Calling the BCS Title Game

This is part where I end up looking like either a genius or a fool.

So what’s going to happen in the Auburn-Oregon matchup on Monday night?

I’ll give it a shot, but let me first say that it wouldn’t shock me if either team wins this one.  There are compelling reasons for why each of the teams can win, but this is the internet so it requires me to pick one or the other.

That said, I’m going with Oregon.  I’m sure some of you are really shocked at that, but it’s no slight to Auburn.  I just think the Ducks are probably going to win.

Why do I think this?

My first instinct is that the Duck defense has more experience facing multi-dimensional offensive schemes over the past few seasons than the Auburn defense does.  In a game that features perhaps the two best offensive minds in football–not just college football, mind you, but all of football–the real key will be the defenses and their familiarity with the concepts that will be thrown their way at breakneck speed.

I think this gives the Ducks an edge.  Not that it’s ever easy to prepare for a talent like Cam Newton, but perhaps Gus Malzahn’s scheme won’t be as exotic to Oregon as Chip Kelly’s scheme is to Auburn.  I think this slight advantage will enable the Ducks to slow Newton down just enough in the first half to build enough of a cushion to hang on for the win.

Going down to the personnel level, I think the key to the game will be the Oregon corners and their ability to clamp down on the Auburn receivers.  I think they have the ability to single cover them, which should enable Oregon to use an extra safety to key on Newton.  I have no doubt that this strategy will eventually backfire on the Ducks, resulting in some big plays for Auburn in the passing game, but I believe it will rile up the Tigers a bit in the early going, put them off kilter and give Oregon a chance to build that early lead.

That said, it could well be that Darron Thomas isn’t hitting targets early and that cushion won’t be built, which means Auburn will likely win in the end.  However, I think Thomas will be ready and will be made all the more effective by a healthy LaMichael James, who should have some extra spring in his step after resting a leg injury.  Can Thomas and James combined outgain Newton?  That could certainly be a harbinger of the outcome.   Also, I don’t believe Nick Fairley will be as much of a factor as expected as I think Oregon will find a way to use his aggressiveness to ‘read’ him out of a great many plays.

Cam Newton will definitely get his yardage in the running game, but I think it’s the Auburn passing game that will be curtailed and by the time Newton rights the ship, it will be too late.  One other factor is the punt return abilities of Cliff Harris and I wouldn’t be shocked if he made a difference.

Of course, this analysis could be way off.  Turnovers or injuries could split this game in any and all directions.

But, I say Oregon jumps out to an early lead, Auburn rallies ferociously, but the Ducks hang on for the win.

Oregon 42, Auburn 31

Let’s hear your predictions!  Mark ’em down!

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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20 Responses to Calling the BCS Title Game

