Florida State Opens As 9.5-Point Favorite Over Auburn|
by Kelso Sturgeon
Contributing Sportsbook Editor
I fought the battle with my college football selections Saturday and at day's end I felt like it. O.K., I will admit I had my head handed to me by releasing Missouri (-2) as a 100-unit play over God's team, the relentless never-say-die Auburn Tigers, losing that one, 59-42, and feeling if the game lasted longer it would have been 79-42. There was some consolation in winning 50-unit plays on underdogs Stanford and Michigan State.
Auburn's victory sends the Tigers (12-1), the turn-around team of the year (they were 3-9 last year) into the BCS championship game against undefeated Florida State (13-0). The game will be played January 6 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The first betting line to appear-from the giant offshore book CRIS-had FSU a 9.5-point favorite, with a total of 65.
Personally, I thought that was a rather bold number, since Auburn has arrived at the championship game off miracle finishes-first on the strength of a desperate Hail Mary pass with just seconds to play that was tipped to give the Tigers a stunning 43-38 win over Georgia. But that was nothing. Two weeks ago, against undefeated Alabama, and with no time left on the clock, Auburn returned a missed field goal 108 yards for a touchdown to get a 34-28 win and send it into the Southeastern Conference championship game against Missouri.
No sacrilege meant, but Auburn is God's team and the almighty certainly is getting a major boost from a very talented team-fast, explosive and quite physical-that is coached by the reigning offensive genius of college football, Gus Malzahn, who is in his first year as the man in Opelika, AL.