Auburn beats South Carolina in an instant classic

I can’t believe that I’m writing this, but here is the last Fearless Friday Forecast for the 2010 regular season:

1. Auburn vs. South Carolina (SEC championship): I didn’t think the SEC championship game could ever get better than the last two between Florida and Alabama. In both cases the winner knew it would be in the BCS championship game. But this game is just as big because of some additional storylines:

**–The controversy surrounding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, which has subsided just a little with a controversial ruling by the NCAA that he is eligible.

**–Auburn having a shot to play for its first national championship since 1957 and perhaps getting payback for 2004, when the Tigers went 13-0 and didn’t a chance to play for the crystal football.

**–Auburn having a chance to give the SEC its fifth straight national championship.

To those good story lines you add the return of Steve Spurrier–The Head Ball Coach–to the game for the first time in 10 years. He won it six times as a Florida Gator and now has the Gamecocks in Atlanta for the first time ever.

If Spurrier wins he would have seven SEC championships and would be second on the all-time list only to Alabama’s Bear Bryant.

This is great stuff. The game? If South Carolina can run the ball a little bit, then this will be a nail-biter until the very end. And there is something special about this Auburn team, which has rallied from double-digit deficits four times this season to win. The Tigers won’t fall behind by double digits but it will fall behind and then rally in the fourth quarter. The final, in an instant classic: Auburn 35, South Carolina 31.

2. Virginia Tech vs. Florida State (ACC championship, Charlotte): If Virginia Tech (10-2) had not stumbled out of the gate at 0-2 with close losses to Boise State (33-30) and James Madison (21-16) the Hokies would be in the national championship discussion right now. But now Virginia Tech has won 10 straight games and will be trying to win its fourth ACC championship in seven years of membership. Florida State (9-3) made huge strides under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher, who replaced the legend, Bobby Bowden. I like the Hokies in a close game. Virginia Tech 28, Florida State 24.

3. Oklahoma vs. Nebraska (Big 12 championship, Arlington, Tex.): It’s kind of fitting that Nebraska’s last game as a member of the Big 12 should be against Oklahoma. For so long these old rivals played “The” game in the old Big Eight. And when the Big 12 conference was formed the yearly battle went away. The game features two old friends as coaches–Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. They both grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and played at Cardinal Mooney High School. I’m going with Oklahoma because the Sooners have the hot quarterback. Landry Jones has thrown for 1,853 yards and 17 touchdowns in his last five games. Oklahoma 27, Nebraska 21.

4. Oregon at Oregon State (The Civil War): It’s very simple for No. 2 Oregon. Go to Corvallis and win and the Ducks have a date with somebody for the BCS national championship on Jan. 10. The Ducks missed a big bullet on Nov. 13 when they won at California 15-13. The rest of their opponents could not keep up with a fast-break offense that leads the nation in scoring (50.45 points per game). This game will be close for a half because of the emotion involved. But the Ducks wear you down with a relentless pace. Oregon 42, Oregon State 21.

5. Connecticut at South Florida: Randy Edsall, a former assistant coach at Georgia Tech, did one of the best coaching jobs ever in 2009 when he held his team together after the death of popular player Jasper Howard. That Connecticut team won its last four games, including a victory over South Carolina in a bowl game. This season the Huskies started 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big East. If they can win at South Florida (7-4) on Saturday, Connecticut will go to the first BCS Bowl (Fiesta) in school history. USF is coached by Skip Holtz, who was the head coach at UConn from 1994-98. The Bulls are coming off a 23-20 upset of Miami last week. Connecticut 21, USF 20.

348 comments Add your comment

DIT

December 3rd, 2010
10:44 am

Sorry that’s Oregon

ARdawg

December 3rd, 2010
10:46 am

The Evil Genius is a genius for a reason. C0cks by a TD

T3

December 3rd, 2010
10:46 am

Auburn wins a close one.
————————–
Spurrier and Garcia get into ONE FINAL LASTING
sideline “altercation” that will cost Spurrier his job.

FSU wins a very close one.
———————–
IMHO, ACC officials at MD-NCST game PURPOSELY screwed over NCST..on a HIGHLY DUBIOUS 4th down play that would have given NCST the ball and 1st Down for a potentially game-tying score. The ACC didnt want NCST in the ACC-CG. They wanted FSU in the ACC-CG. ACC “insiders” wanted an
FSU-VT matchup. And more importantly, the “insiders” want FSU to beat VT. An FSU win assures the Orange Bowl of a HUUUUUUUUGE fan turnout for an Orange Bowl that has financially “struggled” in recent years.
Oranege Bowl doesnt waant another Wake Forest vs Louisville game.
They dont want a VT-UCONN game either. THEY WANT FSU. And, they are likely going to get it. FSU:34 VT:30.

