Florida State used the high-speed express lane on its way to 13-0, cruising by one opponent after another.
It doesn't matter now, they're both here.
So, which team takes home the crystal ball?
Is it Auburn, a team of destiny that narrowly escaped Washington State in the opener and lost at Louisiana State by two touchdowns but somehow won the Southeastern Conference after two of the most improbable, back-to-back wins in the history of college football?
Or is it Florida State, a team of dominance that crushed opponent after opponent in a weaker Atlantic Coast Conference? The Seminoles' closest call this season was a 14-point win at Boston College (whew).
The only thing seemingly obstructing Florida State's victory is the spike-strip of history.
The Southeastern Conference has won seven straight BCS titles and nine overall. The only SEC team to lose a BCS title game was Louisiana State, which lost to SEC conference-mate Alabama.
The SEC has dominated the BCS era and is looking to finish what it started 15 years after Tennessee won it all in the 1998 season.
If you trust in history you must believe in the SEC, right?
"One thing I can tell you about history, it's in the past," Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said this week. "I'm not worried about what history has said. I'm worried about what's happening today, what's happening on Monday."
Common sense says Winston is right. An independent arbiter, after analyzing the statistics, would rule heavily in Tallahassee's favor.
Scoring offense: Florida State averages 53 points to Auburn's 40.
Scoring defense: Florida State gives up 10.7 points per game to Auburn's 24.
Florida State brings to the game an offense averaging 529 yards per game, facing an Auburn defense that gives up an average of 423.
"We have not been, by all standards a really good defense this year," Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson confessed. "But we always know how to play in the moment. We've made critical stops at critical times."
Auburn's defense has been good in red zone efficiency, ranking eighth nationally, but that may not matter much if Florida State is scoring on gaping-hole plays beyond the 20-yard line.
The eyeball evidence points to Florida State's finally ending the SEC's dominance in title games.
"If you could end that, it would be good," Seminoles defensive back Terrence Brooks said. "You see it all year, you see a lot of analysts saying this is the best conference, this is the best players in football. It don't mean nothing to me."