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BCS Rankings Week 14: Does Auburn Deserve To Be Ahead of Oregon?

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2010

BCS Rankings Week 14: Does Auburn Deserve To Be Ahead of Oregon?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    BCS Rankings Week 14 features a change at the top with Auburn surpassing Oregon following Friday's comeback win against Alabama.

    Cam Newton's team assumed the top spot despite in the BCS despite ranking behind the Ducks in both the Harris and USA Today polls.

    Let the argument of which team belongs at the top begin.

    With the SEC Championship now representing the only remaining hurdle in Auburn's season, the highly-anticipated showdown between the nation's best two teams is close to becoming a reality.

    A win over struggling Oregon State in the Civil War would punch Oregon's ticket to Glendale.

    While we keep our fingers crossed that the star-studded clash will happen in January, let's have a good ole fashioned BCS argument.

    Here's a look at which team truly deserves a spot at the top in the BCS Rankings Week 14.

5 No: Oregon Made a Good Arizona Team Look Bad

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    No matter how long it takes, Oregon's offense always seems to get rolling and score points in huge bunches.

    The Ducks' blueprint for success shined through the rainy night in Eugene Friday.

    By the time it was over, Oregon had figured out how to stop Arizona's dangerous offense and completely ran the Wildcats off the field.

    A big win over a solid Arizona squad shouldn't have been enough for the Ducks to drop in the BCS standings.

5 Yes: Auburn Passes Another Test In Impressive Fashion

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With Greg McElroy carving up the secondary with alarming ease, Auburn fell behind 24-0 to Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

    It looked as if those National Championship dreams were dead.

    As he has done all season long, Cam Newton engineered an impressive performance and once again came through in the clutch.

    How many more close games against ranked opponents does Auburn need to win to prove they belong?

    Gene Chizik's team might need to make one more great escape.

    Don't be surprised if Saturday's SEC Championship comes down to the wire.

4 No: Oregon Is Rarely Even Challenged

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Aside from the 15-13 win over Cal on November 13, Oregon's high-powered offense hasn't been stopped.

    Meanwhile, the defensive side of the ball has showcased great speed while holding opponents' in check.

    Unlike Auburn, Oregon has rarely needed to win close games this season.

    The Ducks have won by 20 points or more in eight of 11 contests.

    No other team in a BCS Conference can come close to matching that type of dominance.

4 Yes: Cam Newton Has Overcome Distractions

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Much like the Reggie Bush fiasco, we aren't likely know for years what really went down between Cam Newton, his father and Kenny Rogers during his recruitment.

    That doesn't mean it hasn't been discussed.

    Newton has spent the last month trying to scramble away from reporters while Auburn and the SEC face increased pressure to make a decision on his eligibility.

    Even once that decision was made, talk of the alleged pay-for-play scheme has persisted.

    Amidst all over the distractions, Newton has fortified his Heisman Trophy chances while continuing to be the best player in college football.

    Auburn's ability to ignore the chaos and continue winning shows true championship mettle.

3 No: What Did Oregon Do To Lose The Top Spot?

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Despite beating a ranked team by 19 points, Oregon fell from the top spot in the BCS Standings.

    It's always difficult for College Football fans to understand how a team can be punished for winning a game against a good opponent.

    We're not talking about Boise State beating Idaho here.

    Ultimately, Oregon lost the top spot because of Auburn's dominance in the computer rankings.

    There's no perfect solution to repair the imperfect system of rankings in college football.

    At least it gives us something to argue about.

3 Yes: The Strength Of The SEC

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The SEC East had a down year with traditional powers Florida and Georgia having down seasons.

    That helped opened the door for a talented South Carolina team with one of the best freshman running backs in recent memory to emerge as a BCS-caliber team.

    Auburn had plenty of company in the SEC West, with Arkansas emerging as a possible BCS at-large team after knocking off LSU.

    Throw in the reigning National Champions in Alabama and a solid Mississippi State team and you have a absolutely loaded division.

    Again and again, Auburn was able to pass the difficult tests in the SEC.

    There's no question we know they can compete against anyone in the country.

2 No: Don't Pile On The Pac-10

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Let's just get it out in the open: East Coast bias exists in college football.

    Heading into last weekend, LSU and Wisconsin were being talked about much more than another one-loss team that has been dominant.

    With a loss to Oregon as the lone blemish this season, Stanford is almost certain to earn an at-large bid in the BCS.

    Like the SEC, the Pac-10 will then end up with two teams in the BCS.

    It might not be the best football conference in the country, but it's certainly not the Big East.

2 Yes: Auburn Has Faced More Challenges

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Pac-10 has several decent teams, but Oregon has really only faced four difficult games on the season.

    Beating Stanford 52-31 is impressive, but wins over underachieving Arizona and a mediocre USC team can't compare to what Auburn was able to do against the likes of LSU and South Carolina.

    Ultimately, Auburn has needed to bring its game almost every single week in conference play.

1 No: Oregon Is No. 1 In The Polls

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Apparently, College Football polls don't have a big influence on the BCS standings after all.

    Despite being ranked No. 1 in the USA Today, AP Top 25 and Harris poll this week, Oregon is not the top-ranked team in the BCS.

    It all comes down to those puzzling computers.

    There's nothing like the joys of the BCS in early December.

1 Yes: Just Look at Auburn's Schedule

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    We've touched on the many obstacles that Auburn has overcome this season.

    Sure, the best team in the SEC always dominates the headlines in College Football.

    Sure, Auburn is one of the worst defensive teams in the entire BCS top 25.

    All that matters is what they have done with their brutal schedule.

    Wins over BCS ranked teams Mississippi State, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Arkansas simply cannot be overlooked.

The Conclusion: Auburn Deserves The Top Spot

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    It's difficult to understand why Auburn didn't get more first-place votes in the polls after Friday's impressive win.

    Based on what they have done against ranked teams, the Tigers should get the nod over Oregon in the Week 14 BCS standings.

    With just two wins over ranked opponents all season, the Ducks have still managed to cement a spot in the National Championship game.

    We won't know if they truly belong until they take the field in Glendale on January 10.

    Here's hoping the two best teams end up doing battle to finish the season.

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