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: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:02 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Final Score: Oregon 52, Auburn 17

If Auburn loses by 35 points I will cut off my foot and mail it to you via USPS Parcel Post.



Hey RaiderDuck, Thanks for the Laugh.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:00 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Fallonia: Interesting how you managed to completely sidestep my point about Oregon being the superior team. Now, one can hardly blame Auburn: they're in the SEC, so the level of competition isn't the best, and they're from a state (Alabama) known primarily for tractor pulls and...and...I don't know, something-or-other.
Bottom line: Auburn was able to coast through a mediocre-to-average SEC, while Oregon had to earn everything in the toughest conference in the nation, the Pac-10. Unlike Auburn, Oregon didn't pay Cam Newton to come play, and then count on the SEC's buddies in the NCAA to deep-six the investigation. Oregon hasn't had the benefit of 24/7 media ass-kissing like Auburn has.
Oregon is the superior team; pretty much everyone has acknowledged this. The only question is whether Oregon will be able to defeat four opponents at once: Auburn, the media, the NCAA refs and Auburn's culture of paid "ringers."

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:50 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Oregon - 38
Auburn - 30

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:46 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

awwww raiderduck has to turn to pathetic grammar slams...  shoulda stuck with calling my out on my mistake of putting acc instead of pac10..  but now you just look like a tool...  its the internet..  you know where to stick your edits

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:35 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

There are probably 3 or 4 Mountain West teams could have won the Big East this year.

The Big East was definitely down this year, but let's not get carried away...there are not 3 or 4 MWC teams that could have won the BE...

Besides TCU, Utah is the only team that could lay claim.  Air Force, BYU, and San Diego State (all tied for 3rd in the MWC at 5-3) do not have even one quality out of conference win between them.  They would fit right in with the middle-of-the-pack BE teams.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:34 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

HAHAHA. Thanks for the laugh. Seriously, when will you SEC people get that the SEC is NOT the be-all and end-all of College Football. I know you like to think that because the media kisses the SEC's ass 24/7, but it's simply not the case.
Final Score: Oregon 52, Auburn 17
P.S.: The Ducks are from the Pac-10, not the ACC. Please get your facts correct.
P.P.S.: If you want people to believe that you actually do attend Auburn (or any other institute of higher learning, for that matter), please learn how to spell "straight" and "enjoy" correctly, and how to properly conjugate the singular and plural forms of nouns along with their corresponding verbs (i.e. "Beat any your lack of competition school"). Proper comma usage would also be helpful. That is all.

Since: Oct 10, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:17 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

We'll see, Chip Kelly is a master at adjustments. Oregon is the best coached team in College football, and that is the difference in my opinion. 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:12 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Man, can't wait until all is said and done, guess if I had to pick, I would samy Cam Newton would be able to run up the score, but there's a catch, haven't seen a team really be able to stop Oregon's offense.  However, I have seen teams be able to stop an offense where the plays are surrounded by one person.  Guess people forgot what happened to the Miami team in 2002 when McGahee got hurt on a pretty crappy play.  Man, I just hope the game is close and if the Ducks win, then all you Auburn fans will have a nice helping of Crow on all the blogs, so be prepared and don't complain if you lose.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:09 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

TCU is NOT "going into a conference that is a little tougher." There are probably 3 or 4 Mountain West teams could have won the Big East this year. TCU isn't moving to the Big East for competitive reasons; they're moving because it's a much easier path to an automatic BCS game. They'll have an easier time going winning the Big East and have a guaranteed BCS game every season. Not a bad deal for them really.
We're just crowning paper champions until we have a playoff.

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:03 pm

BCS championship game prediction blog

Sorry folks, but your hate of the SEC isnt going to prevent Auburn from being the Nations 5th strait SEC National Champ!  Facts are facts and the precious ACCs Ducks prolly looks so good due to the fact that they unlinke Auburn do not play a top 10 team 6 weeks out of the year.  Hell the worst Vols squad in 20 years held your lovely ducks down for one half.  Your only hope from here on out is that the SEC itself prevents one of their teams from going lossless and you pansies who only play 3 top 25 teams a year can have your free title claim.  Fact of the matter is that on any given year a 3 loss SEC team could beat any of your lack of competition school.  Emjoy the show!  Better luck next year!

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