Blog Entry

BCS championship game prediction blog

Posted on: January 9, 2011 7:31 pm

It's the little things in the BCS championship game. It's the little things because we know about the big things.

Figure Cam Newton for 200+ passing and 100+ rushing. Figure LaMichael James for 100+ rushing and a couple of touchdowns. Pencil Nick Fairley in for at least three tackles for loss and a personal four or two. None of that would surprise any of us.

It's the little things.

"I think it is real simple," Auburn's Gene Chizik said. "It is probably 200 years old ... We know that we have an explosive offense. We know that we have the capability of scoring a lot of points. What we'd like to do offensively is keep the football and eat some clock, get some first downs."

About that, Auburn is 86th in time of possession (29:01 per game) but is 11th in first downs (24.31). I'm a big stat guy so I think that's important. It's another indicator that Auburn is more like Oregon offensively than anyone knows. The difference in these two teams offensively is that I think Auburn wants to drive the ball, while Oregon wants to score quickly. Hence, the 79 plays per game. Possessions will have to be valued greatly. I compare it to a tennis match. If you don't score in this game, you lose serve.

I go back to the Oregon's USC game on Halloween. USC had a bye week to prepare for the Ducks' high-flying offense. Lane Kiffin spent a lot of time conditioning the Trojans. They were up to it to the point that USC scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter to go ahead 32-29. Oregon then scored 24 unanswered to win 53-32. Do I think that will happen against Auburn? No. My point is that no matter what happens, Oregon's defense is going to be left on the field for an inordinate amount of time.

The Ducks average 1.76 points per minute of possession but their defense spends more than 32 minutes per game on the field.

For Oregon, gang tackling is going to be key against Cam Newton. The Ducks have six players with at least 25 tackles. Linebacker Casey Matthews is the energy guy (73 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 3 sacks). Corner Cliff Harris (five picks) is the big-play guy. He averages 19.5 yards per punt return and has taken four to the house.

As for Oregon's offense, I suspect Chip Kelly will come out early running the zone read side-to-side with James. That will serve to tire out Auburn's defensive line, which obviously is its strength. When I talked to James following the Oregon State he told me that he -- and the coaches -- favor him getting up field more and using his body. Even though James is only 185, maybe 190, he is one of the hardest hitters in the game when he sticks his nose up in there.

Even though he's got a space-age offense, Kelly will try to manage this game like an NFL coach. Take chances, open it up and try to get out to a lead in the first half. If that happens, look for James running up in the creases to tire out Auburn. There is a line of thinking that Kelly has "hidden" much of the offense down the stretch. Quarterback Darron Thomas hasn't done much running. Look for that to be a factor too with Thomas rolling out with a run-pass option.

"Defensively, we think it is very simple. Again, that's 200 years old," Chizik said. "We've got to definitely stop the run first. We cannot give up the big plays in the secondary."

That's Auburn's biggest weakness. Only 14 teams are worse than Auburn against the pass.

The second half, particularly the fourth-quarter will be key. That sounds simple, but is really the identity of these teams. Oregon has outscored opponents 277-77 in the second half. Auburn has outscored foes 125-48 in the fourth quarter. That begins to explain why each of these teams has eight come-from-behind wins.

The final factor: Which team has the biggest chip on its shoulder? Make that Chip. Oregon has been acting like the team that is here on business. It got to the Valley early. There was scant media availability. We didn't even know Kelly was in town until Friday when he appeared at the mandated media day. The Ducks are still thinking about their performance in last year's Rose Bowl. They weren't physical enough against a quarterback of a similar build as Newton, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor.

Prediction: I thought former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti broke it down perfectly Sunday when he said Auburn runs a Wildcat offense on every play with Newton. Defensive coordinators call a running quarterback a "plus one" because he has to be accounted for on every play -- an extra running back if you will. New Texas coordinator Manny Diaz -- who coached against Newton in his second Auburn game with Mississippi State -- called the quarterback a "plus one and a half."

