Few teams in the BCS era were as dominant as the 2013 Florida State Seminoles, who capped their first national championship season since 1999 Monday with a 34-31 win over Auburn. It was a rare back-and-forth contest in what was otherwise a completely one-sided season for the Seminoles.
Quarterback Jameis Winston referred to Florida State's tendency to blow out opponents when discussing Monday's fourth-quarter comeback, per Sports Illustrated reporter Pete Thamel.
Jameis on no 4th quarter comebacks until now: "I can't help it that my team is so amazing that I don't get the opportunity to do that."— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) January 7, 2014
Indeed, his services were rarely needed beyond the third quarter of most games. ESPN College Gameday tweeted that 170 players in the Football Bowl Subdivision attempted more fourth-quarter passes—an especially large number, given there were only 124 other FBS and reclassifying programs in the 2013 season.
The Seminoles' rally from 18 points down Monday completed the first undefeated title season since 2010. The 2013 Seminoles also join nine other teams in the 16-season BCS era to run the table—not the most exclusive of clubs on its face, but impressive given just two accomplished it in the previous seven campaigns.
And Florida State didn't simply run the table. As both Winston and his fourth-quarter passing numbers attest, the Seminoles decimated the table.
Coming into the 2014 BCS Championship Game, the Seminoles won 13 games by a combined 550 points. For perspective on just how staggering a figure that is, Florida State's regular-season margin of victory would have been the No. 10 scoring team in the FBS.
A team doesn't dominate in such a manner without excelling on both sides of the ball, and Florida State concluded the season as the nation's No. 2 scoring offense at 51.6 points per game, only conceding the top spot to Baylor after scoring a paltry 34 points against Auburn.
The Seminoles were No. 1 in scoring defense, edging out Louisville's 12.2 points allowed per game surrendered with a 12.1 point-per-game yield. The 31 points Auburn scored were the second most Florida State allowed, yet the Tigers' third-lowest output of the season.
To rank so highly in both scoring offense and defense has this Florida State team standing out among its ir fellow, undefeated BCS champions. Alabama in 2009, for example, was No. 2 in points allowed but No. 22 in points scored.
Texas led the nation in scoring in 2005 and was No. 8 in scoring defense. USC cracked the top 10 in both during the 2004 season, but wasn't atop college football like this Florida State bunch.
And, oh yeah, the Seminoles' special teams were pretty good, too. Special teams certainly came into play Monday, as Kermit Whitfield's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown gave Florida State its first lead since 3-0.
There's no denying Florida State was historically dominant against its competition, though detractors will point out the level of competition wasn't on par with what other BCS-era champions faced.
Take Miami which, in 2001, was the previous standard bearer for steamrolling through a perfect season. The Hurricanes faced four ranked opponents in the final four games of the season, beating Syracuse by 59, Washington by 58 and Nebraska by 23 in the Rose Bowl. Only a 26-24 win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg was a competitive game.
Florida State ends this season with wins over three teams in the final Associated Press Top 25: Clemson, Duke and now Auburn. Miami beat four teams in the final AP Poll of 2001, and did so with two fewer games on the schedule overall.
Likewise, Florida State's last national championship team ended a 12-win season with four defeats of teams ranked in the final poll.
No matter where this team may rank among its fellow title winners, the 2013 Florida State Seminoles cemented their place in college football history. It may be a while before the sport sees another team win as thoroughly week-in and week-out.