Auburn & Oregon Advance To Title Game
If any of the headlines and sports talk radio chatter this week regarding Cam Newton's ineligible/reinstatement story effected Cam mentally, he didn't show it Saturday in Atlanta. As he has all season, the best player in college football led his team to an SEC championship after a dominant win over South Carolina.
Cam Newton left nothing to chance. He ran and passed the Auburn Tigers to a shot at the national championship they were denied six years ago, and he might as well start working on that Heisman pose, too. Newton passed for a career-high 335 yards and four touchdowns, plus ran for a pair of TDs in an MVP performance that led No. 2 Auburn to the Southeastern Conference championship with a 56-17 rout of Steve Spurrier a18 South Carolina on Saturday. The Tigers, who came into the day sitting atop the Bowl Championship Series standings, must wait 24 hours before getting the official word, but it's nothing more than a formality: They'll be playing Oregon for the national title on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.
Speaking of Oregon, LaMichael James and the Ducks beat up on arch rival Oregon State today in the "civil war" game. Oregon's high powered offense, led by James, pulled away from Oregon in the 2nd half, and even pulled out a fake punt which gained 54 yards. If the Beavers thought they had a chance going into the 4th quarter, they were the only ones. As they have all year, the Ducks dominated late.
As the third quarter turned to the fourth and AC/DC blared in Reser Stadium, Oregon State's sideline was rocking, its players thinking they just might pull off a monster upset. On their side, Oregon stayed cool — focused on winning the day. When it was done, and a spot in the BCS national title game was secured, that's when the Ducks finally let loose.
Heisman Trophy contender LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and the fast-paced Ducks negotiated the last speed bump on the way to Glendale, Ariz., grinding out a 37-20 victory over the Beavers in the Civil War on Saturday.
The matchup becomes official Sunday, but there will be no surprises when the final Bowl Championship Series standings come out: Oregon will play Auburn on Jan. 10 for its first national championship.
"The best part about it is ... we expected this," Ducks defensive tackle Brandon Bair said. "It's the way we prepared, the way we planned, we expected this."
So did most of America Brandon. While there was a cloud swirling over Auburn the last two months regarding Cam Newton, and whether or not his Dad ruined his son's eligibility and Auburn's title hopes along with it, the Ducks enjoyed their best season in school history. No dark clouds, only one close call (at Cal), and an offense as potent as the NCAA has seen in years. College football's best offense versus college football's best player to decide the national championship. January 10th can't get here soon enough.