Auburn is going to enjoy this. Big Time

Glendale, Ariz.—There was joy. There was relief. There were smiles of happiness. There were tears. There was incredible exhilaration. There was utter exhaustion.

 
You could see it all on the floor of University of Phoenix Stadium in the aftermath of Auburn’s 22-19 victory Oregon which gave the Tigers their first national championship since 1957.

 
Ted Roof, who took more than his fair share of criticism as Auburn’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons, had his arms around his two sons as confetti rained down around him. The former Georgia Tech captain could not be happier. For it was his defense that held the mighty Oregon offense to only 19 points, 30 points below its average.

 
Oregon’s offense had 12 possessions in the game and Auburn’s defense got nine stops: five punts, two interceptions, and what will become two very big plays in Auburn football history: In the second quarter Mike Blanc stuffed Oregon’s LaMichael James in the end zone for a safety. In the third quarter Auburn stopped Oregon on fourth and goal at the Tigers’ one-yard line.
Oregon came into this game averaging almost 245 rushing yards per game. Auburn held the Ducks to only 75.

 
“I am so proud of our guys. They stepped up and played the best when we needed it the most,” said Roof. “We didn’t do anything fancy. It was all about effort. All I know is that we’re the national champions. Nothing else matters.”

 
A lot of people wondered if Cameron Newton had one more great game left in him. He did. Yes, he had a late turnover that allowed Oregon to tie the score make a game-winning drive necessary. Still, it has been an extraordinary season for the Heisman Trophy winner in every sense of the word. He became the flash point of a great debate in college football and it was not pretty. There was a significant portion of the populace that believed that Newton should not be on the field but there were also those who believed in the presumption of innocence. The debate will never be resolved unless more facts in the case emerge down the road. That is another discussion for another day.

 
Regardless of where you came down on the Newton issue, there was no denying that he was one of the greatest college football players we have seen at the quarterback position. I say WAS because Newton will soon close the door on this controversial chapter of his life and declare for the NFL Draft. We may disagree about Newton’s legacy, but we will certainly never forget him.
“I have never seen a football player go what he went through and continue to perform so well on the field,” said former coach Pat Dye, who beamed during the post-game awards ceremony. “People said a lot of bad things about that kid but it never affected the way he played. He is something special.”

 
Then there was Gene Chizik, whose hiring in 2009 brought rounds of criticism from those who thought he was not dynamic enough or tough enough to stand up to what Nick Saban was building at Alabama. But when the sun rose this morning in the state of Alabama, the schools had the same number of national championships since Saban arrived in 2007. Chizik has proven to be a rock solid manager of the program who surrounds himself with very talented people.

 
“It was never about me and proving anybody wrong,” said Chizik, who was the defensive coordinator when Auburn went 13-0 in 2004 and did not get a chance to play for the national championship. “That’s not the way I live my life. From the day we arrived it was about doing what was best for Auburn. I am so proud to be a part of the Auburn family.”

It’s been a great season at Auburn but has also been a draining season for all concerned. The weekly scrutiny which came with the Newton case was not an easy burden to bear. The SEC has won its fifth straight national championship. But the conference had to routinely defend itself against the criticism that it did not exercise due diligence in the Newton case. Now that the SEC has won another championship, that criticism is not going to go away. Such is the nature of success. Off the field, it has been a tough season for college football as a whole.

 
And what about Auburn for 2011? As is our nature, we will quickly move on to next season. Auburn loses 24 seniors including Wes Byrum, who kicked the winning field goal at the buzzer. Newton will leave as will defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who is more than ready to play at the next level. If you had to guess you would say that Auburn will take a dip next season but such dips are easier to take when you have a crystal football in the trophy case.

Both those issues can wait at least a day or two. Auburn fans will celebrate and know that for the next year they are the national champions while Alabama is not. And if you don’t think that’s important, you do not know the state of Alabama. Auburn is going to enjoy this. Big time.

