Tag Archives: auburn tigers

Auburn Deserves Its Title, But The Game Deserves A Better Result

The BCS title game was settled, but who was really the nest team in the country?

I know you want some venom for the SEC especially after winning their 5th straight national championship in a 22-19 thrilling victory by Auburn over Oregon. Unfortunately I have none for you… well I do and I don’t.

I don’t because it was the designated BCS title game and Auburn and Oregon were fair participants in the game by winning all of the games on their schedule. I also hold no venom because I am happy that Cam Newton came out on top of all of the controversy and criticism that surrounded him and his father Cecil and the pay for play scandal.

Newton through it all stood tall and had great poise and presence in dealing with the media who were like vultures waiting for a new development in the story and for Newton to crack. Instead of cracking he responded with legendary performances like leading that second half comeback in Tuscaloosa to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl to even have a shot in the title game.

Newton’s play on the field was more than worthy of his Heisman trophy win and the BCS national championship. While Oregon’s defense held him in check running the ball Newton won the game with his arm going 20-34 for 265 yards and two scores. While he wasn’t effective on the ground he got key first downs in the fourth quarter, which kept Oregon’s offense off of the field.

Even after his fumble that led to an Oregon score Newton came out and led the Tigers on their game-winning drive (aided nicely by freshman Michael Dyer who had a huge game and won the offensive MVP) without a sweat. Newton was not shaken by any obstacle thrown his way this entire season and deserved to win the title as compensation for his work.

In addition to Newton, how about the great play of Nick Fairley? Fairley was the defensive player of the game as he dominated Oregon’s offensive

Nick Fairley was a beast for Auburn.

line and held the Ducks running attack to under 100 rushing and LaMichael James to only 47. Fairley positioned himself as the possible number one overall pick in the draft with this performance and Carolina would be fools not to pick him.

The main reason Auburn won was not Fairley or Newton however, it was the fact that Oregon left points on the field o

n two possessions that will haunt Chip Kelly all offseason. The first was in the first quarter in the red zone when Darron Thomas was blitzed and threw an errant pass that was picked off by Demond Washington. It came when Oregon’s confusing offense was getting to Auburn and could’ve set the tone for the Ducks in a quarter when the Ducks defense was holding Newton and company in check.

The second came in the third quarter after a brilliant fake punt followed by a 30 yard completion from Thomas to Lavasier Tuinei. The Ducks had four tries inside the two yard line and came away with no points. Their inability to run the ball was evident Kenjon Barmer tried to run between the tackles and was stuffed for no gain as had been the case all night.

Those two possessions all but doomed the Ducks. They proved that they could run with the tigers but coming away empty handed two times in the red zone absolutely murdered them.

(Side note: why didn’t Chip Kelly try running outside the tackles? Oregon proved that it was just as fast as the Tigers yet Kelly never took advantage of his team’s speed and have Barmer or James try to hit the corners and take off. They played into the hands of Auburn’s defense by trying to get between the tackles and run. When that didn’t work they then put the game in Thomas’s hands who put up numbers but looked very shaky at times.)

So there you have it Auburn wins in a great title game that we should all be proud of and that was entertaining for everyone involved. Everyone’s happy end of story and close this puppy up… well…

Now here’s the part where you call me a hater, cry-baby and a punk, fair warning. There was a point in the third quarter where Auburn couldn’t get that extra push and put Oregon away though they were limiting their offense and moving the ball on their defense. At about the five minute mark of the quarter I looked at the guy next to me at the bar and said, “You think TCU is sitting at home going we could beat both of these teams?” He of course argued in the typical SEC, they’re the toughest, blah blah blah .Well that’s what I and many people across the country thought while watching a game that for the most part was dull and provided no secure closure for deciding who the national champ is, and that’s a problem.

Last year when Alabama beat Texas you knew from watching the game that Alabama was the best team in the country. The same thing goes for Florida in their 24-14 win over Oklahoma two years ago. I didn’t get that sense with Auburn. Did they win? Yes. However, I’m not satisfied with the result of them being the national champion because I don’t think they are the best team in the country.

