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