BCS Championship: Winners And Losers
The 2014 BCS national championship will go down as one of the top national title games in the BCS era.
The Florida State Seminoles came out on top, but not without a huge fight put up by the Auburn Tigers.
After the final second ticked off the clock, multiple winners and losers that emerged.
Winner: Jameis Winston
Even though Florida State came in as an 11-point favorite against Auburn, the fact remains that the Seminoles never really had to play four quarters all year. They were so much better than every team they played and some questioned if they would be able to pull out a win in the fourth quarter.
Not only did Winston lead the Seminoles to the win, but he did so on Florida State's final offensive drive. He went 6-of-7 for 77 yards on the final drive, including a two-yard strike to Kelvin Benjamin for the winning score.
With the win, Winston becomes only the third quarterback to win the Heisman, lead his team to an undefeated season and a national championship in the BCS era.
Loser: 'S-E-C Chant' Fans
For some reason, fans in the SEC live vicariously through the SEC team that makes the national title game.
Whether it's Georgia fans rooting for Auburn (or Alabama) because they know the Bulldogs won't be sniffing a championship anytime soon, or Alabama fans rooting for hated rival Auburn, it's all disheartening.
If a team is your rival, you don't want to root for them, especially in the national championship. For one, it hurts your recruiting efforts. Secondly, do you really want to have to hear them brag about it for the next year?
Just because you play in the best conference in the country, doesn't mean you get bragging rights if an SEC team win the national championship.
For the first time in eight years, those fans finally get to taste what it's like to lose in the national championship game. And it serves them right. Bear Bryant would be turning over in his grave if he knew Alabama fans were rooting for Auburn. The same with Larry Munson if he knew Bulldogs fans were rooting for the Tigers.
Winner: College Football
The Bowl Championship Series finally comes to a close, but not without another great national championship game.
We've gotten so accustomed to the SEC winning that we've rarely seen great games. Outside of this year's game, the 2010 game between Auburn and Oregon and the 2005 game between USC and Texas have been the only games where both teams played great.
College football and its fans won in this game because both sides felt a roller coaster of emotions. Both teams were down, both teams were up and it all happened in the last two minutes.
Now we move into a four-team playoff system, which should satisfy fans a little more compared to a flawed BCS formula. Then again, there will be cries for an eight-team playoff in a few years.
Loser: Auburn Coaches
Despite how well the game was played on both sides, the Auburn coaches come out as losers in this one.
With a 21-10 lead at halftime (21-3 before FSU scored at the end of the second quarter), Auburn was controlling the game. However, the team let up. Auburn looked as if it was playing not to lose, and Florida State took advantage of it.
The biggest mistake came in the fourth quarter when Auburn decided to throw a pass on third-and-4 instead of running it with Tre Mason, who finished the game with 195 yards on the ground.
You have to stick with what you do best, and Auburn chose to put the ball in the hands of Marshall to try and complete a touchdown pass.
While Auburn still scored another touchdown later, that play goes down as a key point in the game where Auburn could have put the game away.
Winner: FSU And Auburn Recruiting
While the Seminoles did come out on top, both schools greatly benefited in the recruiting arena by playing for the national championship. Both schools have most of their recruits lined up, but there are still a few spots open.
For Florida State, that could be the difference it needs in getting five-star defensive back Marlon Humphrey (No. 5 overall according to Rivals.com) to commit to the Seminoles over Alabama or five-star athlete Adoree' Jackson (No. 6 overall) to commit over LSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee. For Auburn, that could be the key to getting four-star offensive lineman Braden Smith to commit to the Tigers over Notre Dame, TCU or Texas A&M.
Playing for titles plays a key role in recruit's decisions, hence why Alabama ranks first in recruiting team rankings over the last four years.