Tomorrow is finally the night of the big game. It has taken a full 4+ months to get to this point, but the time has come. 34 Bowl Games down (after tonight’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl), 1 monumental one to go. It is the matchup that everyone has wanted since mid way through the season. It is the matchup that not only the entire College Football Fan base has wanted for a while now, but it is exactly what the BCS wanted. Two teams that were not ranked in the preseason AP top 10 go head to head (this has never happened in the BCS era). The BCS dodged some major bullets this year with how things worked out.
Auburn could have easily taken an L in the Iron Bowl this year, when Alabama had them on the ropes. What if Michigan State did not blunder at Iowa this year, or Ohio State at Wisconsin? What if Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman does not have the worst game of his life versus Nevada? There are a lot of “what ifs,” but there are only two teams left standing. The two very best in College Football.
Grab your popcorn, because there are about to be some fireworks.
Now I am not going to ram the stats down your throats. You have been forced to listen to the minutia and buildup to this game for well over a month now. The fact of the matter regarding this National Title Game is simple. The teams pitted really like to light up the scoreboard. They both rank in the top 4 in the land for points scored a game. The Ducks have been held under 35 points once the entire season and Auburn has scored over 50 on 6 different occasions.
The intriguing thing for both of these squads is that neither is pass happy. Though football at nearly all levels has become a pass first game, both of these squads accomplish most of their damage via their rushing attacks (they can throw the ball with authority too) Granted they both have two very mobile quarterbacks that can make plays with both their arm and their feet.
I do not see this game being as high scoring as all analysts are predicting. Many are calling for this one to have more points than the legendary National Title Game of 2006, when Vince Young propelled Texas over USC 41 to 38. Generally the first quarter of National Title games feature offensive blunders, while each team shakes off major nerves. Now I do think each team will put up points, but I do not see both teams scoring 40 plus.
The X Factor in this game will be Cam Newton and Auburn’s overall team speed. Now I realize that Oregon has some players that have what I like to call the “burners.” But they have not faced a team with the speed that Auburn features across their entire roster. Many have been saying that the fact Oregon has a stronger defensive unit will be the differentiating factor that gives the Ducks the advantage. Lets be real though. The PAC 10 is a very good conference. But it is nowhere near the caliber of the SEC. Auburn’s defense played phenomenal competition all year and still held its own enough to give their offense a chance to win every game.
Look for a Vince Young like performance out of Cam Newton. Just hopefully he does not pan out like Young in the NFL. I got Auburn winning a very exciting game 34 to 31. I will admit that I said in my College Football Preview that this would be the year the SEC’s reign of National Championships ended. I had no idea that Auburn and Cam Newton would come along back in September. Cam Newton and the Tiger’s overall team speed will give the SEC its 5th straight National Championship.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.