Florida State and Auburn will meet on Jan. 6 to determine the winner of the BCS National Championship. The Seminoles appeared Pasadena-bound since early in the season, while Auburn snuck in the back door with late-season wins over Alabama and Missouri, benefiting from Ohio State's loss to Michigan State.
Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbook projects FSU as 7-point favorite over Auburn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 8, 2013
Update: Via SB Nation odds partner OddsShark, the line's moving in the Noles' favor already:
Florida State has thrashed every opponent that it has encountered in the 2013 season and is as complete a team as you'll find. The Seminoles rank first in the country in yards per play gained and second in the country in yards per play given up while betraying no major weakness on either side of the ball.
Obviously, the headliner is Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis Winston and the Seminoles' passing attack, featuring NFL-ready receivers Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw, and Kelvin Benjamin. FSU is equally deep and potent on the ground, with a running back stable that includes Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams, and James Wilder, Jr. and ranks ninth nationally in yards per rush.
Meanwhile, Auburn possesses one of the premier offenses in the country but has struggled to defend both the run and the pass (87th nationally in yards per play defense). Following an early loss to LSU, the Tigers have been able to overcome its deficiencies in wins over Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri by dictating tempo with its murderous rushing attack led by Tre Mason, Corey Grant, and Cameron Artis-Payne.
Gus Malzhahn's offense also asks quarterback Nick Marshall to run the ball, which he is very capable of doing, and only puts the ball in the air when absolutely necessary. But don't let the fact that Auburn prefers to run the ball trick you into thinking that they're incapable of throwing. When the Tigers decide to throw it, they're quite effective. In fact, Nick Marshall's favorite target, Sammie Coates, leads the nation in yards per catch.
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