Why Auburn vs. Florida State Was a Better BCS Title Game Than USC vs. Texas

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2014

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles drops back to pass against the Auburn Tigers during the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on January 6, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Before Monday night, memories of Vince Young scampering into the end zone to seal up Texas' national title in 2006 were considered the best in BCS Championship history. 

Now, those memories will be replaced by Jameis Winston dropping back in play action and throwing a perfect strike over the middle to Kelvin Benjamin for the game-winning score.  

The BCS could not have asked for a better send-off to its tumultuous tenure as the keeper of college football's holy grail. Florida State overcame an 18-point deficit to end the SEC's seven-year stranglehold on the title. And the Seminoles did it against Auburn, a team that seemingly never ran out of miracles until Tre Mason was tackled on the game's final play. 

In the contest's final five minutes on Monday night, there were three lead changes. There was a kickoff return for a touchdown, followed by two epic drives. Winston's touchdown pass to Benjamin with just 13 seconds left put the exclamation point on what will go down as the best BCS Championship game in history. 

Before the Seminoles' victory, many saw the Texas Longhorns' win over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl as the best BCS title game in history. On Jan. 2, Sebastian Lena of B/R ranked Vince Young's performance in that game as the best in BCS history. 

It's hard not to compare the 2006 Rose Bowl and Monday's BCS Championship. Winston's and Young's game-winning touchdowns came in the same end zone. Even former Texas head coach Mack Brown took to Twitter to address the similarities:

While Young outworked two Heisman Trophy winners in Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush on that thrilling night, it doesn't match Winston's efforts to save the Seminoles from the brink of what would've been FSU's first loss of the year. 

What made Florida State's win over Auburn better than Texas' victory over USC was that last drive.

For Young, he had over two minutes to take his team 56 yards for the game-winning touchdown, which of course ended with the Texas quarterback's eight-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-5. The drive ended up being 10 plays long and took up 1:50. 

As for Winston, he had to take the Seminoles 80 yards down the field in just 79 seconds. FSU was able to complete the drive in seven plays, which included a huge 49-yard completion from Winston to Rashad Greene on the second play of the possession. 

Also, Young was a chiseled veteran of the college ranks as a junior against USC. He was used to the bright lights by then. 

Winston is a freshman who put a team that hadn't trailed in a game since the month of September on his back and carried it to college football's most sought-after prize.

Nothing at all should be taken away from Texas and its win over USC. Probably the only fair way to rank both these games is by listing them as 1a and 1b, and everything else third or worse.

But Florida State overcame more adversity to beat the 2013-14 team of destiny on Monday night, and a freshman is the main reason why. That's more than Young and Co. could have said eight years ago.