  1. AUman76 January 10, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    well HP…you got one thing right but it ain’t the winner, you are a fool!
    If the Heisman winning QB was a member of any pac1 team playing in this game against anyone you’d pick said pac1 team. Nobody has stopped Newton and your lil duckies won’t either. Nobody stopped this Auburn team and you’re lil duckies won’t either.
    This isn’t a one man show but Cam is the trigger man on a deadly offense. This ain’t your lil finess spread offense like the duclies run. Auburn has a power spread offense. The Tigers can run over, around or through your pac1 duckie-D. If you try to stuff the run, which I hope they do then Auburn will eat you lunch through the air. You do remember Cam can move the pocket and is still the most accurate QB in the nation? Had all these offensive facts been on some other team’s side you might pick em but Auburn is a flash in the pan in the your eyes and the eyes of the media. Already out of you 2011 top ten? We will win the SEC again with or without Cam or Fairley. We have recruited very well based on needs and good kids. They make it to school unlike under Tubbs who signed lot’s of *****’s but they never made it to AU.
    Let’s get one thing straight…as good as the media thinks Stanford is they ain’t Auburn. Against my Tigers Luck would spend a lot of time on his ass and the rest tryin to avoid that position. I actually think you guys are funny and don’t know shit about football since most writers were too busy helpin their mom’s bake cookies instead of competing.
    Get this through your FN head….WE ARE AUBURN, WE ARE CUMMING AND YOU ARE FU(KED!
    All I see and hear is how oregon can do this or that to win but the real football folks know this is a beat down in waiting. For some reason all you media types think Auburn is gonna sit down ad quit cause the duckies run a fast break O. What the hell do you think we run? The Auburn D has practiced against that pace all year so throw that BS theory out the window.
    Guess what? Even if Fairley doesn’t make a single tackle the rest of the D will cause he will have to be double or tripled teamed. Go ahead and read block him and see how often the QB ends up on the sideline tryin to find his nut sack. If oregon is stupid enough to try to fool Fairley, Thomas will get his duckie dick knocked in the dirt and it won’t be a dirty play he accused Fairley of.
    Auburn is loaded on both sides of the ball with talent and speed. Right now you don’t believe it but the truth is about to knock on your pac1 door.
    Take note….Urvain Cryar and his gayturd spread never beat Auburn! Lost in Auburn in 2006, the same team that beat down duhOSU. Then again in 2007 the Tigers went into the swamp and defeated the gators on a Wes Byrum FG. Yeah the same kid that still does our place kicking.
    By the way if we have to use Trotter at any time you gonna be surprised at how damn good that kid runs the AU offense. What would happen if Thomas get’s knocked out?
    Oregon will score but not often as so many think. On the other hand, Auburn will score at will. The only team to stop Auburn has been Auburn. Guess what? Auburn ain’t playing Auburn it’s just the lil ol rubber duckies we gonna stomp the shit out of. Gonna be a dark Knight in Eww-jean for ol fillup (the coffers). Guess fill nite will be calling his play as usual? Even diagramming it for some ass kissing friends? Talkin bout buyin players? Fill Nite ownes the whole damned UO. It’s just an advertizing front for nike.
    War Damn Eagle you pac1 homer!

  2. SM January 10, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    To AUman76,

    You guys might win the game tonight, but that is one of the dumbest and most poorly written comments I’ve ever seen on the internet! At least do yourself a favor and learn how to write before you go mouthing off about Auburn this and that! I have no personal vested interest in the game tonight, but I hope Auburn loses just because of idiots like you…

  3. PJ January 10, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Lol. Anyways….

    Normally I’d be very excited about a PAC 10 – SEC matchup and a chance for the SEC to flex its muscle, but I’m nervous about this one. The past 4 national champion SEC teams have won the game with overwhelming defense. This game will be different in that sense, and thus it’s harder to foresee an Auburn rout. I’m still siding with Auburn though because they just have this feeling of a team of destiny. The Alabama comeback was just amazing and I don’t think they’ll fall behind like that in this game.

  4. ty January 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    37 – 31 Oregon

    slow start , but both teams will be humming in the second half

  5. AUman76 January 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    FU and go read thayer evans if you wanna see poorly written bullshit. While you’re at it look at most of the stupid crap HP writes. He flip flops more often than a fish outta water. I didn’t write it for you to like, I wrote it to piss off the dick wads like you. Don’t care who you root for. Auburn doesn’t need nor do we want band wagon fans. “All IN” or get the hell out is how the Auburn family feels. WDE!