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811 comments Add your comment

FalconUGAFan

January 11th, 2011
7:36 am

Congrats Auburn…

Murphy

January 11th, 2011
7:37 am

Congrads to the Auburn Nation.Thanks for keeping the SEC BCS Championship streak alive.Man that AU defense showed up loast night uh? War Eagle!

Murphy

January 11th, 2011
7:40 am

I almost forgot: To TrishaDishaWarEagle—-Go Tigers! Im sure you have a big smile on today-Congrads

stendek

January 11th, 2011
7:42 am

Sure Auburn cheated like Hell with best QB $$$ can buy but what the Hell? Team IS from South! So…

http://stendek77.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/sec-squashes-yankee-football-hopes-again-as-auburn-prevails/

:) :) :) :) STENDEK

Buckeye

January 11th, 2011
7:43 am

Congratulations Auburn. National Champions.

Now we can unite to support the Falcons!

GOD

January 11th, 2011
7:44 am

Of course I let Auburn win the BCS Championship, they’re family.

Avatar of Snarkiness

January 11th, 2011
7:44 am

Take THAT,Paul Finebaum !

Mike

January 11th, 2011
7:46 am

I felt so dirty watching Cam Newton celebrate I had to go take a shower afterwards. Kind of the same feeling I had after watching Reggie Bush and USC after their title win in 2005.

Mike

January 11th, 2011
7:47 am

BTW, the SEC is now considering imposing a salary cap for the 2011 season.

JB at home

January 11th, 2011
7:47 am

With all my teasing….Hats off AU, you won it on the field. great game….Bring the trophy back south in it’s rightful place…..For one second this AM…..WAR EAGLE…….and Go DAWGS

Dawgbreath

January 11th, 2011
7:49 am

We’ll see if the NCAA has any character now. Plenty of time to complete the investigation now. They may just wrap it up to avoid the embarrassment now.

War Jacket

January 11th, 2011
7:50 am

Eat your hearts out Georgia fans. You’ll never get to know the feeling of being a National Champion!!!!

Threepeat

January 11th, 2011
7:50 am

Yes, they will enjoy it right up until the time that it stripped from them, a la Reggie Bush and USC. Perhaps lost in all of the excitement of the last few days was the news that the NCAA investigation into the Cam Newton “situation” continues, with two additional “potential witnesses” having been interviewed this week.

I can already see your article when Auburn loses the championship and Cam loses the Heisman, Tony, you fat cracker. You’ll be foaming at the mouth about “What happened to the good old days when there was ethics in football?” You’ll be moaning about how money has replaced getting an education and “sportsmanship” as the most important thing in the minds of today’s “student athletes.” You’ll be gnashing your teeth about how Auburn and the NCAA let Auburn fans down by not properly investigating this situation and dealing with it when it happened, instead of putting the Auburn faithful through this.

You’ll probably even be riding Furman Bisher’s nuts for the 1,000th time, talking about how back when Furman used to give you a ride to church on Sunday mornings in his Pontiac GTO, you and Furman used to listen to “Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band and Furman would entertain you with stories about how his daddy used to whip his butt with a razor strop if he even mentioned “money” and “football” together in the same breath. You remember, Tony, how you’d sit there with your mouth agape, your good eye focused directly on Furman’s already-sagging face while your lazy eye looked off in an entirely different direction, mouth-breathing with excitement as you thought to yourself: “This geezer is going to make my whole career. I’m going to be milking this old sumbit*h for the next 40 years!”

Murphy

January 11th, 2011
7:51 am

War Jacket,

But we do know the feeling of Domination over the Techies!

Charlie Bama

January 11th, 2011
7:53 am

Congratulations to Auburn nation. Well done. You did the SEC proud.

WesDawg

January 11th, 2011
7:55 am

Great win AU. Enjoy. I wonder what the over/under will be before probation is handed down.

FalconUGAFan

January 11th, 2011
7:56 am

War Eagle…classy post

Charlie Bama

January 11th, 2011
7:56 am

And Tony, pay no attention to ‘Threepeat’ — He’s worse than angry. Maybe some Mommy issues. Maybe even a democrat.

