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

General Van Fleet

December 3rd, 2010
3:27 pm

Brig. Gen. Neyland—-

And remember, if I weren’t so damn preoccupied pulling Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur and the United Nation’s chestnuts out of the fire, I would have kicked your ass in college football, too.

Marcus Dupree

December 3rd, 2010
3:28 pm

To all my future Auburn male fans, please do Marcus a favor. Before you got to another game, take that pom pom that you normally use and look in a mirror, shake wildly and think about what you look like. If after that you still take the pom pom to the game then your girlfriend may want to start looking for another mate.

MikeP

December 3rd, 2010
3:33 pm

Bama Dude is checking Auburn’s 2012 schedule? Already in “wait until next year” mode, I see. If Saban loses his bowl game he will be true to his history, following a championship year with a four-loss season.

As far as the Cecil Newton business, Auburn is accused of no wrongdoing. Just like Albert Means couldn’t play at UAT but was ok at Memphis, Cam probably couldn’t play at MSU but is fine at Auburn.

CFB Prognosticator

December 3rd, 2010
3:37 pm

Cam can’t play anywhere in the NCAA after the investigation is completed. Doesn’t matter. Anyone can play in the NFL.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
3:39 pm

Why do UGA fans want Cam and Auburn to be guilty?

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
3:40 pm

Bama Dude is checking Auburn’s 2012 schedule? Already in “wait until next year” mode, I see. If Saban loses his bowl game he will be true to his history, following a championship year with a four-loss season.

Actually, 2011. And of course we’re looking to next year. The season is over for us except for the bowl game. And Saban’s “following up championships with blah, blah” is garbage. They lost the Aubie and LSU games by 4 points combined. Win those two and they’re playing for revenge and a BCSCG trip tomorrow. Alas, they didn’t, but not a bad season any way you slice it.

As far as the Cecil Newton business, Auburn is accused of no wrongdoing. Just like Albert Means couldn’t play at UAT but was ok at Memphis, Cam probably couldn’t play at MSU but is fine at Auburn.

No, there is no evidence that Auburn paid. That this had to do with his recruitment to MSU and not Auburn was reported from the jump. That said, he is only eligible at Aubie or anywhere else in the SEC because he supposedly didn’t know. If new evidence were to surface proving that he did know then Aubie would be facing vacated wins.

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Nobody “wants Cam to be guilty”. Everyone, however, is fairly confident that he is.

What CFB fans want (including, but not limited to UGA fans) is to see justice served.

They’ll just have to wait. So will Auburn.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
3:46 pm

The reason they moved so fast quoting from NCAA Statement here folks: “Our re-instatement staff has no evidence Cam Newton was aware of his father’s alleged attempt to secure payment for his recruiting committment to Miss. St. or that any money ever changed hands. So therefore it found no reason to strip the player of his eligibility.” -USA TODAY Thu. Dec.2
A seperate investigation still remains open but this re-instatement step is typically taken “prior to the close of an investigation”. They will work to close this loophole but it’s there……

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
3:47 pm

I disagree Ealgetired…From reading the pages of posts from this article, and many many others over the past few weeks, it is clear that UGA fans are desirous for Cam/Auburn to be guilty…you included, hence the “so will Auburn” comment.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
3:51 pm

The reason they moved so fast quoting from NCAA Statement here folks: “Our re-instatement staff has no evidence

Exactly. They could only rule on what they have so far. Will there be more once the Mississippi Secretary of State concludes their investigation? Who knows?

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
3:52 pm

You can assume till the cows come home (pun intended), but I’m not a Georgia fan. If you think Georgia fans are the only people with a low opinion of the Auburn football program, then you need to get out more.

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
3:55 pm

@BAMA dude

I’ve read the entire article. Convenient how JPT left a critical part of that “quote” out.

Our reinstatement staff has no evidence at this time

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
3:56 pm

Oh they do want us to be guilty not realizing it would invite intense scrutiny to their school & the entire SEC in the process. This has already given the SEC a black eye & no one has even proved we did in anything wrong in the first place. Petty, desperate jealousy is what it smells like to me! Like I said beat us on the field & talk all the smack u want. But don’t take this holier than thou attitude towards AU when u had 13+ arrests last season!!

CharlotteGator

December 3rd, 2010
3:58 pm

BAMA dude,

“But the bubble screens and screen passes are designed to get the ball on the edge quickly but also roll the DBs up so you can throw it over them. Guarantee you they have some version of a “rocket pass” in the repertoire where the blocking receiver feints his block then takes off on a streak route.”

