SEC Championship Game: Grading Auburn's 49-31 Win Over Georgia

Nathan DealCorrespondent INovember 14, 2010

Cam IS the man!
Cam IS the man!Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

5-7. That was Auburn's record two years ago in Tommy Tubberville's last year on the Plains.

5-19. That was the record of the coach Auburn hired after that, Gene Chizik.

11-0. That is SEC West Champion Auburn's record thus far in 2010!

The No. 2 Auburn Tigers beat the Georgia Bulldogs 49-31 on Saturday, clinching the SEC West. Kirk Herbstreit doesn't look so crazy now, does he?

Cam Newton had a great game, going 12/15 for 148 yards and rushing 30 times for 151 yards. He scored two TDs on the ground and two TDs through the air. He also had two throws where the receiver dropped it, so Cam hit his receivers' hands 14 out of 15 throws. He also spit in the face of ESPN and Thayer Evans by going crazy against the Dawg defense.

Here are my grades for this game:

Offense: A-

They didn't start well at all, as the offensive line played awful in the first half of the game. But in the second half, Auburn was literally unstoppable, scoring touchdowns on all four possessions to break a 21-21 game open. 315 rushing yards? That is disappointing compared to what Auburn's done rushing recently on SEC defenses. Cam didn't seem shaken by the allegations at all. It's obvious that he believes in Auburn and loves it.

Defense: C+

They gave up 21 points in the first quarter and didn't stop UGA in the third either. But they had flashes of brilliance and were in position many times to make a play. The run defense played well, giving up under 90 yards on the ground. The secondary is obviously not good. But hey, when you're 11-0 at this point and can smell the AFCA Coaches' Trophy, it can only be considered a TRULY bad defense if they gave up 50 points last night instead of 31.

Special Teams: A

Outside of not being able to down a punt at the one, the special teams played pretty well, especially on kick coverage.

Coaching: A+

In the first half, Auburn didn't look sharp at all and needed a good chewing in the locker room. That's what happened, and Auburn was a different team in the second half. That onside kick call to open the second half changed the game. SEC West Champions? That would be Gene Chizik's Auburn Tigers!

Officiating: F

These refs were just awful, especially in bias in favor of UGA. It was sickeningly obvious. They missed a touchdown call, had bad spots, missed an UGA player blatantly touching a ball after a punt and originally called a bad spot on that one, threw phantom flags (mostly holding) and just plain didn't let them play. Then again, that last thing might be a good thing because...

Sportsmanship: F

After being pushed by a GEORGIA player at Aaron Murray and hurting him, Nick Fairley still received blame from UGA. Leave it to those Dawgs to then try to hurt Fairley. UGA's entire team came on the field in the fight, and despite both sides throwing punches, only Auburn was punished by having two players ejected. Folks, there aren't two colleges in America where the players hate each other more than Auburn and Georgia. They hated each other. UGA was dirty all game long and when Auburn's had enough of it, the TIGERS get flagged. This may be "it" for Richt. He obviously has no control over his team, on and off the field.

Overall: A+

Alll those seniors who have been around for some time now played their last game at Jordan-Hare Stadium and won. Kodi Burns. Zac Ethridge.  Antoine Carter. Lee Ziemba, Byron Isom, Mike Berry and Ryan Pugh. Wes Byrum. Ryan Shoemaker. Josh Bynes. Demond Washington. Craig Stevens. Terrell Zachery. Mario Fannin. Some of those players seem to have been around forever, while others seem to have barely been here at all. They beat Georgia, a team that has owned Auburn in recent years. They kept their dream season alive to go o 11-0. The seniors who were on that disaster 5-7 team in 2008 are now a part of the 2010 SEC West Champions. Gene Chizik upped his career record to 24-24 (5-19 at OSU and 19-5 at Auburn), meaning he is officially no longer a losing coach in the record books. UGA resorted to dirty play and even that didn't work. What's not to like about Saturday night?