I feel as though TCU, Wisconsin, Stanford, Alabama, Oklahoma and Boise State could all beat Auburn and I say that with a straight face. Auburn

After watching the title game TCU has a good case for being the best team in the country.

was not that impressive; they had various opportunities to put Oregon away and threw every opportunity away and let Oregon hang around. Good teams put their opponents to sleep and the Tigers were unable to do so.

Furthermore there is an undefeated team left in TCU who after beating a physical team in Wisconsin is sitting home undefeated and in my opinion deserves a fair shot at the national championship (you know where this is going.). If this game and result isn’t a clear indication that we need a playoff then I don’t know what is.

To me if Auburn couldn’t score on Oregon’s small and confusing defense then what would they do when faced with TCU’s faster and more physical defense? How would Nick Fairley fare against Wisconsin’s monstrous offensive line opening holes for all three of their running backs? Could they stop Oklahoma’s more sophisticated aerial assault? Or how about if Andrew Luck had time to throw on that weak secondary, what would happen? I think in every scenario they would get beat.

This was Auburn’s first game against an actual tough non-conference opponent (no Chattanooga and at home to a weak Clemson team doesn’t count) and they weren’t that impressive. I walked away from this game wanting more than what I got and I won’t have a chance to get it.

Unfortunately the BCS has too much money tied into the current system and they think the bowl system is what’s good for the tradition of the game (yes because there is so much tradition in the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl and the Little Caesar’s Bowl.) so it won’t happen anytime in the near future. That means that next year if Boise State, Oregon and Alabama all finish undefeated and Alabama beats Oregon 6-3 while Boise whips it up on Texas in the Fiesta Bowl guess what? Yep, more dissatisfaction.

This is the worst system in sports and will continue to be so unless we get a proper way of deciding a national champion that is satisfying to all involved. Once again a school is screwed and the viewer is not happy with the result but it is what it is.

The result is Auburn winning the national championship and they deserve it because they did what was asked of them. Cam Newton and company need to apologize to no one for their accomplishments on the field and should enjoy the fruits of their labor. On the flip side we’re still left wondering why there are still two undefeated teams left in college football and why everyone except the BCS thinks this is a bad thing. Could TCU beat Auburn? I don’t know, too bad we can’t find out and get the satisfaction the game needs and deserves.


The Sad And Painful Reality Of Boise State Football

Kellen Moore watches Boise go from National title contender, to just another small school.

I watched a dream die tonight. I watched a season of high expectations, hopes and dreams go up in flames due to what can only be described as $#!! happens.

I watched a program go from the penthouse to the outhouse, from destiny to the dirt roads. I watched a team who had dreams of being one of the greats and becoming a trendsetter for the next generation of college football turn into just another small conference team.

Yep… tonight I witnessed the final night of the movement that was the Boise State Broncos drive for national respect… and the way it ended is so gut-wrenching and cold that it makes me cringe with every tap of my keys.

First and foremost give credit to the Nevada Wolfpack; they won this game Boise State didn’t lose it. Nevada fought off a 24-7 deficit by bringing its vaunted running attack back from the dead with a 239 yard second half. Colin Kaepernick capped off a stellar career by leading his team back from the dead one last time on senior night in Reno and murdering Boise State’s BCS dreams.

Those dreams are the subject of debate that Boise will once again never have the chance of realizing.

Teams like the one that Boise fielded are once in a lifetime for mid-major programs. UNLV had it in 1990 with Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony and Stacy Augmon for the basketball program. Butler’s basketball program just had it with Gordon Haywood, Matt Howard and Ronald Nored, and Boise had it with a roster full of guys that will play on NFL Sundays from Titus Young to Austin Pettis and even D.J. Martin. They had Kellen Moore who if not for the amazing Cam Newton, would be a shoe in for the Heisman. They had Chris Petersen who is one of the top 5 coaches in America who turned this program into somewhat of a power.

Colin Kaepernick and Nevada won the game just as much as Boise lost it.

Yes they played in the WAC conference which is low on star power and good competition. The likes of San Jose State, Idaho and Wyoming don’t strike fear into anyone’s hearts. However, like most good teams they destroy lesser competition without a sweat leaving no room for error.

