AUBURN | Auburn will play for it all.
It was announced on Sunday evening that the SEC champion and No.2-ranked Tigers (12-1) will play No. 1 Florida State (13-0) for the BCS National Championship in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 6.
"On behalf of a proud Auburn family, we are more than delighted to once again play in the BCS National Championship Game," Auburn AD Jay Jacobs said. "This has been a season for the ages. I could not be more proud of our student-athletes who turned Auburn football around through hard work, preparation and belief in each other. Congratulations to Coach Malzahn and his staff for a superb performance. Coach Malzahn has truly been an inspirational leader."
Auburn finished with a .9638 BCS average to Florida State's .9957. Auburn was No. 2 in the Coaches and Harris polls, and finished No. 2 in five of the computer polls, finishing No. 1 in the other two.
Auburn returns to the BCS National Championship for the first time since 2010, when they defeated No. 2 Oregon 22-19 in Glendale, Ariz.
This will be Florida State's first trip back to the BCS National Championship since 2000, when they lost to No. 1 Oklahoma 13-2. Florida State lost to Tennessee, 23-16, in the first ever BCS National Championship game following the 1998 season. Florida State beat Virginia Tech 46-29 in the BCS National Championship game following the 1999 season.
Auburn was scheduled to play at Florida State to open the 1999 season, but following Terry Bowden's dismissal after 1998, the Tigers paid $500,000 to Florida State to cancel the game.
Auburn is 13-4-1 all time against Florida State, but the Seminoles have won three of the last four meetings, including the 1988 Sugar Bowl.
Auburn finally broke into the USA Today Coaches poll following their road win over Texas A&M on Oct. 19. The Tigers were ranked No. 17 and continued to climb with each win. After Auburn's miraculous win over Georgia on Nov. 16, the Tigers were ranked No. 7 in the Coaches poll and No. 6 in the BCS Standings.
During the bye week before No. 1 Alabama, Auburn moved up again, this time to No. 5 in the Coaches poll and No. 4 in the BCS Standings. For the first time all season, Auburn was a legitimate national title contender with the biggest Iron Bowl of all time yet to be played.
The Tigers knocked off the undefeated and two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide 34-28, after Chris Davis returned a 57-yard missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown with one second remaining. Many observers called it the greatest ending in sports history and the stage was set - Auburn would play for the SEC Championship.
Auburn took care of business against No. 5 Missouri, rushing for 545 yards on the way to a 59-42 victory. The Tigers were SEC champions, but one obstacle stood in Auburn's way of the BCS National Championship game - that was No. 2 Ohio State. Michigan State would help Auburn's dreams come true, beating Ohio State 34-24 in the Big Ten Championship game.
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