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‘You have to earn it’

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Lucky. Some have used that word to describe Auburn’s season and particularly the wins over Georgia and Alabama.

Malzahn speaks to his team after Wednesday's practice/Todd Van Emst photo

But Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is not buying that, not at all.

“I’ve been asked that question a few times, but the bottom line in our conference, you win the conference championship in the SEC, you definitely have to earn it,” Malzahn said. “If you have a chance to play for the national championship, you have to earn it. Real proud of our guys getting us here.”

Florida State junior wide receiver Rashad Greene has seen the catch by Ricardo Louis to beat Georgia, and the missed field goal return for a touchdown by Chris Davis to beat Alabama.

And he doesn’t consider those plays or any of Auburn’s accomplishments this season lucky.

“I don't believe it's luck,” Greene said. “I feel like you control your own destiny the way you prepare and you go about your business, so I don't feel like luck is a part of the game. It's how you go about yourself and take care of your business and preparing.”

Malzahn, who usually sleeps four hours a night, has stressed preparation all season along with staying in the same routine. That plan has helped the Tigers improve throughout the season.

“This group, really, each game has improved,” Malzahn said. “It’s hard to improve each game, especially in college football, but our guys have done it, and it’s a tribute to them.”

Now, Auburn is five days away from potentially winning its second BCS National Championship in the last four years.

“That’d be a very big deal, especially with how far we came at the first of the year,” Malzahn said.

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