- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
Auburn Meets Oregon in BCS National Title Game
Cam Newton Wins Player of the Year
Photo - The Oregon 'Duck'
The much anticipated BCS title matchup tonight between Auburn vs Oregon highlights the close of the college football season. Most fans have talked about this matchup since midseason with both teams undefeated in strong conferences that earned them the BCS title game as the nation’s #1 and #2 teams. Draft Insiders’ ranked Auburn in the Top 15 in August and rated them as the most underrated team in the nation. Neither Auburn or Oregon was ranked in the top ten of any poll in the preseason.
It should be one of the most exciting title games after a series of wild games over the bizarre 2010 season. Three teams finished the season undefeated with only Texas Christian omitted from the title game. Despite going undefeated for the second regular season in a row, the Horned Frogs could not gather national support to overcome the powers from the SEC and Pac 10 Conferences. The SEC has won five consecutive national titles, an unprecedented run over the past 75 years. The SEC is seeking its 9th national tile over the past 19 years, an impressive run. NFL front offices and scouts are the less surprised of the SEC’s success that annually plays out in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.
Auburn and Oregon were both impressive this season especially late in the 2010 campaign. Overall, this is a terrific matchup that features two explosive offenses but each team fields only average defensive units.
Auburn is led by Heisman Trophy QB Cam Newton after they buried South Carolina in the SEC title that put an explanation mark on the season. The BCS title game has all the makings of an exciting high scoring game that would be a fitting conclusion to a wild season.
Oregon finished with a dominant 2010 performance behind a wacky spread offense that was virtually unstoppable over the regular season. They scored 37 points or more in 11 of their 12 games, an incredible display of offense. The offense is led by running back LaMichael James who had over 1600 yards on the ground and a main weapon in the Ducks explosive attack
With both Auburn’s Newton and Oregon’s James getting most of the limelight after great 2010 performances, this outcome could be decided by other offensive weapons. The Tigers’ dynamic freshman tailback Michael Dyer is primed for a huge game after rushing for 950 yards in 2010. While operating behind a massive Auburn offensive line, Dyer and Newton can keep the high powered Oregon offense on the sidelines. Dyer combines speed and power and should benefit behind the line that has a huge size advantage over the small Oregon front seven. The Ducks rely on fine speed on defense, though the Auburn offense can match that at every position. Dyer is well rested and could be the key catalyst for another SEC national title.
The Ducks ranked #1 in most polls until late in the year when Auburn overtook them for the top ranking. The Draft Insiders’ poll had TCU in the top spot in the BCS at the end of the regular season. The BCS title will still be debated after TCU beat a tough Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that creates an imaginary game with the Auburn-Oregon winner. The BCS snub of the Horned Frogs was the main reason TCU joined the Big East last week. As a Big East member the conference receives an automatic BCS bid that gives teams a chance at the national title annually.
Prediction: Auburn 37 Oregon 17
Oregon is #1 in the nation in scoring and in total offense. Auburn is #4 in scoring and #7 in total offense. Auburn has already shattered school records with 555 points scored and 6,470 yards of offense gained. The Tigers are ranked fourth nationally in scoring (42.7 points per game), fifth in rushing (287.2 yards per game) and seventh in total offense (497.7 yards). Oregon is a dominant running team with a 304 yards per game average, in addition to 29 TD passes that ranks #16 in the nation in passing efficiency.
Newton produced 29 runs of 15-plus yards this season, tops in the nation. He averaged 10.3 yards on 30 quarterback draws this season and 9.5 yards on 39 scrambles. Over the 2nd half of the season, receiver Darvin Adams had 5 TDs receptions averaging over 30 yards per catch.
For the season, LaMichael James had 281 rushing attempts for 1682 yards and 21 TDs. Over the past two seasons, he had 36 runs of more than 20 yards. That's the most in the nation. Nine Ducks who've caught TD passes. Furthermore, the Ducks rushing attack isn't only about James. Four other Ducks rushed for more than 200 yards. Thomas and backup running back Kenjon Barner combined for more than 1,000 yards and 11 TDs with seven different Ducks scored rushing TDs.
Count on plenty of big plays. Auburn produced 58 plays of 25-plus yards, including 25 TDs. Oregon produced 53 plays of 25-plus yards, including 27 TDs. The TD counts rank first and second in the nation.