BCS Championship Game Live Blog: Florida State vs. Auburn
The final BCS Championship Game to ever be played will be played tonight, and we'll be updating you on everything that matters here.
12:15 a.m. -- Your 2013 national champion Florida State Seminoles.
12:10 a.m. -- And so ends another wonderful season of college football. This sport we love will never be the same. You can say what you want about the BCS -- and I was never a fan -- but you can't deny that it has provided us with some fantastic football games during its time. Hopefully the playoff will provide us with even more.
Next season is only nine months away.
12:08 a.m. -- Here's a photo of Kelvin Benjamin pulling in a national championship for Florida State.
12:06 a.m. -- "These kids are special," says Jimbo Fisher. Hard to disagree with him considering how the first half went and how they responded.
12:04 a.m. -- It's over! Florida State is your national champion. The SEC's streak has come to an end, as has the BCS. What a classic.
12:03 a.m. -- Nick Marshall's pass is incomplete. Three seconds left.
12:02 a.m. -- Auburn's last gasp. Nine seconds left at its own 17.
12:00 a.m. -- I don't know what's going to happen in these final 13 seconds, but this is just a reminder that COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS THE GREATEST THING ON EARTH.
11:59 p.m. -- The extra point is good. It's 34-31 Florida State. Auburn is going to need yet another miracle.
11:58 p.m -- TOUCHDOWN FLORIDA STATE! WINSTON TO BENJAMIN!! It's 33-31 Seminoles with 13 seconds left. Extra point coming.
11:57 p.m. -- Winston throws into the end zone and the pass is incomplete but Auburn is called for PASS INTERFERENCE. First and goal, Florida State.
11:56 p.m. -- Wow. A delay of game penalty on Florida State. Wow. It's not third and eight.
11:56 p.m. -- Third down for FSU. Noles need three yards. 21 seconds left.
11:55 p.m. -- Florida State has a first down at the 11. 35 seconds and counting.
11:55 p.m. -- Just want to point out that Florida State is moving toward the same end zone Vince Young did against USC seven years ago.
11:54 p.m. -- I have no rooting interest in this game and even I'm nervous.
11:53 p.m. -- HUGE play for the Noles as Winston finds Greene and he picks up a bunch of yards to get Florida State down to the Auburn 23 yard line. 43-yard pickup.
11:51 p.m. -- Here we go. Florida State needs 80 yards. It has two timeouts and 1:11 to work with.
11:49 p.m. -- Well, if you need a touchdown drive to win a national champinship, and you only have 79 seconds to work with, it's best to have the Heisman winning quarterback on your side, right?
11:47 p.m. -- Auburn is no longer in field goal range. IT'S IN THE END ZONE. Tre Mason breaks free for a touchdown run on 2nd and 16 and Auburn leads 31-27 with 1:19 left to play. Wow, this game got crazy quick, didn't it?
11:46 p.m. -- According to ESPN's Green Line Of Truth or whatever, Auburn is in field goal range. 1:30 to play.
11:42 p.m. -- What a play by Nick Marshall to convert on 3rd and 11. Huge.
11:39 p.m. -- By the way, here's the taunting Devonta Freeman was called for.
11:37 p.m. -- OH MY GOODNESS LEVONTE WHITFIELD GOES 100 YARDS FOR THE SCORE ON THE KICK RETURN! Florida State leads 27-24 with 4:31 to play! Wow. Special teams continue to dominate this game.
11:34 p.m. -- Auburn has to settle for a field goal and the score is now 24-20 Auburn with 4:42 to play. Buckle up, folks. We have a finish coming.
11:32 p.m. -- They will call this the Tre Mason Drive if Auburn holds on to win.
11:23 p.m. -- I love that we follow a sport in which a player that celebrates his team scoring a huge touchdown in the fourth quarter of THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP could cost his team a national championship. Way to be, NCAA. Can't let these kids enjoy themselves out there. Somebody's sensibilities might be offended.
11:21 p.m. -- Oh man Florida State gets a touchdown but Devonta Freeman gets an unsportsmanlike penalty and now Florida State can't go for the two-point conversion. It's 21-20 Auburn with 10:55 left to play.
11:19 p.m. -- This has basically been the story of the second half. Defense see ball, defense hit person holding ball hard.
11:16 p.m. -- And we have a turnover! Nick Marshall is picked off by P.J. Williams. Now, can somebody finally find the end zone in this half?
11:13 p.m. -- Should FSU consider it a bad omen to start the fourth quarter with a punt? Also, is anybody else getting a serious 2010 Auburn-Oregon vibe from this game?
11:07 p.m. -- The third quarter comes to an end, and it was quite the defensive struggle. I'm telling you, punters are dominating this game. Next year a punter will win the Heisman! We go to the fourth with Auburn ahead 21-13.
11:01 P.M. -- Nearly had a huge break for Florida State. Seminoles had to punt but Chris Davis muffed the punt. Fortunately for him a teammate pounced on it. Auburn ball.
10:59 p.m. -- Florida State is about to start its tenth possession of the night. It's average starting field position? Its own 18-yard line. Field position is so incredibly important in this sport.
10:56 p.m. -- The tide -- forgive me, Auburn fans -- has turned a bit in this second half. Feels like Florida State is in control after forcing another Auburn punt.
10:51 p.m. -- Florida State has to settle for the 41-yard field goal, but it's now a one-possession game. Auburn leads 21-13 with 6:05 left in the third.
10:48 p.m. -- Don't look now, folks, but Florida State is starting to look like Florida State on offense.
10:44 p.m. -- Anybody seen Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary? I feel like he could help the Noles right about now.
10:37 p.m. -- Florida State's defense helps out its offense, forcing an Auburn punt. FSU has another chance to make this a one-score game, but will start at its own nine.
