Countdown to Kickoff: 5 National Championships

This time next week, Auburn and Florida State will have combined for 5 National Championships.  The only question is which team will have 3 and which will have 2.

Auburn won their first National Championship in 1957.  Led by head coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan, the Tigers went 10-0 on the year and were voted AP National Champs despite being on probation and banned from Bowl participation.  (Most National Championships were awarded prior to bowls back then anyway.)  No team scored more than 7 points against the Tigers and they allowed only 28 points all season.  That included a 29-7 victory over Florida State in Tallahassee.

In 1993 Florida State won their first National Championship.  Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward led an explosive offense that averaged 43.2 points and 548 yards per game.  Equally impressive was the Florida State defense that allowed just 9.4 points per game and 284 yards per game.  The FSU defense actually outscored their first 5 opponents on their own.  The Noles went 12-1 on the season with the lone loss coming in the “Game of the Century” against #2 Notre Dame.

Florida State won their 2nd National Championship of the 90s with the first and only wire-to-wire #1 AP National Championship in history.  The Seminoles were led by dynamic playmaker Peter Warrick and future Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke on offense and defensive tackle Corey Simon on defense.  Not the most dominating team in FSU history, these Seminoles found a way to win each and every game and capped off the season with an entertaining 46-29 victory over Michael Vick and Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

After 53 years, Auburn finally won that elusive 2nd National Championship in 2010.  Cam Newton had, arguably, one of the greatest individual college football seasons in history as he 2,854 yards passing, 1,4732 yards rushing and a combined 50 touchdowns while winning the Heisman Trophy.  The Tigers went a perfect 14-0 on the season winning with lots of offense and just enough defense.  Nick Fairley was the star on defense dominating the interior on the defensive line.  An expected offensive slug fest in the National Championship in Glendale, AZ turned into a defensive struggle with Auburn coming out on top over Oregon 22-19 with a field goal as time expired.

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