  6. fred January 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Pay no attention to the AU76 dude. He writes like the typical Auburn fan who graduated magna cum laude from the “Directed Reading” class exposed by the NY Times a few years back. (too bad they don’t have a directed writing curriculum on the plains)
    Much has been made of Auburn’s come from behind 28-27 win at Bama, but little has been said about the bundle of good fortune that went Auburn’s way in order for that to happen. While a little luck is necessary to win the championship, how many times have you seen a guy like Mark Ingram fumble at the 10 yard line going in, his second fumble in 613 carries, and the ball roll 15 yards right down the sideline and into the endzone to be recovered by Auburn. Did you see Trent Richardson, with a knee brace due to recent injury and obviously limited, drop at touchdown pass on the goal line and cause a field goal try, or Mark Baron try to strip the ball from Adams right before half and tear a pectoral muscle allowing Adams to score and make it 24-7, or Baron come back out after half, taped up thinking he could play effectively, only to go for an easy interception on the 2nd play after half, and finding he couldn’t raise his right arm, gave them an easy 70 yard touchdown instead of a interception? With 8 minutes left, Julio returns a kickoff and gets kicked in the knee accidentally by the kicker, and at the end of the game McElroy suffers a concussion after a tackle by the smallest guy on the field, and ends up on the bench with receivers Julio and Hanks, when Bama only needs to get in field goal range to win. Yes, luck is entirely necessary, but Auburn has been living off luck for most of the season. They won 4 games by a total of 10 points (Kentucky, Miss.State, Clemson & Bama), and managed to hurt 5 different qb’s (Clemson, Arkansas, Georgia, Bama, and both LSU starters), 4 of those very intentionally. Don’t buy into the bs that they are the champs of the big bad s.e.c. so they are already the BCS champs. Their defense is full of holes, and the secondary is division 2 at best. Newton is an incredible athlete, but between the ears, he’s 10 years old, and Fairley is maybe 5. It took a documented 7 grade changes from high school to even get him in college. Don’t get me wrong, Fairley is a physical tackle, but his real expertise is playing after the whistle, not before. The fact that AU coaches have allowed that, and even encouraged it, is downright disgusting. Chop block the guy a few times and make him think about his own future career, and it will make a difference, guaranteed. I should be pulling for Auburn and the SEC, but wtf, I’ve seen your cheerleaders! Go Ducks!

  7. cliff January 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    there goes the fool who calls himself AUman76 again, with some more of that inbred “all in” family crap again. Do you know what a toothpick is?
    A perfect example of the Auburn family tree.

  8. AUman76 January 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    Hey drop dead Fred,
    Are you old enough to remember that movie?
    If not you don’t know shit about real football.
    Maybe you need to check your list of excuses and add this one…AUBURN is better than bammer. If we hadn’t been we wouldn’t have made a comeback from 24-0 on anyone much less the so called more talented bammer team. McTackletoy was only out for one series and the game was over. The turds had already quit due to the beat down that put all those pussies you mentioned on the bench. Take a look at what Ingram didn’t do two years in a row against Auburn’s D. Less than a 100 yards combined matter of fact less than 80 yards in two tries. Richardson wasn’t much better. Oregon should know about luck considering they had the good fortune of playing a sissy ass pac1 schedule and the OOCS wasn’t any better than Auburns so stop whining. WDE!

  9. AUman76 January 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    To all the haters, Auburn 22 Oregon 19,WDE!
    Thanks for the site HP and the opportunity to talk crap and a lil football. All BS aside great game and congrats to the ducks for showing up. That’s what college football is all about. This is what the SEC prepares our teams for and why we prevail in the big game.
    Nobody thoyght our defense could do what it just did but the score board doesn’t lie.
    Take care all…even the folks that don’t like me or my team. No hate here just good ol’ fashion fun. Game and season is over time to sign a few new kids and get ready for sping football.
    Once again Chris, thanks for lettin us have free reign to say what on our minds be it right or wrong.

  10. Bucknut January 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Great game! Was hoping it would go to overtime cause I didn’t want it to end. Great officiating to. Got all the calls right. I would definitely put the game in the top 3 of National Championship Games in the BCS.
    1. Ohio State vs Miami (obviously biased but it was a double OT thriller)
    2. Texas vs. USC
    3. Auburn vs Oregon
    And Auburn might have been lucky this year but sometimes you need a little luck on your side, and they were a team of destiny like my Luckeyes in 02. Great teams will have them squeek out games. So I know you all want to give AUman76 a hard time but he’s just a passionate fan like the rest of us, and he’s entitled to his opinions. So congrats AUman76 and take it easy on THE (not duh) OSU. Don’t stay up to late now. Another great year of college football. Sad when it comes to an end. Take care all.

