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Here we go again: Seminoles part of beginning, end of BCS

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston answers questions for the media Friday while offensive coaches Randy Sanders, center, and Lawrence Dawsey look on. (Source: George Jones/RNN) Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston answers questions for the media Friday while offensive coaches Randy Sanders, center, and Lawrence Dawsey look on. (Source: George Jones/RNN)
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NEWPORT BEACH, CA (RNN) - Whether it has been controversial, profitable for schools, meaningful to college football or any other opinions that apply to the BCS, fans at least agree one thing - they could all talk circles around it.

The final championship game under the BCS system is completing that circle. It has brought us back to one of the original teams competing in the first BCS Championship game in 1999 - Florida State.

It has brought us back to Randy Sanders.

Sanders was the offensive coordinator for Tennessee, the team that beat FSU in that national championship 16 years ago.

It was his first game as offensive coordinator of the Volunteers. David Cutcliffe had just left to take the head job at Ole Miss, and Sanders was elevated to the position.

Last year, he was the offensive coordinator for a 2-10 Kentucky team, and now he's the position coach for a Heisman winner and on the staff of an undefeated team.

Yeah, we're really going to miss the BCS.

"If nothing else, I'm the answer to a trivia question, right?" Sanders quipped during Friday's news conference. "It's exciting. When you play in the first one, you can't imagine it would be this long getting back because we had a lot of good things going on at Tennessee at the time. We had a lot of good football teams. I think having been in the first one, not that you take it for granted, but you kind of expect to do it again. And the fact that it's been this number of years between the two, I think not that I've worked any harder or any less for this one, but I've actually taken time to appreciate the fact that I'm here."

Things have come full-circle for wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, as well.

Dawsey played for Northview High School in Dothan, AL, less than three hours south of Auburn. He chose not to play football for the Tigers, instead going two hours south to play receiver for the Seminoles.

Dawsey played in four games against the Tigers, and he claimed victories in three.

It's safe to say a win on Jan. 6 would mean more than the other three combined.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Alabama and saying, 'Hey, we did beat the Auburn Tigers,'" Dawsey said. "My family has been calling me he saying, 'Hey, I don't want to eat crow. They're talking trash back here about the Auburn-Florida State game,' and it reminded me of when I had a chance to play Auburn. So I would say it's a rivalry game."

Since this is football, and nothing is ever a given, it's not proper to say the Seminoles' berth in this game is fitting in the year of the BCS' going-away party.

But it rings with sentimental and highly ironic notes.

The Seminoles were the dynasty of the 1990s and went to, not just the first, but the first three title games.

Their offenses were like Dirty Harry's gun - loaded and high-powered.

Chris Weinke, a Heisman winner, was quarterback of the team in the last two of those games.

This year's defense, though not talked about nearly as much the offense, could be every bit as good as the nasty, bullish units that roamed Tallahassee nearly two decades ago.

But will the result of this BCS Championship be the same as the first for the Seminoles?

"When you've got the opportunity to play in a national championship game and your team is the only team on television, and then this game on my birthday, we're not going out there just to play around," Winston said. "We're not going out there to take anybody for granted. We're going out there to play a great game. We're going out there to do what we came here to do every single game, 13 games. It's not over yet.

"We've got a 14th one, and why not end this year with a victory?"

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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