Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Congratulations Seminoles!

Wow! What a national championship game! Whether you were pulling for Auburn, Florida State (as I was), or just watching the game because you are a football fan, I think everyone can agree that it was a great football game. It may have been one of the best ever.

English: FSU Helmet
English: FSU Helmet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've got to congratulate my Seminoles. They had a great year despite the loss of 11 starters to the NFL and all the distractions, including the Winston investigation and rumors about Coach Fisher leaving to take the Texas coaching job. They went on the road in the season opener with a redshirt freshman quarterback, making his first start, and won convincingly. Later, they went into Death Valley and beat Clemson when the Tigers were ranked #3. They also beat their in-state and conference arch rival Miami Hurricanes when that team was ranked 5th. In the final regular season game, they beat up their other in-state arch rival, the Florida Gators, in The Swamp. The Seminoles beat every team they faced, most of them by wide margins, and then came back from 18 points down to beat Auburn for the national championship. It would be ludicrous for anyone to argue that they did not deserve, or earn, the national championship.

On January 2nd, I did some prognostication in regards to the national championship game. I watched 8 or 9 games that FSU played this year. I knew what they could do, and I looked at their stats and Auburn's. I did better with this game than I have the past two years trying to pick the NFL playoffs from start to finish. For instance :
  1. I said FSU's balanced offense was an advantage, and it was.
  2. I said the way to beat Auburn was to force them into being balanced offensively and away from relying predominately on running the ball. It's how LSU beat them. The final stats of the national championship game showed Auburn with 232 yards rushing and 217 passing. Boom! The Sheepdog nailed it.
  3. I said FSU's quickness and physicality on defense, as well as the long layoff, was an advantage for them. It was. Auburn's offense stagnated in the 2nd half after FSU made some adjustments.
  4. I said FSU was more motivated, and you could tell they were. After falling behind 21-3 early on, they never quit. They never stopped fighting. They wanted it more.
  5. I said the emotions involved in this game were on FSU's side. When former FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden walked out to midfield for the coin toss, I knew this game would be special. See #4 above. After falling behind 21-3, they outscored Auburn 31-10 the rest of the game, including 21-10 the the fourth quarter. FSU never quit fighitng.
  6. I said FSU would start slow, but then get going, likely due to a spark provided by FSU's defense. The kickoff return for a touchdown and the interception in the 4th quarter were the spark FSU needed. It was all them after that. I just didn't think it would be that late in the game before they got going.
Now, what'd I miss? I missed the fact that FSU would score first. I thought Auburn would. I also predicted FSU would win by two touchdowns or more, and the score would be 38-24 FSU. Instead, FSU only won by 3 points with a final score of 34-31. I got it right that they would win, and that's all I really cared about anyway.

Night shot of the Bobby Bowden Field at Doak C...
Night shot of the Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium (Florida State University) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, I congratulate the Florida State Seminoles players, coaches, and supporting staff on a great season, a great win, and for finally bringing the national championship back to Seminoles Country. You made myself and a lot of other 'Noles fans very happy. I also know that fans of other teams from other conferences are thrilled, too. Many of them were tired of the SEC and it's "winning streak."

As I rapidly close in on the 7th anniversary of my heart transplant, I am grateful to still be around to enjoy the 'Noles victory. I'm also thankful that I was able to attend The ACC Championship Game in Charlotte this year with my wife and watch this special, talented team play. I'll sure never forget it.

So, thanks 'Noles. Let's do this again next year.

Heck, maybe I'll even make it to Doak Campbell Stadium for a visit.
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