After an eventful Championship Saturday, the national title matchup is now set. With Florida State and Auburn preparing to clash in Pasadena on Jan. 6, Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston and Tigers cornerback Ryan White grace the national cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
This season brings the final edition of the BCS, the long-embattled postseason format that has caused several high-profile controversies in the past. In 2013, however, the system got the matchup right. From senior writer Michael Rosenberg:
Florida State has been the sport’s dominant team, but Auburn represents the sport’s dominant conference, which has won seven straight national championships and wants you to know it. SEC fans chant ‘S-E-C!’ after every bowl win, and probably after most church functions -- an a cappella version of ‘Seven Nation Army,’ the sports background music that most of America wants to turn off but can’t.
Auburn will contend for its second national title in four years, as the Cam Newton-led Tigers topped Oregon for the championship following the 2010 campaign. Florida State will look to reign supreme for the first time since 1999.
For more coverage on the Florida State-Auburn matchup, purchase a digital version of the magazine. Also check out Stewart Mandel's College Football Overtime and Andy Staples' feature on the BCS announcement from the Plains. BOWL SCHEDULE: Matchups, dates for every 2013-14 college football bowl game