Five reasons Auburn will beat Oregon for the BCS Championship

Scottsdale, Ariz.–We’ve been analyzing this game for 37 days and it all comes down to this: Tonight, No. 1 Auburn (13-0) can win its first BCS  national championship since 1957 and the fifth straight for the SEC by beating No. 2 Oregon here in the desert.  There are a lot of Auburn people out here without tickets because, if it happens, they want to say for the rest of their lives that they were here.

Can Auburn do it? Or does Oregon win the first national championship in its football history?

Five reasons why I’m picking Auburn:

1. Cameron Newton: A lot the best defensive minds in college football (Nick Saban, John Chavis, Ellis Johnson) have tried to come up with a plan to contain the Auburn quarterback and nobody has been able to do it. Newton led the SEC in rushing and when defenses have stacked the box and forced Newton to throw he has done a remarkable job in the second half of the season. In Newton’s last five games he has completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 1,225 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception. Newton now has a chance to become only the 14th player in history to win a Heisman Trophy and then go on to win the national championship.

There is no question that Oregon will gear its fast, physical defense to slow down the running game and hope that Newton throws interceptions.

2. Nick Fairley: When California nearly beat Oregon back in November, the Bears kept it close by using strong pressure up the middle to disrupt the well-timed and agressive offense of the Ducks. Nobody puts pressure up the middle like Auburn’s Nick Fairley. Auburn has been very good about making the opposing quarterback uncomfortable, especially in the second half of games. So look for them to use Fairley to really turn the heat up on Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas. I will throw in this caveat: After the close call against Cal, Oregon started counter punching the pressure up the middle with quick hitting plays on the perimeter. But if  Auburn doesn’t effectively pressure Thomas, that could spell trouble for the Tigers.

3. Toughness: Don’t get me wrong, Oregon is a physical team, albeit smaller than Auburn. They play fast and they play hard. But Auburn has been a mentally tough, resilient team all season. The Tigers have trailed in eight of their 13 victories and four times they rallied from double-digit deficits (including a 24-0 deficit at Alabama) to win. But Auburn has played on the big stage all season and is not in awe of its surroundings. If the game is close in the fourth quarter, you have to like Auburn.

4. The Auburn offensive line: Nobody is talking about these guys but they are probably the key to the game. With the Oregon defense focused on Newton, there are going to be opportunities to run the football with freshman RB Michael Dyer (73.1 ypg) and speedster Onterrio McCalebb. Auburn led the SEC in rushing with 287.2 yards per game. That’s because of an offensive line that starts four seniors and a junior. The four seniors have combined for 161 career starts. If Auburn can run the ball and control the clock, that limits the number of possessions and places for Oregon’s high-power offense. The key to all of that is the offensive line.

5. Wes Byrum: As a true freshman in 2007, Byrum went to Florida a kicked a field goal on the last play of the game to beat No. 4 Florida 20-17 in The Swamp. Since then Byrum has been one of the best clutch kickers in football. He had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2008, hitting just 11 of 19 field goals. But since then Byrum has connected on 30 of 36 attempts. If the game comes down to a late field goal, this kid has the right stuff to make it.

Final Analysis: The SEC has won four straight national championships but the league has never played a Pac-10 team in a title game. Because of its speed and tempo Oregon presents challenges  unlike  any team that Auburn, or anybody else in college football, has ever seen. Defensive stops in this game will be like gold. After a 37-day layoff, both teams will come out with a lot of energy–too much energy, in fact. The team that settles down earliest and starts playing their normal game will have a distinct advantage. I think that team will be Auburn. This could be a repeat of the Texas-USC game where somebody gets a defensive stop and scores on the last possession to win. In a close game I give the edge to Auburn.

Final score: Auburn 35, Oregon 31.

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www.twitter.com/MrCFB

Barnhart and Durham: Wes will be in the studio in Atlanta and I will be out in Arizona as we break down the big game. Please join us starting at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com

424 comments Add your comment

AUinGA

January 10th, 2011
3:15 pm

Hey Skitty, at least our rap sheets are shorter than UGA’s!

