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Auburn, Newton look to give the BCS its money’s worth

Despite heated debates this season about non-automatic qualifiers, Texas Christian University and Boise State University deserve a shot at the College Football National Championship, the stage has now been set for a match up between two traditional big conference powers. Number one Auburn University and Number two the University of Oregon will face off on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Az. to determine who will be crowned as the national champion.

For Auburn, the BCS Championship Game will represent a chance at redemption not only for the program, who saw their arch rival the University of Alabama win the national championship last year, but also for their star quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite, Cam Newton. Newton’s all-star season has been bombarded in recent months with allegations of his father Cecil reaching out to various universities across the Southeastern Conference in an attempt to receive upwards of $150,000 for his son’s skills as a football player.

Despite this pay-to-play scandal, Auburn has managed to remain undefeated in arguably the toughest NCAA conference in all of Div. I football.

On the other side of the ball is the Oregon Ducks. They have also had a spectacular season, devastating opponents throughout the Pac-10 conference. Some of their more impressive victories include a 60-13 romp of the University of California at Los Angeles and a 52-31 beating of Number 4 Stanford University. The secret of Oregon’s success seems to be their explosive offense, which has posted over 40 points in 10 games this season.

There can be no doubt that Oregon’s schedule was not as strong as Auburn’s and the biggest question coming into this game will be if a team coming from a weaker Pac-10 conference will be able to handle a battle tested Southeastern Conference Champion. Certainly the Pac-10 has proven its ability to win championships in the past. However, the last four BCS National Champions have all been part of the SEC conference.

This match-up should make for an excellent game given the strengths and weaknesses of these teams. Auburn has relied heavily on Newton’s ability as a playmaker. This season they have fallen behind by double-digit points in several games, forcing their offense to rely on Newton’s ability to make big plays in the late stages of the game.

Defensively, Auburn has a very weak secondary which may open the door for Oregon’s powerhouse offense. Oregon, on the other hand, will have to find a way to contain Newton’s ability to use both the pass and the run to generate offense.

Throughout this season he has proven his ability to both pass over the heads of defensive secondaries and run right over opposing linebackers.

In the end, this game will come down to Oregon’s ability to expose Auburn’s weak secondary and Cam Newton’s ability to make plays against a fairly mediocre Oregon Ducks defense.

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