On Monday night, Auburn University, located in Auburn, AL and Florida State University, located in Tallahassee, FL, will face off for college football’s national championship in the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena, CA. Although the two institutions are separated by three-and-a-half hour drive, they’retwo very different institutions historically.
There’s an old joke that Auburn University with its nearly 25,000 students, is bigger Baptist school than Baylor University in Waco, TX. And based on the 2013 ranking of The Princeton Review, that is possibly an accurate representation. The Princeton Review ranking put out last fall have Auburn listed as the most conservative college in the country, ahead of schools with a recognized conservative pedigree like Hillsdale College and the service academies.
Meanwhile, Florida State University, a much larger institution than Auburn with its 41,000 students, ranks high in the Princeton Review’s categories of “Jock Bloggers” and “Lots of Beer.” The school is also regularly ranked high amongPlayboy’s top party schools in the country.
Auburn is situated in rural central Alabama, 110 miles southeast of Birmingham, AL, the state’s largest city. Tallahassee, the capital of the state of Florida, is in the north-central part of the state. Both Auburn and Florida State have existed in the shadows of their in-state rivals, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL and the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL respectively.
Outside of athletics, Auburn’s notable alumni include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. Florida State’s notable alumni include actor Burt Reynolds, author Hunter S. Thompson and Doors singer and songwriter Jim Morrison.
FSU played its first game in 1899, but discontinued its football program in 1906 as a result of the 1905 Buckman Act that made FSU an all-girls school. Florida State’s male students and its football program moved to the newly opened University of Florida in nearby Gainesville. Florida State would restart its program in 1947 and in just a short amount of time, especially with the hiring of Bobby Bowden in 1976 as its head coach, would become one of the country’s most dominant football programs.
Tonight’s game is a contest for both schools’ third national championship in their histories – Auburn’s two coming in 1957 and 2010 and Florida State’s two in 1993 and 1999.
Florida State is a nine-point favorite in tonight’s contest that will air on ESPN and has a kickoff scheduled for 8:30 pm ET