Agreed. The big problem is they didn’t run the streak routes or any long pass routes with any consistency. Is that due to protection issues? Absolutely, but not much was done to aid that. Instead of keeping RB’s in or a blocking TE, the response was “the O line is fine, we’re just encountering some new blitz schemes.”

I don’t disagree with any of your points or analysis. What I would contend however is that the principles and counters/setups you describe were not found in the Gator offense this year. The OC decided to play “on schedule” and effectively shrunk the amount of field the defense had to defend due to threat, real or perceived.

In any event, thanks for the solid football talk. It’s my hope that the Gators get someone in that position that can implement the basic concepts of offensive play that even us casual fans pick up on. And if I’m coming off as an exaggerating, maniacal, nitpicky idiot, then watch 2 or 3 Steve Addazio interviews on Gatorsports.com. It’ll be an eye opener.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

At this time Means no evidence exists Correct? That’s what u call “Lawyer talk” for all u knuckleheads out there lol

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

JPTigers,

I understand that Opelika is a small town, but CFB encompasses much more than just the SEC.

Auburn is a nation-wide laughingstock right now.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

Eagletired…I never said you were a UGA fan. I asked a question, to which you responded. But I never said you were a UGA fan.

However…you are accusing me of making an assumption? Really? You mean, like you are doing in saying that you are confident that Cam is guilty? Or that Auburn will have to wait until justice is servere? Wow

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:01 pm

MikeP,

Stating a payment plan (80K at signing, 50K within 30 days, 50K 30 days later) is “agreeing to receive.”

Why don’t you Aub fans do the honorable thing and say “Yeah, according to the rules, Cam should be ineligible but he’s not. Nah nah nee boo boo!”

That’s better than denying the obvious.

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:02 pm

@JPTigers

“Lawyer Talk”?

If the words have no relevance, then why did you bother to remove them from the quote prior to posting it?

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:05 pm

Dawgtired,

What I said was that most people think that Cam is guilty. I am in agreement with that majority. I don’t really care what Auburn did or what happens to Auburn. Auburn will be irrelevant again next year of their own accord. If Cam Newton was on my team, I’d be embarrassed.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
4:08 pm

You are also missing the fact that “at this time” is referring to the MSU investigation not AU. Nowhere has AU been tied to this any in any shape or form (Other than TMZ LOL) We would first have to receive an official letter of inquiry from the NCAA! THE HEADLINE OF THE ARTICLE READS: NCAA CLEARS AUBURN’S NEWTON!!! LMAO

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:09 pm

Eagletired…there you go again..”Auburn will be irrelevant again next year of their own accord.”

If you, and UGA fans, are really about fairness, then why not wait until all of the facts come out and then everyone will see if Cam, Miss St., or Auburn is innocent or guilty?

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:09 pm

****************************************************************

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:10 pm

5IML, I disagree there. An agreement requires two parties. That has been debated ad nauseum with the lawyers over at RBR.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
4:10 pm

It’s because the quote is a figment of your imagination. I just re-read it & “Voila” it’s not there! Keep scraping the bottom of that barrel…. LMAO And no I would be embarrassed b/c CAM RAN circles around you ON THE FIELD!!!!!!! LOL WDE!!!!!!

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:11 pm

Dawgtired,

Next year, Auburn will have the same coaching staff that they had this year and last year — but they won’t have the same players. How’s that 2011 recruiting class coming along?

;-)

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:11 pm

Is that some kind of answer?

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:12 pm

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
4:08 pm
You are also missing the fact that “at this time” is referring to the MSU investigation not AU. Nowhere has AU been tied to this any in any shape or form (Other than TMZ LOL) We would first have to receive an official letter of inquiry from the NCAA! THE HEADLINE OF THE ARTICLE READS: NCAA CLEARS AUBURN’S NEWTON!!! LMAO

See, this is where you appear thick headed. We have said several times that Aubie isn’t going to end up on probation over this unless one of their boosters actually paid. That doesn’t mean that wins wouldn’t be vacated if he were ever ruled ineligible.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:12 pm

Eagletired…I wouldn’t know…I’m not an Auburn fan. However, given what I’ve seen out of Auburn and Chiszk, I would say that they will be just fine.

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:13 pm

Post a link JPTigers. Or would you prefer that I did?

