Why the BCS Championship Game Will be Auburn vs. Oregon
As the twists and turns of the 2010 college football season continue to test the BCS formula, Oregon and Auburn are front-runners in what seems like a cluster of one-loss squads.
Auburn handled Ole Miss with relative ease, heading back to Auburn with a 51-31 victory and a 9-0 record.
Oregon was tested by USC in the first half, but showed their resilient nature by jumping ahead to a 20-plus point lead in the fourth quarter, eventually winning 53-32. Oregon now sits at 8-0.
Oregon is No. 1 in the country.
Auburn is No. 2 in the country.
Both Auburn and Oregon posted over 50 points while on the road this Saturday.
The question isn't why these two teams for the BCS trophy, rather: why not?
LaMichael James and Cameron Newton
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Both players embody the character of their conference and have been thoroughly trained on crucial fundamental intangibles. They both keep turnovers to a minimum, understand the various tempos of different teams and play with their brain.
Arguably Cameron Newton and LaMichael James are the two best offensive players in college football, and what better way to presumably settle the Heisman trophy debate then for them to square off on January 10th in Arizona.
Building Confidence for the Remaining Schedule
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It's not an easy home stretch. It's more like a three-second lead on Usain Bolt with a mile to go. Oregon still has to go through the Pac-10 gauntlet with games against Washington, California, Arizona and Oregon State.
As tough as that sounds, Oregon is equally battle tested. Perhaps the toughest of all these matchups is Arizona, but by the luck of the duck, it will be decided in Eugene, Oregon. In fact, they will also avoid the ferocious Husky crowd in Washington, as that game will also be in Eugene.
California has been a disappointing team this season all around, and I don't see the Ducks losing at Oregon State. As far as where the remainder of Oregon's games will be hosted, it's very beneficial for the green and white, or yellow, black, and every other color Phil Knight wants to flip chips for.
It won't be a cake walk ahead for Auburn either. Out of the three games that remain, it all comes down to a trip across Alabama, to Tuscaloosa. Auburn effectively has a scrimmage next Saturday when they will host Chattanooga, and then Georgia will try their luck at Jordan-Hare Stadium the following week. Auburn has the ability to control the Georgia Bulldogs, and in a festival of point scoring, it's doubtful Georgia can hang.
It's not out of line to say that Nick Saban will eventually decide the BCS fate of the Auburn Tigers. In fact, it's exactly the truth.
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When you adjust and take away the time during which Oregon was up big and was forced to slow down their game speed, they average about 14 second per every play. Even with the blowout time factored in, only Oklahoma can get a play off faster.
Running back Darron Thomas matures with every Oregon win, and continues to demand respect. LaMichael James certainly makes life a little easier, but Thomas is beginning to have that swagger about him as if he could take the team on his shoulders if needed.
It's beginning to sound like a broken record, but no one controls a game like Cameron Newton. His big-play potential, whether it be on the ground or in the air, is unprecedented. He also contains a solid understanding of down and distance, as there are few others whom a team would rather give the ball to on 4th-and-2.
Auburn's defense is decent, but even if they give up 40-plus points, we've seen Cameron Newtons resume of posting 50 or more points.
Both teams have high-powered offenses and sit in the top 10 in points scored. Oregon's defense is comparably better, but the idea is that both teams have what it takes to get to the BCS title game: Who takes the trophy will be a matter of who can reach 50 points first.