FalconUGAFan

January 11th, 2011
7:57 am

OOPs..I meant War Jacket…sorry missed the termite

Hal

January 11th, 2011
7:57 am

If only the folks in Georgia could feel as good about their two major teams as the folks in Alabama. Maybe someone some where can convince high school kids from Georgia to play with pride in their own home state.

Threepeat

January 11th, 2011
8:00 am

Charlie Bama, when I rip your esophagus out from behind your grizzled, inbred, turkey wattle-covered neck and connect it to the lower end of your digestive tract, forming a Tuscaloosa Trailer Park version of Ouroboros (look it up on Wikipedia, you sharecropper – you didn’t learn about that in the Alabama public schools – you were too busy learning how to delouse the heads of your filthy, barefoot classmates), you’ll know the meaning of “angry.”

ratherBgambling

January 11th, 2011
8:00 am

Congrats Auburn!

Question is…………..who from the SEC will win the BCS next year?

Beast from the East

January 11th, 2011
8:02 am

Congrats on a wondeful season, Auburn!

Buckeye

January 11th, 2011
8:02 am

Can we keep UGA out of the discussion please? Going 6-7 and losing the Liberty Bowl to Cof USA does not give you the right to ride the Champions coatails.

While one can arugue a rising tide raises all ships the other can argue you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

It’s convenient to claim SEC but take another look you sorry season.

HiStendek

January 11th, 2011
8:04 am

Seems to be a little confusion here. See, this is the national championship, not the Fulmer Cup. We had no shot at that. War Eagle!

Davey Boy Smith

January 11th, 2011
8:04 am

It’s all fun and games until the probation hammer gets dropped.

What a pathetic representation for Auburn, the SEC and the sport of College Football.

This embarrassment will lead down a path similar to that of the Southwest Conference in the Early 1980’s, where “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin” was the mantra to live by.

I am embarrassed and disgusted by and for the sport I grew up loving. Guess it is time to just be an NFL fan.

Charlie Bama

January 11th, 2011
8:04 am

Like I said Tony, let ‘Threepeat’ lay there and display what he displays best. ‘Nuff said. Congrats Auburn.

Abe_Froman

January 11th, 2011
8:06 am

Congrats AU!!!!
“Alabama has the same number of national championships since Saban arrived in 2007″ … If Alabama won the BCS in 2009, how is this possible?

JB at home

January 11th, 2011
8:06 am

I really don’t see that big of a difference between the game day Management of Chip Kelly vs Mark Richt. They appear about the same to me.One is animated,involved,full of Pi$$ and vinegar, hands on,willing his team to win,……The other popping nodose trying to make it through the game.

ratherBgambling

January 11th, 2011
8:08 am

You want to see embarrassment Davey Boy, watch UGA lose to Boise St. next year.

Threepeat

January 11th, 2011
8:09 am

Charlie Bama, this is my last comment to you: Ya done goofed up. I backtraced you, and you will be reported to the cyber police. Consequences will never be the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPxEpwPHyJ8

JB at home

January 11th, 2011
8:09 am

It’s downhill for AU from here. lose 24 seniors,Cam,Fairley as juniors……….This Tiger will be fair game next year, no pun intended, even for the Dawgs…..

AU75

January 11th, 2011
8:09 am

I was at the game last night and am so very, very proud of our school, coaches, teams and fans. Coach Chizik said it all last night and it was a great win for the Auburn family — I just wish that everyone could have been here to experience this. This was a memorable game to attend, and a VERY loud stadium with both sets of fans loudly supporting their teams. AU fans outnumbered Ducks about 65/35 and there were thousands of fans there outside without tickets, many of whom watched from the big screen set up outside at the Hockey Arena next door. The support of the Auburn faithful was remarkable. It is also an amazing feat that the SEC has now won the last 5 NCs, with 4 different teams and something ALL SEC fans should be proud of — no other conference has, or will come close to that feat. The “SEC” chants after the game were heartfelt.
I was up all night and now getting to attempt to fly back to Atlanta via Texas — could be a very long day, but we don’t care. This continues to be a lot of fun and we will enjoy this and have a great time today on the road with fellow AU travelers. Just as said as we were cheering inside and outside the stadium last night — It is indeed “great to be an Auburn Tiger”.
Hope everyone has a GREAT day — I know ALL of the Auburn family around the world will…..

