Touch down: FSU, Auburn hit SoCal for title game

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. (AP) - Before top-ranked Florida State made its way to southern California for the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher had some business to take care of on campus.

Fisher signed a new contract Tuesday that runs through the 2018 season. The deal could signal an end to any plans Texas might have had to hire Fisher to replace Mack Brown.

“We’re blessed that we got that out of the way so we can focus on winning a national championship,” Fisher said Tuesday during a news conference at the ESPNZone in Downtown Disneyland as he sat next to the crystal football coaches’ trophy that will go to the winner Monday night at the Rose Bowl.

Getting out of Tallahassee, Fla., on Tuesday proved a bit tricky for the Seminoles. They were delayed about two hours because they had to wait for a pilot to get clearance to fly.

“It’s been a long day,” All-America defensive back Lamarcus Joyner said. “It’s starting to sink in that we are here.”

Florida State (13-0) blew through its competition this season, winning each of its games by at least 14 points. The Seminoles will play for the BCS championship for the first time since the 2000 season. They last won a national title in 1999, under Bobby Bowden.

“This is the ultimate goal that we want to get to,” said Fisher, who is in his fourth season as Florida State’s head coach.

Auburn had no problem getting to California on Tuesday _ though this season was a wild ride.

The Tigers (12-1) were the biggest surprise of the 2013 season. A season after Auburn finished 3-9, did not win a Southeastern Conference game and fired coach Gene Chizik, the Tigers and first-year coach Gus Malzahn won their last nine games _ including stunning victories over Georgia and Alabama _ to reach the BCS title game for the second time in four seasons.

Now that they’re here, the plan is to keep things as routine as possible.

“We’re going to try to go about our Tuesday practice, our Wednesday practice, our Thursday practice,” Malzahn said, “and do exactly what got us here.”

Senior defensive end Dee Ford, who was part of the 2010 national title team at Auburn, said he took a moment today, when the team was heading into Disneyland to appreciate how far the Tigers have come.

“Definitely wanted to enjoy the moment,” he said. “It’s a blessing. I definitely want to soak in the moment and get focused when it’s time to be.”

Even with Fisher’s deal done, the opening at Texas still looms over the national title game.

Texas reportedly has interest in hiring Fisher, and even Malzahn’s name has come up as a possible candidate for the Longhorns.

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