Cam Newton Picks Up National Award as Auburn Tigers Move to No. 10 in AP Poll

Eric LewisContributor ISeptember 28, 2010

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after rushing in a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For his outstanding play Saturday night against South Carolina, Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton has been recognized and awarded.

On Monday, Newton was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, but the accolades did not stop there.

Newton was also recognized as the national quarterback of the week by the Davey O'Brien Award, and he was placed on the Manning Award Player to Watch list.

Should he continue to excel with fine play at the quarterback position, Newton could earn the Davey O'Brien Award, which is given at the end of the season to the nation's top quarterback.

Newton scored a total of five touchdowns as he led the Tigers to a 35-27 win over the Gamecocks. Rushing for 176 yards and passing for 158 yards, Newton was 16-of-21 with no interceptions. It was evident that his play was more confident against South Carolina than it was against Clemson. Most likely this confidence stems from the very fact that Auburn has been in three close games and won them all.

At the present, there is little talk of Cameron Newton as a Heisman hopeful. Important people are starting to pay attention, and it is very likely that Newton could be considered for the Heisman if he continues to accumulate so many positive statistics.

A week ago, the Associated Press voters didn't seem to be all that impressed with Auburn's win over Clemson. The Tigers were ranked 17th in the AP Poll but were ranked several spots higher in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. To me, this seemed quite absurd. My, how things change quickly.

The Auburn Tigers are now ranked 10th in the AP Poll, and it is well deserved. South Carolina was never the better team. Although the score was close and Auburn had to fight from behind to win, it was very evident that Auburn has the better team. Are they are a great team? Not yet. But they are capable of becoming a great team very soon.

Quarterback Cam Newton was not the only player to impress the media in Auburn's fourth victory of the season. Confidence seems to be oozing from several players, and I have a good feeling that it started with the coaches. The coaches are getting the players to believe in themselves, and it shows.

It is true that Auburn's defense has stepped up and made some great plays this year. Most honest fans will admit that they were worried about the defense when the season began. Don't get too comfortable yet. The defense still has a ways to go.

Thankfully, the Auburn Tigers have a consistently good offense. With several effective weapons in the ground game and the passing game, I look for Auburn to win more times by outscoring its opponents.

I am proud of the Auburn Tigers, and I am proud that they are getting the respect they deserve. Football fans across the nation are starting to believe that Auburn may be for real. Good things are happening. More good things are on the way.