10:32 p.m. -- Something tells me going three-and-out wasn't what Florida State wanted to do to start the second half.
10:30 p.m. -- It's time for the second half folks. We're underway. Florida State will start at its own 25.
10:09 p.m. -- It took a lot longer than they'd have liked, but Devonta Freeman and Jameis Winston finally got to celebrate a touchdown late in the first half (image via USATSI).
10:06 p.m. -- We have reached halftime, and for the first time this season Florida State finds itself on the wrong end of the scoreboard going into the locker room. Auburn leads 21-10. Florida State will get the ball to start the third.
9:59 p.m. -- THERE IT IS. Florida State finally finds the end zone on a Devonta Freeman run and the score is now Auburn 21-10 with 1:28 left in the first half. Florida State desperately needed those points.
9:56 p.m. -- Florida State breaks out a fake punt on fourth down to get the first down. Maybe that will be the play that gets the Noles going?
9:54 p.m. -- Gus go BOOM.
9:49 p.m. -- Folks, we might have a blowout on our hands, but not the one so many were expecting. Nick Marshall keeps on an option and scores to give Auburn a 21-3 lead with 5:01 left in the first half.
9:46 p.m. -- So much for any possible momentum for Florida State. Jameis Winston fumbles and Auburn recovers. Just an absolute nightmare of a game so far for Winston.
9:43 p.m. -- The biggest play for Florida State tonight? Auburn puts together another nice drive but misses a 33-yard field goal. Seminoles needed that. Let's see if that gives them some confidence.
9:40 p.m. -- Thing I learned tonight: sometimes the offense is called for encroachment.
9:32 p.m. -- Florida State forced to punt again. Jameis Winston has completed only one of his last seven passes and Florida State just looks rattled.
9:29 p.m. -- Here are Nick Marshall and Melvin Ray celebrating their touchdown (image via USATSI).
9:24 p.m. -- Well would you look at that. Nick Marshall to a wide open Melvin Ray over the middle for a 50-yard touchdown. Auburn now leads 14-3 with 13:48 left in the first half.
9:22 p.m. -- Officials reviewing a possible Tre Mason fumble. He was ruled down live and the replay confirms it.
9:19 p.m. -- How's our Heisman winner doing so far? Not too well. Jameis Winston is 4-for-9 for 43 yards passing, and he's been sacked a couple of times as well. Defense is winning this game so far. On both sides.
9:13 p.m. -- And so we reach the end of the first quarter with Auburn leading Florida State 7-3. Neither offense has been able to really get going so far, as special teams play has been the biggest difference maker so far. Somewhere Jim Delany smiles.
9:10 p.m. -- There's that Auburn defensive line. A big sack by Dee Ford on third down forces another Florida State punt but Auburn roughs the punter to give Florida State a first down. Wow. That could be huge if the Noles get points out of this drive now.
9:04 p.m. -- Touchdown Auburn! Marshall hits Tre Mason on a little swing pass and he bobs his way into the end zone. Auburn is up 7-3 with 3:07 left in the first quarter. This is the first time Florida State has trailed since 1879. Or September 28. One of those two.
8:58 p.m. -- The Auburn defense responds. Florida State goes three-and-out after being buried at its one-yard line.
8:56 p.m. -- Through its first two possessions Auburn is averaging only 2.1 yards per carry. That's not a good sign.
8:54 p.m. -- Another Auburn drive stalls just past midfield, but the good news for the Tigers is they bury Florida State with a punt that's downed at the one yard line. If Florida State wants a touchdown, it'll have to go 99 yards to get it.
8:51 p.m. -- Here's what I'm seeing so far, and keep in mind there's a long way to go. Right now Auburn's offensive line is having a lot more trouble with Florida State's defensive line than Florida State's offensive line is with the Auburn defensive line. Those are the key battles tonight.
8:50 p.m. -- Georgia fans having flashbacks as Florida State deflects a pass and Auburn catches it anyway.
8:44 p.m. -- Florida State moved the ball down the field with relative ease on its opening drive, which has to be worrying for Auburn. However, the Auburn defense holds in the red zone and forces a Florida State field goal. It's 3-0 with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
8:37 p.m. -- Nick Marshall finds a wide open Ricardo Louis deep over the middle on third down and it's a low throw...and he drops it.
8:36 p.m. -- Auburn calls its first timeout of the game facing a 3rd and 7. Tre Mason picked up 11 yards on his first carry, but only three on his next two.
8:31 p.m. -- Florida State won the coin toss and will defer. So Auburn gets the ball to start.
8:29 p.m. -- It's just not a BCS Championship Game without a joke at the Big Ten's expense. This one from Bobby Big Wheel during John Legend's performance of the national anthem.
If the Big Ten had made the title game this'd be a duet with John Leader— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) January 7, 2014
Do you get it?
8:24 p.m. -- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn with a touching tribute to former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka.
8:20 p.m. -- Just over a little more than 10 minutes until kickoff, and for all of you who are into this kind of thing, Florida State is currently an 11-point favorite over Auburn, and the over/under is at 68.
Tonight is a night of endings. The 2013 college football season will come to an end, and so will the BCS. That's right, in case you've been living under a rock for the last year, the BCS is being ushered off the stage for the College Football Playoff next season.
Will it be missed? I don't know, and I don't care. The only thing I care about tonight is that a champion will be decided as both Florida State and Auburn do battle in Pasadena. I can assure you that nobody on either team cares about the BCS or the playoff right now. All they care about is the challenge in front of them.
And we'll be here to document that challenge once it begins at 8:30 p.m. ET. So join us here in the Eye On College Football BCS Championship Game Live Blog following kickoff. We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll post some video, and we'll tell some jokes.
But most of all, we'll watch football. Because it's the last game we have this season and August is so far away.
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