The BCS tournament of championship reaches its Final Four championship tilt. Both the 1999 Florida State Seminoles and 2010 Auburn Tigers cruised in their semifinal match-ups to punch their tickets to the final round. The winner is the grand champion of all BCS-era national title winners per you, the SaturdayBlitz.com reader.
Both teams featured Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks. Cam Newton’s dual threat abilities yielded historic figures. Chris Weinke and Peter Warrick formed as formidable a quarterback-wide receiver pairing as any in the college football during the 1990s.
Each went undefeated through a challenging schedule. Florida State faced a gauntlet of five ranked opponents in the 1999 slate, including Nos. 3 and 2 in consecutive weeks to close out the season. The Seminoles came out unscathed — better than unscathed, even. Only three times were opponents within single digits by the final whistle, and just once did Florida State win by less than a touchdown.
Auburn ran through six ranked opponents to its first and only BCS championship. The Tigers faced stiff challenges along the way, winning four games by a field goal or less. In those closely contested showdowns though, the Tigers demonstrated true championship meddle. Their regular season finale defeat of the rival Alabama Crimson Tide was a game for the ages, and solidified Newton’s run to the Heisman.
Newton led a high octane offense that scored 41.2 points per game, seventh in the Bowl Subdivision. Florida State put up 38.2 points per in 1999 in an era when offenses were not quite as prolific. The Seminoles were the third most potent scoring offense in college football behind Weinke, who spread the ball among five receivers who caught for over 200 yards. Warrick went for 934 yards, and Ron Duggans caught for 644.
As was typical of Bobby Bowden’s teams in the 1990s, the Seminoles were defensively stout under the leadership of coordinator Mickey Andrews. FSU allowed just 16.9 points per game.
While the Tigers were not especially impressive statistically on the defensive end, allowing 24.1 points per game, they rose to the occasion in the title game. Auburn yielded just 19 points to the high scoring Oregon Ducks.
Florida State’s Sugar Bowl effort against Michael Vick’s Virginia Tech Hokies was similar. The Hokies brought the nation’s most prolific offense into New Orleans, scoring over 40 points per game, but FSU held Va. Tech to 29. The Seminole defense turned the tide of that game, shutting the Hokies out in the final score. Momentum firmly shifted to Florida State, which outscored its opponent 18-0 to turn a one-point deficit into a 17-point win.
With that decisive final stanza, the 1999 Seminoles put Bowden in rarefied air as a multiple-time national champion. But is his final team the best of the BCS era? Gene Chizik may not go down in college football lore with Bowden, but did he oversee the single best team of the last 15 years?
Cast your vote in this Final Four championship showdown and sound off in the comments.
BCS Final Four Championship: 1999 Florida State vs. 2010 Auburn
- 1999 Florida State Seminoles (51%, 468 Votes)
- 2010 Auburn Tigers (49%, 457 Votes)
Total Voters: 925