Gene Cheezdip

January 10th, 2011
3:17 pm

It’s a God thing, Boogs win…End of story.

Nick Satan

January 10th, 2011
3:18 pm

It is a God thing, Boogs win..

Pat Dye Bourbon Buddy.

January 10th, 2011
3:19 pm

Boys, it is a God thing.. Oregon ain’t man enough to be the Boogs.

Duckafawg

January 10th, 2011
3:20 pm

Ducks 39-38 in OT!

Cam Newton's Pimple Popper

January 10th, 2011
3:21 pm

Kiss my rear end, I am the greatest.. War eggle…

George Stein

January 10th, 2011
3:21 pm

Please. Everyone knows Guz Malzahn’s offense would never work in the SEC.

MADDOG

January 10th, 2011
3:22 pm

Greg, I hope we knock out Thomas as fast as you took out McCoy to pave a win despite your pathetic performance. And I bet if that happens we run away with the game and won’t endure the backup Freshman almost pulling out the win… freshman vs Saban. Talk about luck eh? Did we mention UT blocked FG? :D

28-27

Trooper's Towel Man

January 10th, 2011
3:23 pm

I am the luckiest guy around.. I get to hand Trooper the towelthat wipes Cammy Cam juice off of Cam..

All Auburn

January 10th, 2011
3:24 pm

I hate Bama. If Bama was playing the Iranian national football team I would root for the Iranians. I hope those toothless @ssholes lose every game always.

Bobby Lowder's Airplane Pilot

January 10th, 2011
3:39 pm

All Auburn

January 10th, 2011
3:24 pm
I hate Bama. If Bama was playing the Iranian national football team I would root for the Iranians. I hope those toothless @ssholes lose every game always.

I hate the Boogers. If the Barn was playing the Iranian national football team I would root for the Iranians. I hope those toothless @ssholes lose every game always.

Feelings are the same to you booger… RTR!

Nurse Rachet

January 10th, 2011
3:45 pm

Awbarn you better hope that you win- cause the entire US other then your fans are pulling for Oregon. AND you will get ripped on the ajc blogs forever if you lose.

MADDOG

January 10th, 2011
3:54 pm

Nurse, Auburn’s players have enjoyed being hated and the world cheering against them and if we do lose, we’re still the best in the SEC and therein the PAC10 will be better, SEC less and UGA that much further down in the basement. But we beat every rival on the way here so what would are loss say about ALA, UGA, LSU et al.

Tell Me The Story

January 10th, 2011
3:59 pm

Now maybe some of you Auburn fans can tell me why Auburn call’s itself the Wae Eagles and the Tigers.
Somebody’s house cat that looked alot like a Tiger was run over by a Chicken truck, it’s remains still sits beside the road where this accident happened. An eagle, a crow, and a buzzard are still there today warring over who gets the first pickins??
Did I leave something out?

Tell the truth

January 10th, 2011
4:02 pm

Well you would still be the same classless institution that you have always been; but now wth one loss. Wins and losses have nothing to do with class and do not create class. It will take years for Auburn to overcome it’s Lowder years and the 7 major probations that you have sustained. You just can’t buy class.

[...] Five reasons Auburn will beat Oregon for the BCS ChampionshipTony Barnhart, aka, “Mr College Football”, gives us five reasons why Auburn will win. None of them are the real reason he picks Auburn, so I’ll help him out:  [...]

Sautee Dawg

January 10th, 2011
4:03 pm

MADDOG
UGA beat you like a rented mule 4 out of the past 5 seasons, and won all 4 without a problem. You won’t be a problem next season either.
If Awbarn has a team next season!!

KR

January 10th, 2011
4:09 pm

Sautee Dawg: I keep seeing UGA fans posting about 4 of the last 5 years. UGA won the SEC in 2005, but how did they do against AU that year? Plus, the two Universities have been playing each other in football since 1892, so why is the last 5 years so relevant?

