Did the SEC blow it? The incredible Auburn Tigers, a two-touchdown underdog to favorite unbeaten No.1 Florida State, led 21-3 late in the first half, trying to win the final BCS Championship game and the eighth straight for the powerful Southeastern Conference. But the Seminoles are back on top of college football for the first time since 1999.
Incredible freshman quarterback Jameis Winston became the first freshman quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship in the same year. He led Florida State to their comeback win over determined Auburn.
The first half was not pretty for Florida State — they were struggling in the glow of the national spotlight. Dropping passes, missing tackles, jumping off sides, they were not getting it done, and Auburn was. With minutes left in the first half and trailing 21-3, Head Coach Jimbo Fisher called for a fake punt on fourth down. The Seminoles converted it for a first down and drove down and scored to cut the Tigers’ lead to 21-10. They also flipped the momentum in the game and sustained it in the second half.
On Labor Day I was in Pittsburgh with my sons and grandsons for the first-ever ACC game for the University of Pittsburgh against Florida State. One of my sons, Larry Fitzgerald Jr., was being honored at halftime. The two-time All-American was having his No. 1 jersey retired that night.
That is when I got to see and meet Winston firsthand. The young man put on quite a show that night, throwing four touchdown passes and passing for 357 yards in the Seminoles’ win.
As it turned out, that was the first of 14 wins for Florida State, and Monday night they finished their remarkable season by ending the historic SEC run in the Final BCS title game at the Rose Bowl 34-31 in Pasadena, California. “Always been in favor of an NCAA football playoff system,” said former Vikings/Cardinals head coach Dennis Green. That system begins in 2014.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.