We've talked about the little things here. Like Chizik said, it's simple. Go with Newton. No one has stopped him yet. I don't think Oregon is going to be the first. Auburn 41, Oregon 31.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 8:51 am

BCS championship game prediction blog

On the off chance anyone ever checks this thread again:
Fallonia: You were right the outcome, obviously. Auburn's massive OL and DL controlled the line of scrimmage and delivered the game for Auburn. I am still not impressed with Cam Newton (his NFL career will probably rank somewhere between JaMarcus Russell's and Chris Weinke's), but Auburn has huge, talented offensive and defensive lines, and that's why they're the National Champs.
ConnGator: This conversation didn't even include you, yet you decided to become totally offended anyway. Lay off already. I can't stand busybody activists...

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2011 8:01 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Gee, am I the only one who feels that RaiderDuck should be leaving one final "eat crow" type post on this thread?  Oh well, we'll all just have to forge on in our lives with more pearls of wisdom from Raider.   

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:47 am

BCS championship game prediction blog

RaiderSuck!!!!  Good call on the game buddy!  Now get ready for middle school in the mornin fool!  51-17?  LmAo!  how many excuses you got now punk?  OBVIOUSLY Oregons the best team in the country..  and the PAC 10 is now 33.3333333%...  6 in a row douchebag!

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:24 am

BCS championship game prediction blog

@ UWDogman....Overated SEC teams? Want to rethink that statement?

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:07 am

BCS championship game prediction blog

Raider, you are so incredibly far off the mark.  I'm not offended at all.  There is no personal motive on my part other than to point out that you were sounding condesending.  It's actually funny that your continued advice to me is just a continuation of what I wrote in my original post.  I did point out that you were a pompous (–adjective 1. characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or imporno personal mtive tance: a pompous minor official.) jerk (Slang . a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.)  

However, in my attempt to be fair and recognizing that I might have been too quick to judge, I went back to the thread to reread the flavour of all the postings to see if I had indeed missed the good natured, pleasant smackfest you thought you were having.  Sorry, but I stand by my original post.  You were taking down to others before I ever posted, you lectured, preached and demeaned others on many fronts.  You might try to reread what you wrote and get a whole new prospective.  Just a suggestion.    

Good luck to your Ducks next year and thanks for playing this year.  Care to make any early guess which SEC team will be in the NCG next year? 

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:50 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Educable:"Capable of being educated"There's your definition. Anything else is what YOU choose to read into it, not what anybody else has said.
As you grow older in life, you will find that it is not a good idea to insult others. The rest of us were having a pleasant smackfest before you decided to insert yourself and further decided to become offended. You need to stop this kind of bullying, bragging behavior, as it will not serve you well in your college years and beyond. Nobody said anything towards you, so there was no need for you to take offense. Yet, you chose to take offense anyway, for some reason. It serves no purpose. Now relax and enjoy the game. Here endeth the lesson.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:32 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog


Thanks for the life advice using your incredible deductive skills to know so much about me with so little input.  Other than seeing that you are somewhat a braggert and bully from severalpost, I really knon little about you and couldn't possibly offer you such wisdom as "relax, have a cheeseburger." 

By the way, no, "educable" is not a compliment!  It is normally used as a medical term to descibe a retarted person that is capable of being "trained" (similar to a dog) to achive a low level of social or physical skills typical of a 9 to 12 year old.  I do apologige if you are a "educable" person and this is your developed level.  Perhaps congratulations are more in order. 

As for smack, "How bout them Ducks?"  Have you noticed that they are losing yet?  And to a lowly SEC team!  

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 8:35 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

ConnGator: You seem very wound up. Relax. Have a cheeseburger. "Educable" is actually a complimentary term, and we're doing a bunch of bullshit smacktalk before the big game. Nobody's taking this seriously (or they shouldn't be, anyway). Don't be so quick to take offense.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 8:26 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog


Dude, you are one of the most pompus jerks I have seen post on these boards.  You make bold statements in a demeaning manner with little or no proof of your bravado boost such as using the word "educable" in response to a fellow poster.  I do understand that you thought that was a clever put down but it rings of either pretense, or possibly, just plain ignorance of the common use of the word.  If you would care to back up any of your Pac10 superiority claims over the SEC you need to state facts, not just talk smack. 

IMO, this should be a good game with a lot of scoring.  If either teams wins by more than 10 points, it will be a shock. 

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 8:25 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Both teams will stumble out of the blocks, because they have not played in a month. Auburn will take the air out of the ball and win 35-17.  Oregon won't get anything rolling until it is too late.

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