Less than 4 hours to kickoff.

WAR EAGLE!

BAMA dude

January 10th, 2011
4:14 pm

KR, it’s actually more than four hours to kickoff. Since you’re a Barner we know you have an excuse.

whiskeydawg

January 10th, 2011
4:20 pm

Go SEC! Bring back number 5 Tigers.

Sautee Dawg

January 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

KR

Didn’t much care for the basement talk about the Dawgs, from MADDOG.
Less than 4 hours till Fox New’s Bill O’Riley

BAMA dude

January 10th, 2011
4:27 pm

MADDOG

January 10th, 2011
3:54 pm
Nurse, Auburn’s players have enjoyed being hated and the world cheering against them and if we do lose, we’re still the best in the SEC and therein the PAC10 will be better, SEC less and UGA that much further down in the basement. But we beat every rival on the way here so what would are loss say about ALA, UGA, LSU et al.

“are loss?”

You ain’t too brite, is ye?

MikeP

January 10th, 2011
4:30 pm

BAMA dude
January 10th, 2011
11:27 am
“MikeP, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The NCAA was interviewing the contractors that worked on Cecil’s church the week of Christmas. There are no new revelations worth discussing, but it’s hardly over for the Barn.”

I see you have been reading Thayer Evans. That is the fourth hate article he’s written about Auburn in the past month. The first three were demonstrable lies and I suspect this one will be proven to be a lie as well.
Now, if it makes you happy to dream that the NCAA is still pursuing the Cam Newton issue go ahead, but it’s over.

As for the FBI, I hate to mention this but the FBI cannot legally make the results of an investigation available to a private entity. The NCAA has no more right to the information contained in an FBI investigation than does Wal-mart or Goo-goo car wash.
If, say, Alabama was paying players and the FBI ran across this info in an investigation of gamblers bribing legislators, that information would be kept in the FBI files, unavailable to the NCAA, the AJC or your friendly corner Zippy Mart.

PS: Thayer Evans will come out with another tale about Auburn in a day or two, this one implying something wrong in the recruitment of the current class. Like the meaningless article concerning the contractors it will contain no succinct facts and will perhaps be sprinkled with several outright lies, but write it he will.

Speaking TRUTH AND IT HURTS

January 10th, 2011
4:32 pm

Lets get this all out in open and end this football season the same way it started,
The NCAA started out by popping numerous schools with investigations and the suspensions of quality players, once the season started they NCAA changed their own rules or adapted them to fit the system that best suits their existence. The NCAA is funded by every School that competes in FBS football, and as in most cases with business, the more money a group makes the more money gets passed around.

Here are some articles that reflect the shortcuts, cheating, and scandals that have been the NORM at Auburn instead of the exception. The way of life of Auburn is to do anything and everything possible to make their program a champion and if you or anyone, any group gets in their way they will stonewall everything. They are following the lead of indicted alumni in federal cases.

Here is some article you all need to read, review before lining up to say SEC SEC SEC, it may change who you are wanting to win.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/sports/ncaafootball/10auburn.html?_r=1&ref=petethamel

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/sports/ncaafootball/09boosters.html?ref=petethamel

http://www.sectalk.com/boards/sec-football-talk/99604-auburns-academic-boasts-bogus-ranking-plummets-81-spots.html

http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/20/former-professor-disagrees-with-auburn-ruling/

http://jeanshortstorture.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/auburn-represents-the-worst-in-all-of-us/

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/14/sports/ncaafootball/14auburn.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/sports/ncaafootball/25rhoden.html?ref=sports

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=18119408

http://www.tmz.com/2010/11/17/cam-newton-fbi-investigation-probe-auburn-university-booster-milton-mcgregor-sec-football-ncaa/

Just one of millions of articles on how the world of Auburn football rotates aroud Bobby Lowder, and the boosters that run the University

KR

January 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

BAMAdude: I’ve been waiting for this game since December 3rd. The start of the pre-game show will mean the wait is over.

