We’re approaching the kickoff of the biggest college football game of the season, so it is as good as time as any to do an earnest college football post on this site.
I regret that we haven’t kept up with the game more on this site, but its hard for it to leap-frog the ongoing dramas from the pro sports in Chicago, even with semi-relevant teams at Northern Illinois, Notre Dame and (for a short time) Northwestern. And to localize things further, tonight’s game couldn’t have come at a better time to distract this city and much of the rest of the country from the scourge that is the POLAR VORTEX.
Regardless, we have talked about the game quite a bit on our air and we definitely love the sport at Regal, if for no other reason than to obsess over what young talents could possibly exist that will re-invigorate the Bears.
That issue is not of much relevance in tonight’s championship game between Florida St. and Auburn, in fact the game’s two biggest stars — Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of FSU and Auburn’s Tre Mason — will not even be leaving for the NFL after this game. Tonight isn’t a farewell to any college legends, at least not in human form.
The BCS gets its swan song tonight in a game between an program that was dominant early in its history (FSU appeared in the first three BCS title games, beating Michael Vick and Virginia Tech in 2000) and Auburn, which has already provided one of the era’s most legendary championship runs with Cam Newton in 2010, has blown everyone’s minds repeatedly in getting to this year’s game and is looking to extend the run of the SEC to eight straight BCS National Championships — regardless of the result tonight the SEC stands clearly as the defining conference of the BCS era.
As happy as most are that the BCS is stepping aside for a true multi-game playoff, it still has to be looked at as an overall success if you block out the continuing revenue disparity between one group who thought up the idea of the BCS (conference and college leaders and television executives) and the group who actually did all the work to make the BCS memorable in spite of years of voting controversy and unfortunate matchups — the players.
Some BCS games have been far from competitive (maybe NIU, who couldn’t knock off Utah St. this year, should be glad that it didn’t squeeze itself in again) but you can say that the majority have been well-played contests with many of the biggest games living up to and exceeding hype — the 2003 title game (Fiesta Bowl), the ’05 Rose Bowl, the ’06 Orange Bowl (since vacated) and its exquisite Rose Bowl, which decided the National Championship, Boise’s upset the following year against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and Auburn’s title win over Oregon among them.
With the BCS we saw the best go against the best, even though in most years we were left with an unseen match-up or two that we never saw, we were still left entertained. As we go forward, there will now be the prospect of an opening college playoff round that will rival the great wild card weekends that the NFL provides, as it did this weekend. That’s a step forward.
As for tonight, you have a radiant talent in Winston on one side, leading a Seminole team with as much pro-ready talent as any of the top Alabama teams of this era, against the feel-good Tigers of Auburn, as scrappy an underdog story as you can get out the SEC, yet led by Mason their run attack trounces opponents like a pack of the animals their blood rival uses as mascots — plus Mason is by birth hip-hop royalty so he gets much respect here.
In the end, give me “Famous” Jameis and his squad and the points. FSU has beaten teams by an average of over 40 points this season, the kind of number you don’t see in the college game any more — forget about who they played or how they played them, forget even if you don’t like the kid because you felt he got away with something he shouldn’t have — there’s no young athlete more well suited to the spotlight right now and his spirit and focus has runs all throughout his team. Winston has indeed brought the swag back to Florida State and now he’s going to bring back the title. Prediction: FSU 42, Auburn 27.
Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and Kyle Means @Wrk_Wrt