GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 10: Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates the Tigers 22-19 victory against the Oregon Ducks in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Just some random thoughts thoughts on last nights game...
First, this is from Bill Plaschke...
Ending what might have been the most exciting college football season in history, Auburn finished off Oregon in perhaps the best championship college football game in history, taking a 22-19 victory on Byrum's 19-yard field goal as time ran out.
I guess he wasn't at the Rose Bowl in January 2006 when Texas beat USC in the final 20 seconds.
No offense to Texas' national-title victory over USC in the Rose Bowl after the 2005 season, but this might have been the best Bowl Championship Series show ever.
Oregon jammed the game down Auburn's throat, outgaining the Tigers, 125 yards to 21 in the first quarter. But then Auburn spit it back, gaining 258 yards in the second quarter.
I pretty much stopped reading at that point...What's the point? What game was he watching?
Where was he when the season started?
Neither team, Auburn or Oregon, was expected to be there. The pre-season/early season focus was on Alabama possibly repeating and how USC would fare after getting drubbed by the NCAA. Sure, Oregon looked to be the Pac-10 favorite but Stanford got a lot attention as well. Auburn was on NOBODY'S radar to get to the title game. As the season progressed talk turned to the BCS buster side of things with TCU and Boise State. Oregon was making its move but there was still some games to play.
Auburn started to get some play but not until the whole Cam Newton thing exploded did people really take notice. Most people figured that Auburn would get beat by Alabama.
Texas and USC was the match-up many wanted to see from the start of the 2005 season, there was no question where the season was heading...In fact you can say that this match-up was building for a while. USC coming off a 55-19 but kicking of Oklahoma after being shut out of the title game the previous season and Texas coming off a big win against Michigan in the Rose Bowl (I believe that was the year thatwhined for his team to be there), so there was already some buzz building.
Plaschke also misses the fact that the difference between the Rose Bowl and the University of Phoenix Stadium are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it come to the tradition of the game. In fact, NO indoor stadium will ever have the feeling of what the college experience is all about.
The USC/UT game had loads of future NFL talent guys that you would hope to seeing playing for years to come or who came in with a lot of hype. Last nights game had maybe 3-5 guys that may do something in the NFL...lots of unknowns.
Plaschke has a flair for the dramitic but also has a short memeory so lets just leave it at that.
The game I saw last night featured two QB's that didn't play well. Neither of these offenses as whole were spectacular last night. Specific units/players on the each teams offense may have performed well but the whole picture wasn't all that.
In the early going Darron Thomas looked like he was scared of his own shadow. Throwing two picks along with some errant throws. Maybe the big stage caught up with him but he settled down and Oregon lit up Auburn for 363 passing yards against a suspect Auburn secondary, so that wasn't really surprising. I figured he would get his numbers.
On the other hand, the Auburn front seven held the Oregon running game to just 75 yards.
That was the real story.
In their last two bowl games Oregon got beat by defenses that did their homework, minded their assignments and who were physically dominant. No one is going to argue that Oregon is a bad team...that would be foolish but when you have have a fast, athletic and schematically intelligent defensive front, it makes it very difficult for the type of offense that Oregon runs to really be effective.
That was where this game was won.
Cam Newton had his own issues. A number of his throws were either poorly placed or poorly timed and the Oregon defense got to him a number of times throughout the game. He wasn't able to have is way with them like he did with some of the trams that he faced this past season. You could tell he was injured and not used to getting batted around like a ping pong ball. There is no question that he made some plays but it wasn't what we were used to seeing throughout the season.
Overall the game was somewhat entertaining but not "the OMG the best ever" as Plaschke wants to float out there.
I really didn't have a dog in this hunt.
I am not into Pac-10 solidarity. The rest of the Pac-10 hates USC and treats our fan base pretty bad when they travel, especially to Eugene, so seeing Oregon lose was fine with me. Larry Scott has done nothing to support his teams, especially USC when the NCAA gutted the program, like Jim Delaney or Mike Slive has. He is not leading from the front. He may know how to turn a buck but his revenue sharing plan is basically to rob from the rich and give to the poor.
Real vision there...
I could care less about the SEC, most of those guys won't come out west to play us and they avoid us when we reach out to set up a home and home. Many of those players will never travel west during the recruiting process, some will, most won't, so I am pretty ambivalent.
ESPN will shill for their business partners so its just easy to turn the sound down. I was pulling for Auburn to win more so that when its found out that Newton did take money the NCAA will once again be embarrassed by having to vacate another BCS title victory. One that they enabled by ignoring their own rules.
Anyway, that's just the view from my perch.
I have some other observations but I will save them for the comments...