Well, we’re here. 34 bowls after we started, we have finally arrived at the National Championship Game. And after gems like the Humanitarian Bowl and the Capital One Bowl, as well as slaughters in the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, who can wait?! Ironically, despite the fact that this is the only game since December 4th that’s mattered, this will be a pretty short post by my standards, as there’s only one game to preview. Don’t worry, the excruciating posts you can read aloud to put unruly children to sleep shall return at season’s end. For now, however, let’s take a look at the big show!
January 10, 2011
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
#2 Oregon vs. #1 Auburn
How they got here: By being undefeated teams from major conferences, because there’s no way that an undefeated team from a minor conference could hope to stick with a conference champion from a major conference! Wait a minute…
Should I watch this game: If you actually asked yourself this, go away. Find a blog more your speed. Here’s one.
Blogger’s Pick: Oregon. The Ducks are, for obvious reasons, known for their prolific offense. 1st in the country, nearly 50 points per game, blah blah blah. You know the friggin’ drill. Auburn and Oregon are pretty danged similar, as you know if you’ve watched anything about this game on any sports network. The lone big edge that either team has is in scoring defense, where the Ducks place 12th. Each team runs the ball well, with rushing offense ranks of 4th for OU and 5th for the Tigers. It is important to note, however, that both teams also rank in the top 15 in rush defense, with Oregon at 15th and Auburn at 11th. Both sides’ defenses play against running spread teams in practice, so that makes sense.
The noticeable statistical difference (aside from scoring, which isn’t a bad stat, but it’s not super reliable) lies in passing defense: Oregon ranks 56th, compared to Auburn’s 105th. Neither team passes well, but if Oregon’s defense is able to shut down Cam Newton on the ground, then Auburn will have to go to their 67th ranked air attack. Oregon should also have trouble going to the ground against Auburn’s strong rush D, but the Ducks’ passing attack is more well-suited as a fall-back plan than Auburn’s. Throw in the fact that Oregon’s defense is pretty much a stone wall in the 4th quarter, and you have a recipe to send that ugly crystal football to the Pacific Northwest.
That’s all for the previews. Stay tuned for the various “year in review” articles on this and every other college football blog on the face of the planet! (PS: Bowl predictions stand at 24-10 with one more game to go!)