BIG12 to Nebraska: “F-U and Goodbye.”
———————————–
So, you dont believe conferences or referees wont “alter” outcomes.
The I give you Neraksa vs the BIG12 and its officiating crews.

If you thought Nebraska got screwed by the BIG12 agaisnt Texas in the 2009 BIG12-CG, I offer up the even bigger screwjob by the BIG12 officials in last weeks Nebraska-TXAM game. 16 Nebraska penalties for 145 yards, and only 2 penalties for TXAM. Even Barnhart admitted on TV that the game was an OBVIOUS screwjob by the BIG12 agaisnt Nebraska.

Now, if you thought THAT was a screwjob, then look here folks, in the BIG12-CG game, Nebraska vs Oklahome, you will likely see the
MOST-BLATANT screwjob in the history of college football. EVER.

There’s simply NO WAY the BIG12 it going to let Nebraska take home the BIG12-CG trophy. ANY AND ALL STEPS will be taklen to prevent it.

Think that sounds crazy. Again, Barnhart himself said on TV that a royal screwjob against Nebraska is practically guaranteed in
the BIG12-CG. Be sure to set your TIVO. Its gonna be a “classic.”

murfdawg

December 3rd, 2010
10:48 am

CFB…..
I’m picking Oregon State. Never underestimate the power of an “angry Beaver”!!!!

macon

December 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

the fact that mike slime and the sec have deliberatly violated
their very own sec bylaws and is allowing cam newton to play
means that its really alllllllllllll about the bcs money.
bylaws be dammed.

an auburn win is an iron clad garantee.

Was a TB Fan

December 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

@T3,

If Tony said it on TV, then I don’t buy it. Video killed the Mr. CFB credibility. If you doubt that… Read yesterday’s blog.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

Lots of talk about play-calling on here today. As I’ve said before, that is by far the most overrated part of the game from a fan’s perspective. Noticed that a couple said they could guess the plays 75% of the time. Two things on that:

1- No you can’t. You might call “run” or “pass” and get it right based on the strong side of the formation and/or DnD, but that doesn’t mean you are calling the play. Most colleges will have four or five different “run left” plays with different blocking schemes out of every formation.

2- Guess what? As a playcaller you WANT the defense to “guess right” 75% of the time. You know why? Those 25% that are left are known as your “explosive plays.” You show a formation on 1n10 and run the same way out of it three times for the one time that you pull that ball out of his belly and chuck it. You spread the field and throw it three straight times so you can get a big gain on a draw. Why do you think fake Fg’s and onsides kicks work better in situations that don’t really call for them? Because you kick it 95% of the time in those situations.

Bottom line for me is that proper execution will create a successful play even if the defense guesses right. Good blocking will get you 3-4 yards on a run. Good pass pro, routes, and quarterbacking will get you completions on pass plays. This applies no matter how good the defense is at “guessing.”

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
11:04 am

BAMA dude,

Couldn’t agree more. Everyone knew what Florida was going to run in 2008 and 2009. The only difference was that they couldn’t stop it back then.

Nurse Rachet

December 3rd, 2010
11:10 am

BAMA dude We could sum up your comments further by agreeing that there is lots of smoke being blown on these blogs. Playing football in Jr High hardly makes you an expert on coaching. Far too many experts (in their own minds) on here about calling plays. Opinions- like tailbones- everybody has one.

Driving Ms Dooley

December 3rd, 2010
11:11 am

I really want to see Auburn and Oregon in the NC but if either of them is upset, I wonder how badly TCU is going to get crushed.

Auburn 56
TCU 12

OR

Oregon 72
TCU 17

Seriously though, why can’t somebody on this blog start a COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS UNION? We can then use our collective bargaining power to boycott the BCS and demand a playoff.

Who’s in? We can have a special handshake that ends with giving the finger to the BCS. We can demand cleaner bathrooms and reasonably priced food a concession stands.

Auburn | MrSEC.com

December 3rd, 2010
11:13 am

[...] play.”10.  This writer tabs Auburn to win tomorrow’s matchup.11.  Tony Barnhart likes the Tigers in “an instant classic.”More to [...]

War Cash Eagle

December 3rd, 2010
11:36 am

Auburn wins—Cam and Cecil get an instant bonus after the game from Bobby Lowder!

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

@Driving Ms Dooley

It’s hard to estimate just how good or bad TCU might be. The best team they played this season was Utah, and that ain’t saying much. Still, they certainly belong in the Top 3 this year – and that ain’t saying much either.

