On To Vict'ry: Auburn Wins The National Championship Over Oregon

Nathan Deal@@NateDawgAUCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers celebrates the Tigers 22-19 victory as he holds up the Coaches Trophy after defeating the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

1958. The Auburn Tigers, defending national champions, finish the season unbeaten with one tie. No national championship.

1983. Auburn goes 11-1, including a 9-7 Sugar Bowl win over Michigan. No national championship.

1993. Auburn goes 11-0 in the SEC under first-year coach Tommy Bowden. Due to probation...no national championship.

2004. Auburn goes 13-0 in the SEC, simply dominating almost every opponent. Thanks to Southern Cal and Oklahoma...no national championship.

2010. Auburn goes 14-0 in the SEC. No nat...wait, WHAT?!?!?

That's right folks. If you're just learning this from this article, then you live under a rock that's glued to a honey bun. Auburn not only went unbeaten. They also won the national championship.

No longer will the 1957 team be the only national champions in Auburn history. No longer are they lonely. When you go back to Jordan-Hare for A-Day or a game next season, there will be a flag saying "2010 National Champions."

It's unimaginable.

Go back to September 18th, 2010. Second quarter. The scoreboard reads "Clemson 17, Auburn 0." At that moment in time, nobody was worried about a BCS Title Game. They were worried about just reaching the Outback Bowl again.

Like they would all season, Auburn came back. They always come back.

The Auburn Tigers defeated the Oregon Ducks, 22-19, to capture a national championship. Wes Byrum made a 19-yard field goal with no time left to send Auburn home with that shiny crystal ball.

Oregon's motto is "Win the Day." The Ducks played their tails off, but Auburn was just too good. Where have we seen this before? The SEC team is just too good in the BCS Title Game? Say it isn't so.

However, the MVP of the game came as a bit of surprise. I know Nick Fairley won the Defensive MVP. But Auburn won this game simply because of the legs of freshman RB Mike Dyer.

Here, I hand out grades for offense, defense, special teams, coaching, officiating, and overall.

Offense: B+

Did they really gain 520 yards? It felt more like 320. They did churn out 28 first downs and 520 yards, but they missed some serious opportunities. Cam Newton was not razor sharp. But Mike Dyer picked up the slack. The freshman ran 22 times for 143 yards and, for a moment, the game-winning TD. They did enough to win. Could have played better but a win in the title game is a win in the title game.

Defense: A

They did give up well over 400 yards, but there is little doubt this is the best game the defense has played this year. They had a goal-line stop and an interception in the red zone. Giving up 19 points to Oregon? Who saw that coming?

Special Teams: A+

Wes Byrum's legendary career ended in perfect fashion with a game-winning field goal in the national title game. Auburn played perfectly on kick-off coverage. A great night for special teams.

Coaching: A+

"We want a leader, not a loser!" That's why we hired one. Auburn's Gene Chizik is now a national championship coach.

Officiating: B

They would have gotten an "A" if not for the pancake block on Auburn safety Zac Ethridge late in the game that let Oregon's wide receiver get wide open. Other than that, these refs were great. They let the kids play.

Overall: A+

Auburn won the national championship. It was a long-shot before the season, but the Tigers overcame undeserved distractions and won the second national title in the storied history of Auburn Tigers Football.

2010 Review: "G2G." Good to great. That was Auburn's first motto. Another motto was "DWWD", meaning "Do What We Do." In Week 3, the Auburn family was urged by Gene Chizik to be "All In" for the Tigers. Through thick and thin, the Auburn family was, indeed, "all in." They always have been and always will be.

This team wasn't like the 2004 team. The 2004 team just steamrolled everybody except LSU. This is like the 1993 team. They weren't overly impressive, but they won on just sheer heart and determination. That is Auburn football. Nothing flashy in stats or on the scoreboard. Just a win where they had several blown opportunities but won in the end. That was Auburn football. That's why we love it.

Auburn University: Home of the 2010-2011 National Champions! War Eagle!


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