Posted January 07, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin, BCS champion Florida State grace national cover of Sports Illustrated

Auburn Tigers, BCS Championship Game, Florida State Seminoles
(Photo: Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

(Photo: Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

The SEC’s reign of unchallenged dominance is over. Florida State brought that to an end with its 34-31 comeback victory over Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday night, placing the Seminoles back atop the college football world. Fresh off the win, Florida State adorns the national cover of the Jan. 13 issue of Sports Illustrated. In the cover image, Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin leaps into the air to snag the game-winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds remaining.

Senior writer Andy Staples shares the story of the game from Pasadena, Calif. — a dramatic, down-to-the-wire contest in which the Seminoles compiled the largest comeback in the 16-year history of the BCS title game — and puts the monumental win in context.

In the four years since Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach of Florida State, he has restored the program to its former glory, leading the Seminoles to an ACC title in each of the past two seasons and getting them to the apex of college football with Monday’s national title, the first championship for Florida State in 14 years.The Seminoles’ win also snapped a streak of seven consecutive national championships won by teams from the SEC.

To purchase a digital version of the magazine, click here.

MORE BCS TITLE GAME COVERAGE: MANDEL: Florida State rises back to the top | ROSENBERG: Winston’s heroics sink Auburn | THAMEL: Seminoles end SEC’s BCS streak

58 comments
JosephA.Smith
JosephA.Smith

Picked up the SI Seminoles Championship season issue this morning ;o)

younghov22
younghov22

Ok, can we all get off the holding call in the background please?  I don't see what Auburn fans are whining about.  There were THREE plain as day NON-CALLS in their favor.  Face mask on Winston, Horse collar on Greene and a face mask on that same play. So that's 45 yards to your 10 yard call.  So please stop with the excuses.  Both teams played a hard fought game and the Noles earned it against a great Auburn team.  #Noles #Champs

jonathansutton
jonathansutton

@SInow Awesome pic. Great victory for FSU. No sour grapes here, but you do see the blatant holding in the background, right?

ChrisCastleman
ChrisCastleman

It took Gus Malzahn 1 year to get Auburn to the National Championship game.  Remarkable!   The last coach to achieve this was Larry Coker at Miami.  However, in Coker's case, Butch Davis left the Miami Hurricanes w/LOADS of talent before exiting to the Cleveland Browns.  Gus inherited a team that was 0-8 in the SEC in 2012. Hats off to THE GUS BUS and the Tigers on an unbelievable season.

Paul115
Paul115

It is unfortunate that the name of the auburn player is so visible.  He is the same player who ran back the Alabama field goal.  It would have been nice to allow him more anonymity in this hard fought game.  Kelvin Benjamin was simply too physically superior for that type of play.  I'm a Florida State fan and consider this the best game I've ever seen.  Auburn was beat, plain and simple, but they didn't go easy and earned respect for their program.  Jameis Winston and the rest of the team are the sorts story of the year.  

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

would have thought Manziel somehow would make the cover?

bglesun
bglesun

@buddyshow I thought it was good wordplay. No dog in the fight. Better than War Choke.

bglesun
bglesun

@buddyshow I thought it was food wordplay. No dog in the fight. Better than "War Choke"

JoeNolesBest
JoeNolesBest

@slmandel @SInow Been waiting to reorder SI, want all the FSU stuff. Where is that available to order? Still see bosox commercials.

MikeFSUAFC
MikeFSUAFC

@Andy_Staples @SInow I was hoping for "A Fameis Win" but that's pretty great. Definitely won't mind having it on my wall forever.

chuckmalani
chuckmalani

@SInow when does this hit newsstands? gonna frame this in my kids' room!

boze55
boze55

@dannykanell I have already heard that FSU fans aren't allowed to talk crap about the SEC because we only won by 3. I thought 1 pt more= win

DcottinDoug
DcottinDoug

@EyeOnCFB @SInow They didn't take down a conference, they took down Auburn. All this conference talk is BS. It's team vs. team

MichaelLHarkness
MichaelLHarkness

@younghov22yea but lets see how many 10+ yard calls could been call? Few seconds to throw a pass a few seconds get open, and all that since 2nd qrt wears on dline. we rattle your qb and would kept on him if few holding calls been call stop it.

RonBarnes
RonBarnes

@jonathansutton @SInow No holds were called that game.  There were a ton on both sides!

Hendo
Hendo

@ChrisCastleman Are you saying Auburn had no talent when Malzahn arrived? Did he bring all those kids from Arkansas State?

bret1
bret1

@RonBarnes @SInow Except the one on Greg Robinson that killed a drive after a great catch by Sammie Coates. Hmm.

nic.kassis
nic.kassis

@Hendo @ChrisCastleman I agree, Auburn had some strong recruiting classes in the last few years, they had talent, just no directlon. Plus this is Marshall's first year so it's not like they had him last year. Tre Mason was good last year too.  The coaching strategy is night and day thought, Gus understood the strength of the team and made sure to emphasize it. Also on the defensive side, Auburn really knew how to pick on Winston, took him 3 quarters to settle and understand what was happening. I bet that won't be as easy next year as he builds experience (he's already amazing on understanding the game but he still has room for improvement). I'm just so stoked for next season, imagine an improve Winston. All DC on FSU's schedule next year are probably dreading this. 

tallaman87
tallaman87

@nic.kassis @Hendo @ChrisCastleman  "Auburn really knew how to pick on Winston, took him 3 quarters to settle and understand what was happening..."

That's right, and it also took half the game before Fisher called the right plays in reaction to the pressure Auburn was applying. I have never been so nervous during a game. I knew they COULD win, they just were not getting it done until almost halftime.