Tuesday, January 11, 2011
AUBURN 22, OREGON 19
If you thought this game (which had an over/under of 75) would feature 41 total points, a game winning field goal, 2 goal line stops, and the same number of turnovers as touchdowns, you should consider quitting your day job and betting sports for a living. This game wasn't the shootout predicted by the experts, but it was just as exciting.
And the big difference was Auburn's defense. Their line was able to come up with some huge plays, like a safety, like a goal-line stand, like pressure that resulted in an interception, and so on.
I think Auburn's rigorous SEC schedule prepared them for such a tight contest. In that league, especially in their division, you have to be able to win tough games against good opponents. Repeatedly.
Oregon averaged a 30.9 point margin of victory this season. Auburn averaged an 18.2 margin, which was inflated by a few blowout wins. The Tigers played 5 games decided by 7 points or less. Oregon played in 1 such game. That might make Oregon sound better, but in hindsight, it makes Auburn seem more capable of winning close games. At the very least, they came in with more experience in them.
It's not that Oregon choked in this close game, just that Auburn didn't play with anxiety in that last drive.
This is the 5th straight BCS title for the SEC, and their 7th overall. Don't forget, Auburn went 13-0 in 2004 and were excluded from the BCS title game, so it's almost like #8 for the SEC.
It was a great end to another interesting and thrilling season. Auburn's schedule was full of instant classics, and they deserve their Championship. There were a few loose ends, with an undefeated TCU team floating around. "Power conferences" like the Big East and ACC downright sucked this season. And radical realignment of all conferences seems to be on the horizon.
Ultimately, I'm happy that the stupid, jersey changing team from Eugene has one set of apparel they'll probably never don again.
This guy must feel like an idiot.
Although he's probably felt like an idiot before.