***********************************************************

Eagletired

December 3rd, 2010
4:14 pm

Dawgtired,

Yep. They’ll probably do about as well as they did last year — when they were irrelevant.

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

BAMA Dude,

The agreement was between Cecil and Kenny Rogers. Whether or not they got money from Bill Bell is inconsequential. Slive is a lawyer so he knew that.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:17 pm

Eagletired…irrelevant is subjective. Will they play for an SEC title game or a NC? I don’t know. Will they have a winning season? Probably.

Chiszk seems to know what he is doing.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:17 pm

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm
BAMA Dude,

The agreement was between Cecil and Kenny Rogers. Whether or not they got money from Bill Bell is inconsequential. Slive is a lawyer so he knew that.

No, because kenny didn’t have the money and didn’t agree to pay it. He agreed to get it. Basically, he acted as Cecil’s agent, meaning Cecil is ineligible to play NCAA football. Cam would be too if he knew (which you and I know he did but can’t prove).

Uncle Curly

December 3rd, 2010
4:21 pm

could someone please help my nephew Marcus Dupree please find a Colonial Bank. He has a Christmas club account there and needs to go shopping for my Christmas present.

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:21 pm

BAMA Dude,

Do we know that Kenny did not act as (or represent himself as) an agent of MSU or Bill Bell in accepting Cecil’s offer?

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:22 pm

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:17 pm
Eagletired…irrelevant is subjective. Will they play for an SEC title game or a NC? I don’t know. Will they have a winning season? Probably.

Chiszk seems to know what he is doing.

What makes you say that? He has a recruting class ranked in the 20s his first year, number one his second year, then back to the 20s so far this year with very few top recruits even considering Aubie.

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:23 pm

Why assume that Cecil and Kenny were a team? Maybe Bill Bell and Kenny were a team.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:23 pm

BamaDude…and yet, there Auburn is, playing for the SEC title game. Yeah, I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing.

JPTigers

December 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

Bama Dude you are right on that EXCEPT they may just resolved the eligibility question for now haven’t they? I’ve been hearing folks on here screaming “DEATH PENALTY” when they no clue what the facts even are. Eagle tired thinks he can pull a fast one & equate MSU allegations to Auburn w/o evidence….plain and SIMPLE!!

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

5IML,

What offer? He went to Bell on behalf of Cecil to tell him how Cecil wanted his money delivered. Kenny was always a broker in this deal.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:26 pm

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:23 pm
BamaDude…and yet, there Auburn is, playing for the SEC title game. Yeah, I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing.

If Cam Newton was spending his one season of D1 ball at any other school he wouldn’t be. Your logic is like calling a guy who hit the lottery a shrewd businessman.

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:28 pm

BamaDude…and your logic is no better. A team that wins always has 1, 2, 3 or more really good players. So you could always say that it’s not the coach, but the players on the field. So, who’s responsibility is it to recruit those players?

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

Dawgtired

December 3rd, 2010
4:28 pm
BamaDude…and your logic is no better. A team that wins always has 1, 2, 3 or more really good players. So you could always say that it’s not the coach, but the players on the field. So, who’s responsibility is it to recruit those players?

Very, very rarely has a single player been responsible for a larger percentage of an undefeated team’s offense. His numbers are Tebow-esque, and the other players get big plays because the defense has to key on his running game. Also, go back and name me the last Heisman Trophy candidate that played one year at a school, his third school in three years. Like I said, lottery stuff.

5IML

December 3rd, 2010
4:33 pm

BAMA Dude,

Bill Bell says Kenny texted him a payment plan from Cecil. Do we know that Kenny wasn’t relaying the details for his business partner’s approval? Or do we assume this was a “cold call” from Kenny to Bill? In my opinion, there was negotiation prior to the text.

Either way, y’all have a good weekend. I’m heading home.

BAMA dude

December 3rd, 2010
4:36 pm

No evidence that I’ve seen suggest that, 5IML. Later.

Ralphie

December 3rd, 2010
4:42 pm

Let’s break this up a little bit. There is too much tension.

Question: How do you circumcise a Tennessee Vol?
Answer: Kick his sister in the chin…………..

Jimmy the Greek

December 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

i’m taking bets that fat a$$ Vern Lundquist will drop a Tebow line before the first quarter is done. Any takers.

Some things are more important than money

December 3rd, 2010
4:58 pm

South Carolina beats Auburn in a fig newton classic.

Ralphie

December 3rd, 2010
5:05 pm

That’s a sucker bet Jimmy!