Congratulations to the Florida State Seminoles, your 2013-14 BCS National Champions. The Stack is here with reaction to it all plus a couple of other items to discuss so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Tuesday, January 7:
Florida State wins thrilling BCS National Championship finale
The final game of the BCS system was an absolute thriller. Florida State started out very slow and finished strong when they had to upending Auburn 34-31 to win the national championship. Auburn was ready right from the start and got the first few puches against Florida State. They were running the ball up and down the field against Florida State. They were able to throw the ball with ease, particularly in the middle of the field and they got after Jameis Winston on defense. He was rattled. Pressured, sacked and incomplete passes. Something we definitely aren't accustomed to seeing from Winston and Florida State. Auburn had a 21-3 lead and it could have been more had they not missed a chip shot 33-yard field goal. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal.
Florida State swung momentum in their direction late in the first half when Florida State lined up to punt and pulled a fake on Auburn picking up the first down and keeping the drive alive. The wound up scoring and trailed 21-10 at half. Getting the ball first in the second half, they knew that they could get a little momentum on their side. In the second half, their defense clamped down on Auburn's offense not allowing them to do much compared to the first half.
Florida State got within one point in the fourth quarter when Winston threw a touchdown pass. Auburn finally put together a decent drive together that resulted in a field goal and then they kicked off to Florida State's dangerous return man Levonte Whitfield who ran the kickoff back 100-yards for a touchdown. He might not have gotten there had an Auburn player not pulled a hamstring and another player taken a bad inside angle. Those are the breaks though. Auburn needed a touchdown now that they were trailing for the first time since the first quarter. Nick Marshall managed to escape and complete a big third down conversion. They kept moving the ball into Florida State territory, the clock ticking down. Tre Mason broke a 37-yard touchdown run to re-give Auburn the lead 31-27. My first thought was "too much time remains." You want to score and take the lead and have faith in your defense, but the way Florida State was moving the ball down the field, why not waste a little more time?
It turned out to be a costly mistake. Winston found his favorite target of the night Rashad Greene for a big 50-yard gain to get Florida State to the Auburn 20. A pass interference penalty on third down got the ball to the 2-yard line and then Winston found wide receiver Kevin Benjamin for the game-winning touchdown. Florida State wins 34-31 in one of the best national championship games of the BCS Bowl Era.
No more BCS now. Florida State ended the SEC's seven year run as national champions. They ended the state of Alabama's personal run of four straight years with the national champion. Florida State won the second BCS title in 1999, and now they've won the last. This game was easily one of the top three title games in the BCS history. First of course is USC-Texas, the Vince Young game. Scond may be Ohio State and Miami. The flurry of a finish in this game puts it right up there. Have to feel for Auburn and their fans, but the magic ran out on their season. What a great year they had though in the first year under Gus Malzahn. You know who you have to feel the most sorry for though? Auburn fan Mark Skiba who put $100 down on Auburn earlier in the year. $50,000 on the line if Auburn won the national championship. He let it ride. And he lost. Tough way to end the season and start 2014. What a game though.
Charlie Strong introduced as Texas head coach
The Texas Longhorns have a new man to try to get the program back in the national championship picture. It's Louisville head coach Charlie Strong who was introduced as head coach yesterday. He made Louisville a very strong program with his hard-nosed philosophy. But is he the right man for Texas? He can be, but he isn't a very outgoing individual. Will he endear himself to Texas fans? That really shouldn't matter, but considering the fact that the school has their own television network, it kind of does. He was a good coordinator at Florida and he should do a great job at Texas. Back to the very top of college football though? That will take a few years. Hopefully Texas and their fans give it to him. Otherwise they'll be right back in this position in a few years.
Mike Munchak out as Titans head coach
Another NFL head coaching position is now open following the Tennessee Titans firing head coach Mike Munchak on Saturday. Munchak had spent almost 30 years with the franchise, the last three as head coach. A 22-26 record wasn't strong enough and after discussions and meetings last week, the Titans felt like they had to go in a different direction, in part becuase Munchak wasn't willing to make a lot of changes to his staff. Is the Titans position desirable? Well there are only 32 head coaching positions in the NFL so yes, but this isn't a great job. You have Chris Johnson on offense and they might not even bring him back. That's it. Questions abound on quarterback Jake Locker. There just isn't much there. They were 7-9 this last year. Have to figure Houston will be back sooner than later and Jacksonville looks like they're heading in the right direction. It could be tough sledding in Tennessee.
Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to top sports stories in sports