Saturday, January 08, 2005

No, Auburn, it's not your title

I would like this entry to serve as a response to "Rob" the person who posted the following comment about why I thought Auburn didn't deserve a share of college football's national championship (10 things I realized in Miami).

1 Comment:
Rob said...
Reasons why Auburn is the NCAA National Champion
* Beat then-No. 5 LSU, the undefeated defending national champions.
* Beat then-No. 10 Tennessee, in Knoxville by 24 points.
* Beat then-No. 8 Georgia in 24-6 slaughter.
* Beat, for a second time, the SEC West champions Tennessee in the SEC
* Beat No. 9 Virginia Tech, a team on an eight-game winning streak, in a
pressure-packed, everybody's watching bowl game.
* Proven they are the best team in the SEC and the ACC, the NCAA's top
football conferences.
* Has the 5th best total defense in the NCAA, ahead of No. 6 USC and No. 7

Comment away at


First of all, that's great that they beat four then-top-10 teams. Georgia did finish the year sixth in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll and seventh in the AP poll and BCS standings. Other than that, Auburn's other tough opponent that Rob pointed out was ACC champ Virginia Tech, who USC also beat this season (and by more than just three points, might I add). And to say that Auburn beat them in a pressure-packed, everybody's watching bowl game: hey Rob, ALL BOWLS ARE PRESSURE-PACKED FOR THE TEAMS INVOLVED!!! And who defines "everybody's watching" when the Sugar Bowl rated below the Orange Bowl this year?
As for Tennessee, they finished the year at 15 in the BCS after ending their season with a win the Cotton Bowl to a Texas A&M team that quite frankly wouldn't have beaten most junior high teams. They were also 15th in the Coaches poll but did manage to earn the 12th spot in the AP poll.
Then there's LSU, who Rob identified as the undefeated defending national champions. While they did finish 11th in the BCS, both the Coaches and AP polls had them at 16. And one key reason they had decent season they did was in large part thanks to Oregon State place-kicker Alexis Serna, who missed three extra points - the third would have tied the game instead of giving LSU the slim 22-21 victory.
Good for Auburn for beating those tough teams. In all seriousness, that's tough to do. But what about those "week's off" they took when they played teams like Louisiana Monroe (5-6 in the Sun Belt conference), Louisiana Tech (6-6 in the WAC), the SEC's red-headed stepchild football team Kentucky (2-9), and let's not forget The Citadel (a Division I-AA team). National champions don't beat up on "little brother" teams. Why not schedule a game against a local high school instead?
By the way, are we talking about the same Auburn that lost to USC (at home) in last season's opener 23-0? Just checking.
And yes, Auburn does have a good defense, a better statistical total defense than both OU and USC according to Rob, but let's look at the offense of 'SC compared to Auburn and see what we find, shall we?
This is a USC offense that has put up at least 35 points in 20 games over the past two seasons. This is an offense that finished No. 7 in the nation scoring 38.2 points per game, compared to Auburn's 32.1 (they finished down the list at No. 19).
Auburn was a good football team this year. They won their conference. Good for them. That's it. They didn't win the BCS title nor the AP title. They didn't win. Tough. I'm not saying I love the BCS, because I don't. I think it sucks. I think there should have been a way for 'SC to prove to any and all doubters that they would have beated Auburn if given the opportunity.
Auburn didn't exactly crush Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, either. If it weren't for several crucial Virgina Tech mistakes, we wouldn't even be having this argument. Auburn was lucky to get out of New Orleans with a win. After squeaking by Virginia Tech 16-13, don't come begging the AP voters for a share of the title. I don't care that you had a 16-00 lead. It was barely enough. You didn't see USC give up 30 more points to OU after taking a 55-10 lead just because they had the points to spare. The Trojans closed them out. Auburn almost didn't.
And, honestly, do any Auburn fans truly think that the Tigers would have pulled it off, especially after watching what was considered a dynamite OU team get absolutely destroyed by the Trojans in what Rob could truly call a "pressure-packed, everybody's watching" game. It was 55-19, and the last nine points OU scored were pity points given up by second and third stringers.
55-19, Rob. After the game, every announcer in America described USC as being in a league of their own. Last I checked, Auburn wasn't included in that league, a league of national champions.
Fight on, 'SC!
Oh, and Rob. I am responding to your comments on my blog because the link you left me didn't work, so I do hope you get a chance to read this and understand that I'm happy Auburn had a good season, but I have absolutely no sympathy for them.

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