Tonight is the BCS National Championship in College Football and it’s truly a toss-up between the Pac-10 Champion Oregon Ducks and the SEC Champ Auburn Tigers.
Auburn has Heisman Trophy winner Cameron Newton at quarterback and a standout on defense in lineman Nick Fairley. Oregon is the led by their combo of RB LaMichael James and QB Darron Thomas, who helped the Ducks put up nearly 50 points per game. These are two prolific offenses and it’s shaping up to be a shootout.
Winning the turnover battle along with whichever defense and special teams unit can make a game-changing play could decide the outcome here. Both teams entered the season outside the Top 10 in the preseason polls, so neither was expected to get this far, and ecah has overcome some adversity, rallying in the fourth quarter for some victories, especially Auburn. And some could make the argument that the nation’s best team is not playing in this game as last year’s Champion Alabama was very impressive in its bowl thrashing of Michigan State, and likewise for TCU, who finished undefeated and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, as well as Stanford, which took care of business in convincing fashion against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
But it’s Oregon and Auburn, two unbeaten teams that have put up outstanding numbers and navigated its way through some challenging tests to reach the title game in Glendale, Arizona.
In the end, I like…
Pick: Oregon 38, Auburn 34
It’s shaping up to be another exciting Saturday of College Football action with plenty of good games on the slate – highlighted by #1 and defending National Champion Alabama visiting #10 Arkansas along with Stanford taking on Notre Dame and capped in the evening with Oregon State versus Boise State on the Blue Smurf Turf in one of the more interesting West Coast games of the year to date.
So far some early thoughts…
It’s the first quarter and Arkansas already leads Alabama 7-0 in the first quarter with the ball. Looks like my Upset Pick of the Year in College Football isn’t looking too bad (I had Arkansas not only +7.5 but winning outright 34-28 over the Tide). Ryan Mallett drove the Razorbacks offense right down the field for a touchdown, taking up only 50 seconds in two plays, while Alabama went 3 and out. This game is far from over though because I expect the Tide defense to adjust and the run game with Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to get going, plus Greg McElroy to strike for a couple big plays through the air to Julio Jones, who could be the next Michael Irvin once he gets to the pros.
Other games of note… how about NC State today against Georgia Tech? Quarterback Russell Wilson is only about 5-foot-11 and not an NFL prospect, but the Al Groh coached defense of the Yellow Jackets made him look like Michael Vick. Wilson is shredding defenses apart, including Cincinnati last week, and the Wolf Pack certainly appear to be a darkhorse candidate to win the average-at-best ACC this year. NC State also deserves to be ranked, somewhere in that 21-25 range, when the next polls come out. Wilson threw for a career-high 368 yards and 3TD’s (so maybe he was closer to Drew Brees than Vick today) as they put up a very impressive 45 points on Ga. Tech.
Michigan’s offense was sensational too, albeit agaisnt a Bowling Green team that isn’t all that strong. The Wolverines torched the Falcons for 65 points in a game where Heisman front-runner Denard Robinson was injured.
… Back later with more thoughts!!