FSU: This national championship brought to you by No. 5 - Tucson News Now

FSU: This national championship brought to you by No. 5

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The No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles are the winners of the last BCS National Championship in Pasadena, CA.  (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) The No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles are the winners of the last BCS National Championship in Pasadena, CA. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)
Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network) Auburn defensive back Chris Davis looks on while FSU players pick Kelvin Benjamin up after Benjamin caught the winning touchdown. (Source: George Jones/Raycom News Network)

(RNN) - It all begins and ends with the number five for Florida State.

No, we're not talking about Jameis Winston's jersey number, although we'll get to that in a minute.

But we can talk about Kermit Whitfield. The true freshman returned a kickoff 100 yards to give Florida State, not just a lead, but new life in the final minutes of Monday night's BCS National Championship.

In the 13 prior games this season, Whitfield caught exactly five passes. Not touchdowns - passes. Period.

Auburn was doing everything it could to kill Florida State's spirit - using a brutally efficient running game and flustering Winston and the FSU offense.

"I think this is the first time this year … we were worrying about the scoreboard, not just playing the next play, and I think you get in these environments, you have to go through that," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said.

The Tigers had help from their defense and special teams, too. Steven Clark punted the ball six times in the ball game, and guess how many times he pinned the Seminoles inside their own 20 yards line.

You guessed it.

Then comes the second half, and even though it wasn't a blowout and there was plenty of time left, the Seminoles looked just about done. Millions of people watched star defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan sucking wind on the sideline like a pickup truck had just run over his abdomen.

FSU has never played a game this close, this late in the game. Let's seal this puppy and ship it to more gloating SEC fans who, by the way, were chanting their conference letters so loudly the million-dollar homes were rocking on the hills above the Rose Bowl.

And then comes No. 5. Yes, folks, now we can talk about none other than the famous Jameis Winston.

He hit Chad Abram for an 11-yard touchdown to pull FSU within a point of the Tigers. Guess how many passes Abram had caught this season.

Well, he caught eight, but we just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.

Then No. 5 struck again, undaunted by a go-ahead touchdown by Tre Mason that made Auburn fans go nuts and get ready to taunt lesser conferences again.

Surely, Winston knew that FSU had made five prior appearances in the national championship game - including three in the BCS. They were going to start and end a controversial system that divided the country as much as Obamacare. Well, almost.

Of course, Winston wasn't thinking about all the historical footnotes when he released the ball to hit Kelvin Benjamin for what would become the winning touchdown.

But he sure as heck was thinking about it after all the confetti had finished falling.

"I'm pretty sure people back home are going to say five championships in the state of Alabama because of me being from Alabama," Winston said. "Alabama people are going to try to keep it in their state however they can, but Florida State has the National Championship."

And they have No. 5 for at least one more year.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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