College football takes center stage in the world of sports tonight as the BCS National Championship game between No.1 Florida State No. 2 Auburn and is set. The story lines are in place and questions will be answered. Will the Seminoles restore football prominence in the state of Florida or will Auburn continue the incredible run of titles for the SEC, which would be eight should the Tigers win? While the experts point to Florida State being a heavy favorite, history has taught us that anything is possible. This was the case just eight years ago in the very stadium that will host tonight’s game, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
January 4, 2006 featured a showdown between two undefeated, dominant teams, playing for the national championship in the most storied football venue in college football history. USC and Texas, two of the most prestigious programs in the sport, were poised to put on an epic showcase. USC was favored by a touchdown, led by the first ever college football team to boast two Heisman Trophy winners on the same squad —quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush, who won the award in 2004 and 2005, respectively. However on this day, the spotlight belonged to Longhorns QB Vince Young, who put together perhaps the greatest performance in college bowl history. Young passed for 267 yards, rushed for 200 yards and had three touchdowns, none more dramatic than 4th-and-5 rushing TD that was the nail in the coffin for the Trojans, sealing a 41-38 victory for the Longhorns after a two-point conversion.
Young’s masterpiece led the Longhorns to a fourth national title and the first in 35 years. The game itself is widely considered the greatest football game of the modern era. It is currently the highest rated BCS game in television history, with 21.7% of households tuning in.
Will tonight’s game produce the same type of magic? With Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston under center for the Noles facing an Auburn squad that seems to be led by destiny, it has the makeup of a brewing classic. The numbers lean in favor of Florida State, but the numbers also leaned even more to the side of then top-ranked Alabama when Auburn was not expected to win just a little over a month ago. For now let's just sit back and enjoy some good ol’ football on the grandest stage of them all.