  11. TomTom January 11, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Why did the ground crew use green tostitos chips covered in teflon instead of grass for the game tonight? The playing surface was borderline unplayable and the players couldn’t make any sharp cuts or even run at top speed. Players were slipping and falling down on every play. It made what should have been a high scoring offensive shootout into a low scoring boring game. I seriously thought Auburn’s kicker was going to slip and fall on the game winning kick. The players and the fans deserved better than this and the Fiesta Bowl deserves serious criticism for this atrocity.

  12. AUman76 January 11, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    lol…thanks Bucky. I got a lil more enegry to use then off to bed. Ummmm maybe I’ll save that last gasp of air for the bedroom. Might as well get lucky one more time! lmao But I love sayin duhOSU. Look, at least I used caps this time. That turf was awful. They should never replace the sod 6 days befor a game. The old grass or dirt would have been more safe. We lost a DB on the opening kick-off to the sorry turf. His leg collasped when he tried to plant and cut to make a tackle.
    Now what do we do till signing day? I hat roundball. Spring game is only about three months away. That’s about the same time period as the wait for this game.
    Bucky let em give me hell that’s like a cheer from the home folks. lol

    TomTom, I agree the field was terrible and it did what no other teams have been able to do slow down two fine offenses. It also caused both teams a few problems on D. No worries for next year, it’s in the Super Dome.

  13. AUman76 January 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    hey cliff…..go fall off one. Nah not really but you get the idea of my opinion of your opinion.
    Inbread? Son how long you bake it?
    Toothpick? Yeah that’s what your woman told me you have.
    Next question?
    Now play nice or HP gonna put us in timeout. Speakin of timeout…if Les Miles new how to use one he may be the new Michigan coach right now. Now then that last line connects all this too football talk. War Damn Eagle and good evenin cliffie.

  14. Dave January 13, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Hey UA, what’s your over/under on the date NCAA makes Auburn its first death penalty case since SMU? 24 months?

  15. AUman76 January 14, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    who you talkin to dave? who’s ua? No bammer in this chat unless it’s you. If you’re talkin to me it’s Auburn University so it’s AU. Take a look at our logo..the A is in front of the U signifying Auburn University. By the way AU is #38 on the list of top public uni’s in the nation.
    Whether or not you talkin to me I’m talkin to you. Never that’s when. If anyone were to get it again bammer would have already been under fried. DuhOSU (sorry Bucknut)has got by with crap for years as has both UT’s and ND ain’t no damn Saint. USC, UCLA and others out west cheat yearly. All the florida schools are dirt bags but the ncaa wants the money they bring in from that talent rich state.
    The SEC is top dog so we get more scrutiny just as USC got nailed during it’s last run.
    I know a few thangs bout the situation you don’t so I ain’t worried. That’s why I run my big mouth. I know we keeping all the hardware. By the way the ncaa will never and I mean never hand out the death penalty to anyone again. They can’t afford to piss off the big boys again. They will tell the ncaa to f off and star a new association run by their own. They almost went that far once before when the came up with the CFA. You keep talkin the talk while I’m walkin the walk. Auburn 22 ducks 19.

  16. AUman76a January 17, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I give us less than 3 months until the FBI fully indite Milton McGregor and announce links between himself, the AU athletic department, Terry Bowden, and Gene Chiznik…Nuff said.

  17. AUman76 January 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    hey HP you deleting posts now? If so take your site and shove it homer boy.

  18. HP January 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    As long as you guys play nice and don’t use profanity, it’s cool. But I will delete posts that ruin a thread.

  19. AUman76 January 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    fair enough but how about puttin a stop to people like AUman76a from hiding behind someone else’s screen name and making posts?
    That’s what draws my ire. I could care less what his opinion is but don’t state em using my name or a name so similar!

  20. AUman76 January 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Been back to your favorite site huh a?