|FSU's Jameis Winston and OSU's Braxton Miller are on track to meet in the BCS title game.|
If the top two teams in the BCS standings, Florida State and Ohio State, met in the BCS title game, how would the teams match up and who would win?
Would be tight battleOhio State-Florida State would be a very compelling BCS title game. Both teams are loaded with NFL talent on both sides of the ball. Florida State has a little more depth at WR and RB, but Carlos Hyde is a special talent and Devin Smith is a dangerous deep threat for the Buckeyes. Both offensive lines are stacked with future NFL players. On defense, both teams have playmakers at all three levels. At quarterback, I believe Jameis Winston is a more polished passer than Braxton Miller. That being said, Miller's mobility could be the X-factor in a one-game playoff. These teams are very close. If I have to pick one, I'll give the slight edge to the Noles.
OSU shouldn't be counted outFirst of all, let's hope those BCS computers and the voters do the right thing and deliver a Seminoles-Buckeyes title game (assuming Ohio State takes care of a good Michigan State team and Florida State handles Duke this weekend). If that's what comes to pass, the Noles would be expected to roll the Buckeyes, just like they have all other comers this season, but don't sleep on Urban Meyer's ability to cook up something special with a month to prepare. He's 7-1 in bowl games, including 2-0 when that crystal football thing is on the line.
FSU too dominantIt ought to be a competitive contest, but one that's hard to project due to the lack of competition available to Ohio State. While I have faith in the Buckeyes' rushing attack against a fast and physical Florida State defense, there's nothing in their past two seasons that compares to the speed the Seminoles have at darn near every position. Buckeyes CB Bradley Roby has been celebrated all season as one of the nation's finest, but on too many occasions he has been lit up by the competition. I envision Jameis Winston having a field day with a defense that was victimized by the Michigan, Northwestern and Cal offense.
Conversely, Florida State hasn't seen a hammer like Carlos Hyde. Combined with Braxton Miller, it's a dynamic backfield that presents a whole mess of problems for defenses, not to mention the play calling that's coming from one of college football's best coaching staffs. Still, the Seminoles have stepped up to every challenge and met it by demolishing the competition. Winston has won big games, on the road, in the most hostile of atmospheres, so the BCS championship stage won't be too big for him.
Florida State is built like an SEC team, strong and powerful, and we know how that's gone for Ohio State in past BCS games. Florida State wins, 45-28.
Buckeyes don't measure upFlorida State has more offensive firepower than the Buckeyes, and look infinitely more athletic on both sides of the ball. The Jameis Winston-Braxton Miller matchup isn't even close at quarterback. And the Ohio State defense doesn't exactly inspire fear. Certainly not based on its performance against Michigan over the weekend. Give Ohio State the edge in the coaching matchup, but the game can't be won on the chalkboard. FSU would overwhelm OSU with more overall speed. Noles win. By a lot.
OSU should prevailConsidering my two frames of reference for Ohio State are the early September thrashing of California, a team that ended up among the very worst in major college football this season, and the escape at Michigan this past weekend, the eye test should probably not be working in the Buckeyes' favor. And yet, the emergence of bruising running back Carlos Hyde, the presence of backup quarterback Kenny Guiton behind dynamic Braxton Miller, and the track record of head coach Urban Meyer in big games (4-0 in BCS bowls with a 23-point average margin of victory) make it hard to go against Ohio State. Add in linebacker Ryan Shazier's ability to control the line of scrimmage and pressure Jameis Winston on the biggest of stages, and Ohio State should win a national championship in the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1968 season.
FSU has what it takesI think Florida State would win by at least a touchdown. Ohio State's secondary has been an issue for much of the season, and I think Jameis Winston and FSU's receivers would carve up the Buckeyes' defensive backs. Ohio State would have success on the ground with Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde, but not as much as Winston and his receivers. Kelvin Benjamin, when fully invested, is a matchup nightmare, and I think TE Nick O'Leary also could do some damage against Ohio State. I think FSU's excellent defensive numbers are skewed a bit because the Seminoles played a lot of pedestrian offenses in the ACC, but FSU still would get enough stops to beat the Buckeyes.