When they do get their shots at the big boys (which are few and far in between due to fear of losing to the Broncos) they have proven their worth. They swept a home and home versus Oregon, beat Oklahoma, physically dominated Virginia Tech 4 hours away from Blacksburg in a “Neutral Site” game and beating fellow BCS buster TCU in the Fiesta Bowl last year.

They have proven time and time again that they are not a mid-major program; rather they are a growing power akin to Gonzaga or the aforementioned Butler Bulldogs in college basketball. They belong in the conversation of the national title much like Oregon and Auburn and others though many people are still skeptical of their talent level and level of competition.

Then comes nights like tonight. Nights where Boise State is subject to the same kind of happenstance as other teams in other conferences but since they play in the WAC the microscope is so much brighter. Losing to Nevada, no matter the record, no matter the circumstance, no matter how underrated Kaepernick or Vai Tuau are unacceptable is unacceptable for the #4 ranked team in the country from a small conference who people are saying should play for a title. For Gordon Gee, Nick Saban and other detractors a loss like this proves their point, no matter how unfair it is, that Boise doesn’t belong with the big boys.

If #4 Ohio State or USC loses to #19 Michigan State or Arizona then it’s no big deal, it’s big time college football, $#!! Happens. However, in the life of the small budget BCS buster, $#!! happens isn’t a reality. $#!! can’t happen. You have to beat everyone no matter the competition and when you don’t, you’re just another little team from a little conference. That’s Boise State’s reality when they wake up tomorrow morning.

They are no longer darlings of the college football world. We know they can play with the best… but they lost to Nevada… Nevada. Within minutes of Kyle Brotzman becoming the new age Scott Norwood, the Broncos went from the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl to the Kraft Hunger Bowl or the Humanitarian Bowl. They were somebody’s, now in an instant they’re that cute little team with that funny blue turf. Life on the D-list.

It was torture the way it happened too. Building a 24-7 lead in the fashion that won them 24 straight games with a quick strike offense and a defense that pushed around Nevada’s o-line. Then they stalled and Nevada came back to tie it up at 24-24. Then with the score 31-31 and overtime eminent, Moore had his Heisman moment; a 50 yard completion to Young who somehow got separation from the secondary and hauled in a prayer. It was over, 25 straight and a win over Utah State away from another BCS game. The Brotzman supplanted Steve Bartman as the biggest goat that sports has seen.

Kyle Brotzman... the new Scott Norwood.

He missed to chip shot field goals in the center of the field, wide left, wide right. Kellen Moore screamed in anguish as the second shot missed and Boise was on the ropes. Then Nevada’s walk-on kick Anthony Martinez did what Brotzman couldn’t, he ended the game by hitting a dead center 35 yarder… and ended the Boise State dream.

I have no ties to Boise, I just wanted the establishment of college football to be shaken, I wanted it to be blown up, and I wanted the little guy to prove that they belong just as much as the big boys and I was sure that this was the team to do it. they had it all, the QB, the coach, the players and the fear of every major conference foe… and in two seconds it was gone. Now Boise State is no better than Hawaii, SMU or… well… Nevada.

Sure TCU is still there, and they will be in a BCS game after they finish 12-0 this Saturday. However, if they play in the BCS title game it won’t feel the same. Boise was a dream team, the chosen team to upset the established order. They started with Oklahoma, progressed to another level by beating Virginia Tech and they were supposed to be the team that reached the mountain top of the BCS. Yet after Friday night in Reno reality sets back in as they get ready for the Aggies on Saturday next week. They’re just another team.

I know they’re better than LSU, Wisconsin, UCONN or any other major conference team that’ll play in a BCS game. They showed what they can do on the national stage. But they lost to Nevada in a cold night in little Reno, Nevada. That’s all that matters. Not that Nevada is 11-1, not that they have the most potent rushing offense in the league, but because they’re Nevada. You don’t lose to Nevada if you beat Virginia Tech and Oregon. That’s the way it is, and that’s why Boise State is once again just another mid-major.