Jameis Winston, Reese Dismukes

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is trying to become only the fourth player to win the BCS title in the same year as claiming the Heisman Trophy; Auburn center Reese Dismukes has been enjoying the local food leading into the championship game at the Rose Bowl. (Jeff Zelevansky, Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images / January 5, 2014)

Florida State will try to end the Southeastern Conference's seven-year run of dominance in Bowl Championship Series title games. Staff writers Gary Klein and Chris Dufresne examine some of the story lines of the last game of the BCS era:

Heisman watch

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy, a status that does not guarantee a victory in the BCS championship game.

Heisman winners are 3-6 in title games in the seasons they were recognized as college football's most outstanding player.


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USC quarterback Matt Leinart (2004), Alabama running back Mark Ingram (2009) and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton (2010) helped their teams to BCS titles in the seasons they won the Heisman.

Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke (2000), Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch (2001), Oklahoma quarterback Jason White (2003), USC running back Reggie Bush (2005), Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith (2006) and Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford (2008) lost in the BCS title game in their Heisman-winning seasons.

Winston won't be fazed if Florida State finds itself in a close game, Seminoles Coach Jimbo Fisher said.

"I don't think it'll make him blink one bit," he said.

Local flavor

Monday night's game concludes a week of Southern California activities for Auburn and Florida State.

Auburn center Reese Dismukes, a 6-foot-3, 297-pound junior from Spanish Fort, Ala., said one of the highlights was a meal at a nice Mexican restaurant. The Mexican food, he said, was "way better" than in Alabama.

"I didn't get any cheese dip. I like that in Alabama," he said. "They didn't have cheese dip at the one I went at. Us fat guys like cheese dip."

Work experience

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman comes from a rough background in Miami, but he said he stayed on the straight and narrow by always looking for work opportunities.

Freeman said he worked at a funeral home at age 14.

"I used to carry flowers, carry the casket or something, the pallbearer," he said. "Throw the flowers in when they was going under the ground, open the limo for people when they arrived."

Freeman said he also mowed lawns, cleared yards and worked in a car wash.

Freeman, a junior, needs 57 yards to become Florida State's first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn in 1996.

He hopes to one day start a foundation to help others overcome difficult circumstances.

"I just want to give back to the kids about my life story, get great people to come talk to them, people that came up like I came up in rough neighborhoods, hard times, that these kids know anything is possible," he said "All you have to do is go out there and make it, anything is possible."