The 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship will take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 6, 2014, and if it mirrors the exciting 2013 season, it'll be one to remember.
Heading into Week 15, No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Ohio State are in position to compete against one another for the national title, but both teams must win their conference championships in order to maintain their spots atop the BCS rankings.
SEC powerhouses Auburn, Alabama and Missouri are lurking at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, and all three teams have a shot to sneak into the championship game under the right circumstances.
Here's a look at when and where you can catch the action, followed by a prediction for the big game and an examination of the teams that would still be in the mix should Florida State and/or Ohio State lose in Week 15.
When: Monday, Jan. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Florida State should be able to handle Duke with ease in the ACC championship game, provided the team doesn't choke. Ohio State will surely be tested by Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, but Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes haven't lost in two years.
Should both teams win in Week 15, then college football fans will be treated to a title game that features two of the most exciting superstars in the game today.
Florida State freshman Jameis Winston deserves the Heisman Trophy, and he'll likely run away with the award. He's been outstanding for the Seminoles this year, passing for 3,495 yards with 35 touchdowns and another three scores on the ground. There's no way his team would be where it is without him.
Braxton Miller hasn't been quite as brilliant, but he's stepped up his game over the past couple of months. In his last five games, he's scored 19 touchdowns.
Thanks to these two stellar quarterbacks, Florida State (53.7) and Ohio State (48.2) are No. 2 and No. 3 in the nation, respectively, in terms of points scored per game.
The Seminoles are battle-tested, having taken down three ranked teams this year—two of which were ranked No. 7 or higher at the time. Incredibly, FSU's margin of victory in those three games was 155-28.
Ohio State hasn't faced the same level of competition this season and hasn't been nearly as impressive in its two games against ranked teams, winning by a combined score of 71-54 against Wisconsin and Northwestern.
In addition to the disparity in big-game experience, another difference between these teams is that the Seminoles feature a dominant defense, while the Buckeyes have been exposed a few times on the defensive side of the ball.
Combined with Winston's remarkable play, this should be FSU's game to lose.
Projected Score: Florida State wins 48-31
Other Teams in Play
Things are going to get crazy if either Florida State or Ohio State (or both) loses conference championship games in Week 15.
The SEC championship game will have a huge impact on the final BCS standings should this occur. No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Missouri will take the field at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in this matchup.
Auburn is coming off a legendary win at home over Alabama in Week 14, which could potentially lead to a letdown against Missouri. That said, Nick Marshall, Tre Mason and the team's read-option offense hasn't been stopped since September, when LSU held Auburn to "just" 21 points.
Since that time, Auburn has scored no less than 30 points in any contest and has eclipsed 40 points on five occasions.
Missouri has been flying under the radar lately, with Auburn and Alabama dominating the national headlines, but it would be foolish to think these Tigers can't win the SEC championship.
Quarterback James Franklin is healthy again, and Mizzou hasn't lost since late-October, when South Carolina eked out a three-point win in double overtime.
The winner of this game would almost certainly vault into the BCS title game if one of the top-two teams loses.
Should both top teams lose, then Alabama would creep back up into the fray.
The Crimson Tide hadn't come close to losing a game all year long until Auburn's miraculous win. Featuring one of the nation's top defenses and a relentlessly efficient offensive attack, 'Bama cruised to 11 wins in a row before falling at Auburn.
If Alabama does end up making it to the title game, it would generate plenty of controversy, as many people believe a team that didn't make it the conference championship doesn't deserve to be qualified for the title game.
That said, if Auburn beats Missouri in the SEC championship game and both Ohio State and FSU lose their matchups, then it's almost certain the BCS national championship will be an Iron Bowl rematch, pitting the Tigers against the Crimson Tide.
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