Beast from the East

January 11th, 2011
8:10 am

Ok, we have UT, UF (2), LSU (2), UA and AU with BCS championships. Who’s next from the SEC?
Any takers out there?

Father of 5

January 11th, 2011
8:11 am

TCU gets my vote for NATIONAL CHAMPS. They have a better defense than both teams and they are a much more complete team. Without Newton, Auburn is a slightly above average team, not national champs. They have Newton for now — until the FBI gets done. This whole system reeks with corruption.

Boise State would crush either of those teams on a neutral field. One bad quarter knocked them down to the Vegas bowl against Utah, where the masterminds could bury their talent in a meaningless bowl. Enjoy the victory now, Auburn, because it’s gone as soon as they find the money.

Palm City Dawg

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Great win and season Tigers. I am so jealous. Tony, what do you think about the Dawgs chances of landing Crowell, Drew and Rome and the recruits we are shooting for that have not signed?

Sandman053

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Boise State? I’m not sure they could beat Vandy.

Charlie Bama

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Threepeat — Funny!

Belle

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

As a Mother and Southern, I’m very embarrassed right now. How do I explain to my 11 yo old son that cheating is bad and that we are to follow the rules? The SEC has let a huge genie out of the bottle by allowing “play for pay”.

Growing up, I always heard non-SEC types say how they hated the SEC because we cheat. Well guess what people? We do.

I

dap01

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Congrats Auburn. Thanks for proving that cheating and independant studies are the way to go in college football. Cam: Thanks for showing that stealing, cheating and breaking of every NCAA rule is ok as long as you win.

Barnhart: Do you have a poster of Cam?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tony Barnhart. Tony Barnhart said: Auburn is going to enjoy this national championship. Big time. http://tinyurl.com/4ea387z [...]

asterisk

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Auburn – 2010 BCS National Champions *

JB at home

January 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Beast, us Dawg fans will get back to you in 3-4 years…..Our coach is studying football and working harder to get better everyday….also, looks like Oregon was using Richt’s play book last night….. yuk yuk………..

dap01

January 11th, 2011
8:14 am

Why does the AJC turn a blind eye to such blatant disregrad for rules?

Buckeye

January 11th, 2011
8:14 am

Beast,

VANDERBILT!

Gator Mike

January 11th, 2011
8:14 am

Congrats to Auburn. Also, hats off to Oregon who is also very good. These 2 teams were very evenly matched with the AU defensive line having a slight edge. Hopefully, we all can now move away from the Cam Newton soap opera.
Season is finally over!

Ready To Eat Your WORDS YET????

January 11th, 2011
8:14 am

dawgfan
January 10th, 2011
9:04 am

I think Oregon wins. Auburn does not have the dominating defense that we’ve seen out of past BCS Champions from the SEC. In fact, their defense is average at best. And I don’t care what all the draft experts say. I think Fairley is overrated. Georgia was able to contain him so I’m sure Oregon will have no problem either. In all fairness, there’s not much any defensive lineman can do against Oregon’s fast paced offense. Most of you probably haven’t seen them play. They are the real deal.

The SEC was decidedly down this year and Auburn benefitted. I think this is the year the SEC run finally comes to an end.

Kennesaw Dawg

January 11th, 2011
8:15 am

Can somebody tell me if Cam Newton’s dad was or was not at the game? I missed it if they showed him after the game. The TV announcers said he wasn’t there and I read one newspaper article that said he was not there, and then I read one article that said he was there and hugged his son after the game. Just wondering which report is correct.

Sandman053

January 11th, 2011
8:15 am

JB it DID look like they continued to run up the middle when it wasn’t there (much like Bobo )

Beast from the East

January 11th, 2011
8:15 am

JB,
Studying….LOL!