Ex-Dawg Ticketholder

January 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

You know Georgia’s football program is a totally lost cause when the Auburn-Alabama fans leave the Birmingham News’ sports comment boards to invade and dominate the AJC… hee hee hee! LOVE it!

Hey Stupid Barnhart

January 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

The BCS existed in 1957?

Again, Oregon wins.

Because for the SEC to win 5 in a row is not good for football. People get tired on continued domination.

Because the Sham Newton ordeal will die if Auburn loses. On the other hand, the NCAA will never live down the Sham decision if they win.

Because Oregon beat TN worst than any SEC team.

Because Auburn is Auburn.

War Cam Eagle!!

January 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

On one of the greatest days in Auburn history and you clowns are on here spreading lies about our family. I’m sick and tired of listening to it, which is why I have avoided this blog lately. But I will say it once and say it loud: STFU!!!!!! No one cares about your petty whining and jealous accusations!! GET A LIFE!!! Do you not realize that Cam is feeding off all the hatred and using it as motivation? You lose, so then you say we cheated? IS THAT ALL YOU GOT? Go ahead and root against your SEC brethren, just remember that the shoe could be on the other foot sooner than you think. Just don’t expect us to defend you when ya’ll run afoul of the NCAA, because we know it will happen at some point. Be careful what you wish on others, you know the saying “if you live in a glass house”. War Eagle and to the haters: GIVE IT UP!!!!!

Speaking TRUTH AND IT HURTS

January 10th, 2011
4:37 pm

No one is spreading lies, everyone is just speaking the gospel truth and how tainted this game is with AUBURN playing in it, it just hurts the Auburn fans so bad that a nation is rooting against the Tigers.

Keep your head up and in a short time some other headline will move the investigation away from Cam Newton onto the the other clowns running the program at Auburn.

Speaking TRUTH AND IT HURTS

January 10th, 2011
4:40 pm

The Sport Reporters stated that 81% of fans wanted Oregon to win tonight, 11% for Auburn and the other 8% did not want either won( how do you give that answer?)

A nation is against Auburn, that speaks volumes on what the college football fan thinks of Auburn.

Now does that mean Auburn will not win? No, anyone can see Auburn is more talented and should win by at 10 points if they play their game.

Spreading Lies and You Know It

January 10th, 2011
4:44 pm

We could care less who “the Nation” roots for. Let me ask you this: Why is your “gospel truth” different from what the NCAA has ruled? You HAVE NO EVIDENCE that AU has done anything!!!! Either produce some proof or STFU!! CLOWN!!!!!!!

Joe in Jefferson

January 10th, 2011
4:45 pm

With the treacherous weather in the southeast, I wonder if any Auburn fans were unable to fly out for the game (especially because of all of the cancelled flights at Hartsfield.)

Hey Stupid Barnhart

January 10th, 2011
4:47 pm

Oh, yeah.

Because the SEC is 5-6 in bowls right now. Tell me the last time the SEC finished .500 in bowls. WHO DID AUBURN PLAY?

West Coast Bias

January 10th, 2011
4:48 pm

The problem is that while Tony has watched every game Auburn has played- he’s only seen a few of the Ducks games because he’s passed out drunk by the time they get to kickoff.

Reason #6

January 10th, 2011
4:50 pm

Nick Fairley will hit Darron Thomas late and spear him in the head because he dirty a player.

X Factor

January 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Biggest factor in tonight’s game might be that Oregon has only played 1 close game this year. Almost every game AU has played has been close. If it comes down to the 4th quarter and it’s a tight game , you gotta like Newton and Auburn.

Test for Tony

January 10th, 2011
4:52 pm

Can Tony Barnhart name 3 players on the Oregon roster besides Darron Thomas, Lamichael James and Casey Matthews? I highly doubt it.

ncaa is spineless

January 10th, 2011
4:52 pm

just asking for the guys that report the news to ask some tough questions to the key people that know what happened. all reporters seem timid, and scared to dig into this story, and the ncaa has totally wimped out and showed that they are spineless.