Cam "I didn't cheat or steal a laptop" Newton

December 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

I’m going to the BCS Title game, win OR lose tomorrow! Then you can shut the up! Dam right I’ll do a Heisman pose in front of the ol’ ball coach too! If it was up to me, I would be doing this in a Gator uniform but they don’t allow cheaters like Pat Dye, Eric Ramsey, and $15,000 letter of intent signing bonuses like they do here at Auburn. Don’t say a word Bammers, we beat you on the field. Oh, this just in, Mark Ingram and Tebow voted for me, Spurrier didn’t, blah blah blah

Cam "I didn't cheat or steal a laptop" Newton

December 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

T3 or 3CPO or whatever your name is, the Orange Bowl doesn’t want FSU, FSU wants the Orange Bowl. They caught Florida in a down year and just about everyone else on their ACC schedule. Now run back to Warchant where they tell you what you want to hear, not the truth….

Brock Atkins

December 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

I don’t care what bowl Alabama goes to because it doesn’t say BCS national champions on it. But next year yall better watch out because Bama’s defense wont be young. they will have experience and Nick Saban is pissed about the year they have had….. ROLL TIDE ROLL

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
11:48 am

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
11:39 am
@Driving Ms Dooley

It’s hard to estimate just how good or bad TCU might be. The best team they played this season was Utah, and that ain’t saying much. Still, they certainly belong in the Top 3 this year – and that ain’t saying much either.

Yep. Said all year that college football as a whole was pretty ugly this year. No truly “great” teams. Odd year when Oregon, Aubie, and TCU are the only teams in the BCS conversation. Especially considering Aubie is on a one-year magic carpet ride with a hired gun and will be a shell of itself next year. Not many schools go 7-5, 11-0, 6-6 in three years like they will.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
11:51 am

Brock Atkins

December 3rd, 2010
11:47 am
I don’t care what bowl Alabama goes to because it doesn’t say BCS national champions on it. But next year yall better watch out because Bama’s defense wont be young.

The D will be better assuming Jesse Williams can come in and replace Dareus. We will have a new QB with only one returning WR out of the top three. I wouldn’t call us MNC favorites at this point, though we could have a great year if McCarron/Sims are as good as advertised.

Brock Atkins

December 3rd, 2010
11:54 am

Cam “I didnt cheat or steal a laptop” Newton

You know that Bama kicked your ass all you had the whole game was like what less than fifty rushing yards your self. look at the first quarter Bama whooped up on yall and they shouldve had 40 + points on you. But they lost focus your not as good as what you think. ROLL TIDE ROLL …….. Hey by the way how many national championships does Auburn have? Alabama has 13!!!!!!

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

@BAMA dude

Auburn is just one more example of the validity of the “X’s & O’s vs. Jimmies & Joes” theory. Auburn is one of the few football programs in the FBS that experienced zero changes in it’s coaching staff from last year.

Brock Atkins

December 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Bama dude,

yeah true, i just hope bama can pull their heads out their ass next year. lat year was soooo awesome and then they pull the crap they pulled this year….. man its just so aggervating. but look i live in arkansas but i was born in mobile and the people in arkansas are just so stoked about having a 10 and 2 year and Bama fans like my self are dissapointed in a 9 and 3 year. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
12:05 pm

If SC can pull of the upset tomorrow, then Spurrier will be a shoo-in for SEC Coach of the Year.

If not, it will be a close call between Mullen and Dooley.

Daddy Newton

December 3rd, 2010
12:08 pm

Junior college for show, SEC for dough!

Eagles Rule

December 3rd, 2010
12:10 pm

Auburn’s going to beat usc like a rented mule—this game will not be close. Bet the house on auburn: 40-19!

KR

December 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm

Bama dude, try this comparison:

Nick Saban at Alabama
Year 1 – 7 wins, 6 losses. 5 wins vacated after the season.
Year 2 – 12 wins, 2 losses. Lost the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl.

Gene Chizik at Auburn
Year 1 – 8 wins, 5 losses.
Year 2 – 12 wins, no losses so far. SEC Championship Game and Bowl Game still to be played.

The similarities are striking, aren’t they?

Cameron Newton

December 3rd, 2010
12:14 pm

heh heh heh…

“like a rented mule”

I know what that means!

Tim

December 3rd, 2010
12:21 pm

Tony-

I agree, at 42 points a game, you’re not going to outscore Auburn.

Pat Haden

December 3rd, 2010
12:24 pm

Can we now have our national championship trophy returned?

ClinchPanther

December 3rd, 2010
12:25 pm

I hope you are wrong Tony. No way i want to see Auburn play for the mnc. Bad as it is to pull for Spurrier that is what i’m doing. I want to see Cameron cry just like Tebow did.

Flipper

December 3rd, 2010
12:32 pm

Now that the NCAA has decided that it is ok to buy players. What next? Now as long as the player college football can hire an agent that he/she does not know about to peddle his wears, that by NCAA standars is ok. This is a great day for college sports. I wonder how many $200,000, $500,000, $1,000,000 dollar palyers we will see in the future. How much did you pay Auburn?

