Okm so what did I miss? Well after taking a sabbatical, I return on the eve of Alaba...wait AUBURN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RUN? A season that we entered into with all kinds of certainties, ended with some of the most uncertainties that we have had in a long time
First, when have you ever seen two teams with such mundane defenses compete for the national championship? Not a knock against them, but facts are facts. The Pac-10 is well, the Pac-10, and I was in person for the Iron Bowl. So how does one like myself analyze a game that have teams with similar strengths and weaknesses? It isn’t that difficult. I believe as an unbiased observer that the Auburn Tigers will become a two-time national champion Monday night.
Why? Well Oregon’s defensive line averages 246 pounds per player, with four defensive linemen. Auburn’s offensive line is averaging about 307 pounds per player, with five offensive linemen. If I add Oregon’s biggest linebacker to its defensive line, just to balance the numbers, Oregon’s defensive line shrinks to 244 pounds per player.
Thus, Oregon is giving up about 59-61 pounds to one of the best offensive lines in the country. I expect Cam Newton to have a big day on the ground, and the Tiger offensive line to move the Duck defensive line pretty easily.
Now let's flip the roles. Oregon averages about 296 pounds per player on the offensive line. Auburn averages about 277 pounds per player on the defensive line, and that’s just FOUR people. If I do what I did above and add Auburn’s biggest linebacker to the line just to make the numbers equal, Auburn does go down to a 269-pound-per-player average.
But when you have two monster linemen in Nick Fairley and Zack Clayton, who both are about 300 pounds a piece, Auburn won’t need too many blitzes from the linebackers. So in essence, Oregon’s advantage is 19 pounds, which isn’t that much of a difference. LaMichael James and company will have to burn the edges to start the game so they have a chance early on.
So Auburn should dominate the battle of the trenches, and I’m predicting that Nick Fairley will be the defensive MVP, wreaking havoc in the backfield. Cam Newton should have holes that are big enough to drive a Mack truck through to win the offensive MVP. But don’t take my word for it, I have NCAA Football 11 on my XBox 360 and simulated the game. Here is what it spit out:
Auburn 27, Oregon 3
First Quarter: C. Newton 40-yard TD pass to P. Lutzenkirchen: Auburn, 7-0
C. Newton 28-yard TD pass to D. Adams: Auburn, 14-0
Second Quarter: W. Byrum 32-yard FG: Auburn, 17-0
M. Fannin 48-yard TD run: Auburn, 24-0
Third Quarter: R. Beard 39-yard FG: Auburn, 24-3
W. Byrum 26-yard FG: Auburn, 27-3
Fourth Quarter: No score
Cam Newton won the “player of the game,” going 13-of-19 for 202 yards with two touchdowns, but ran the ball for minus-seven yards due to a couple of sacks. Auburn out-gained Oregon, 327-115, on offense.
Most importantly, Oregon turned the ball over four times, three for picks. Auburn fumbled once. The only surprising thing is that the simulation didn’t have Cam Newton running the ball a lot, but Gus Malzahn will.
Sorry to my fellow Tide supporters and Duck fans, but the state of Alabama will hoist the crystal football, but this time it will be coated in a sea of blue and orange.