Buckeye

January 10th, 2011
4:55 pm

Back to ‘Even God….”

Let me try this again….pay attention now…

Get over yourself !

Cecil Newton

January 10th, 2011
4:55 pm

Hey guys, just a quick update- I’m so hungover after partying with those hookers that Auburn bought me for the weekend,but I will make it the game!

BAMA dude

January 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

I see you have been reading Thayer Evans. That is the fourth hate article he’s written about Auburn in the past month. The first three were demonstrable lies and I suspect this one will be proven to be a lie as well.
Now, if it makes you happy to dream that the NCAA is still pursuing the Cam Newton issue go ahead, but it’s over.
…MikeP

Can you provide any sort of motive for Evans’s blind hatred of the Barn? You say he was lying when he claimed to ask the contractors about NCAA investigators meeting with them? Why would a national writer do such things?

Gene Chizik

January 10th, 2011
5:01 pm

I’m just glad I can finally quit my day job at the Home Depot and get a new Members Only jacket. If we win tonight, I’m hitting Applebees!

Buck Belue

January 10th, 2011
5:04 pm

Nick Fairley is a dirty player period and Scam Newton should be banned from playing for Auburn PAYING his dad.

Hey Stupid Barnhart

January 10th, 2011
5:06 pm

Wow, I ask again who did Auburn Play.

Sat, Sep 4 Arkansas State W 52-26 — FINISHED 4-8
Thu, Sep 9 at Mississippi State W 17-14 — FINISHED 9-4 WON Bowl
Sat, Sep 18 Clemson W 27-24 — FINISHED 6-7 LOST BOWL
Sat, Sep 25 (12) South Carolina W 35-27 — FINISHED 9-5 LOST BOWL
Sat, Oct 2 Louisiana-Monroe W 52-3 — FINISHED 5-7
Sat, Oct 9 at Kentucky W 37-34 — FINISHED 6-7 LOST BOWL
Sat, Oct 16 (12) Arkansas W 65-43 — FINISHED 10-3 FIRST SEC LOSS TO OSU
Sat, Oct 23 (6) LSU W 24-17 — FINISHED 11-2 WON BOWL
Sat, Oct 30 at Mississippi W 51-31 — FINISHED 4-8
Sat, Nov 6 Chattanooga W 62-24 — FINISHED 6-5
Sat, Nov 13 Georgia W 49-31 — FINISHED 6-7 LOST TO UCF
Fri, Nov 26 at (9) Alabama W 28-27 — FINISHED 10-3 WON BOWL
Sat, Dec 4 at (18) South Carolina W 56-17 — FINISHED 9-5 LOST BOWL

WHO DID AUBURN PLAY?

Timbo

January 10th, 2011
5:09 pm

way to go out on a limb there Tony. Auburn over Oregon? Really?.. great call man.

Tide Rising

January 10th, 2011
5:19 pm

Hey Stupid Barnhart,

When is the last time the sec had a winning bowl record? Uh, pretty much every year. 08 season the SEC went 6-2 in bowls and in 09 season the sec went 6-4. Do I need to remind you that the SEC has won the last 4 national titles and 5 this decade?

Ask a dumb question...

January 10th, 2011
5:20 pm

Who did Auburn play? I guess 5 teams out of the Top 21 in the final AP regular season poll is an easy schedule?

CF Gator

January 10th, 2011
5:21 pm

Come one, Aubie. This Gator will be pulling for y’all tonight. Git er done!

Tide Rising

January 10th, 2011
5:28 pm

Hey Stupid Barnhardt,

AU also plays in the toughest division in college football. The top 5 teams in the division are 3-1 in bowls including the 3 wins by blowout proportions. Those 5 teams in the regular season are a combined 34-1 in games vs east divison and nonconference opponents. That’s who AU has played. Oregon- they played 3 teams in the top 25. AU also played 4 opponents who will finish in the top 15.

SEC Taskmaster

January 10th, 2011
5:32 pm

Dawgster.

AMEN AMEN, preach it preacher. 100 percent right on