Nurse Rachet

December 3rd, 2010
12:37 pm

Cam “I didn’t cheat or steal a laptop” Newton You would not know the truth if it bit you in your butt.

Driving Ms Dooley

December 3rd, 2010
12:41 pm

@ Bama Dude
re: Especially considering Aubie is on a one-year magic carpet ride with a hired gun and will be a shell of itself next year. Not many schools go 7-5, 11-0, 6-6 in three years like they will.

Thats funny because I made that same statement last night to some friends except I said 7-6 in yr 3. If Gus leaves that will be another blow. It will be interesting to see if Gene Cheese-it can capitalize on this years hype on the recruiting trail.

Cameron Newton

December 3rd, 2010
12:41 pm

Nurse Rachet,

Tune in after the game to see my smiling face telling Tracy Wolfson “I did it all for the glory of God”!

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
12:41 pm

KR

December 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm
Bama dude, try this comparison:

Nick Saban at Alabama
Year 1 – 7 wins, 6 losses. 5 wins vacated after the season.
Year 2 – 12 wins, 2 losses. Lost the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl.

Gene Chizik at Auburn
Year 1 – 8 wins, 5 losses.
Year 2 – 12 wins, no losses so far. SEC Championship Game and Bowl Game still to be played.

The similarities are striking, aren’t they?

Not really. Saban came in with a pedigree, is working on his fourth consecutive top 10 class (and possibly his second #1 class in four years), and had a good season in his third year, losing only to the two SEC division winners and LSU on the road by three. Next season looks promising as well, with loads of young talent returning including a preseason Heisman Hopeful in Trent Richardson. Aubie brought in two academic cheaters from the juco ranks in Cam and Fairley and will be left in ruins when they leave along with four senior OL, the MLB, and 19 other seniors.

Captain Herb

December 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Auburn and its fans have the moral compass of Barry Bonds.

bullwinkle

December 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

SECCG is a booby prize (and trap) for Auburn given the SEC sched they’ve already had to run to get there.

Even if they lose close they should still get consideration for the BCS game.

Nurse Rachet

December 3rd, 2010
12:44 pm

Cameron Newton We all know who you are pal. We knew if from the time you told the cops in Gainesville- “I want to talk to my lawyer”!!! Quite a Cameron family I would say.

Driving Ms Dooley

December 3rd, 2010
12:45 pm

@ ClinchPanther: I want to see Cameron cry just like Tebow did.

Cam won’t cry if he loses because it’s not about winning for him. It’s about showcasing his talent. It’s like a dress rehearsal for the NFL combine.

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
12:45 pm

Driving Ms Dooley,

This should be Auburn’s best year of recruiting since 1958. So far, it looks like that’s not panning out for them. Strange…

ARdawg

December 3rd, 2010
12:52 pm

Oh yeah….. Tony is a Gomer (and a sell out)

ARdawg

December 3rd, 2010
12:54 pm

Clinch Panther

Hello dude/dudedess

My old home place

Chris Matthews

December 3rd, 2010
12:54 pm

The whole country is against Auburn! Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong! Selling out will come back on them!

timthebrave

December 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Auburn 35 S Carolina 28
Va Tech 27 FSU 21
Oklahoma 24 Nebraska 14
Oregon 38 Oregon State 24
South FL 28 Connecticut 17

Lattimore, Newton obvious factors

December 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

[...] >> Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Auburn wins in what should be an ESPN “Instant Classic” Filed Under: Uncategorized [...]

timthebrave

December 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

I’m not so sure that TCU would get blown out by either of these teams. Both have really suspect defense and awesome offenses.

KR

December 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

Bama dude, your assertion that Auburn will be 6-6 next year is based on nothing more than your all-consuming hatred of Auburn. I really wasn’t expecting an real answer from you, I just wanted to see how you’d spin it to be pro-Alabama.

BTW, didn’t Terrence Cody come to Alabama from the juco ranks?

ARdawg

December 3rd, 2010
1:06 pm

Barnhart has a firm grasp of the obvious

Bo Knows

December 3rd, 2010
1:18 pm

Bobby Lower and Milton Mcgregor will be doing the coin toss for the championship game on Saturday. Jimmy Rane and Pat Dye are jealous and filing a complaint with the NCAA.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
1:18 pm

Bama Dude u keep harping on Cam and Fairley leaving….yet won’t GMac & Julio Jones BOTH be gone next year? No one has any idea who will be good next season right now. It’s way too early and the preseason prognosticators mean absolutely nothing. No one picked us to win the SEC or NC this year did they? Yes ya’ll have another great class coming in but so do we & almost any other elite SEC school does as well. You’re only looking forward to next season b/c ur undefeated streak imploded this year LOL

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
1:20 pm

BTW I hear they are giving away free textbooks over there. 28-27 % off I believe…..