It takes a village to raise a national title trophy.

It’s probably just my natural reluctance to proclaim Ted Roof some sort of defensive genius, but this Michael Elkon observation strikes me as being spot on:

… Let’s not get carried away with the claim that this game was a defensive struggle because it finished 22-19.  The teams combined for 975 yards of offense.  Auburn-LSU ‘88 this was not. A related and somewhat contradictory point: this game finished with almost the same score as the Rose Bowl, but in this game, there were 25 possessions and 158 plays, whereas the Rose Bowl featured 16 possession and 116 plays.  See how much can be squeezed into a game when the teams are playing at a fast pace?  Also, these defenses accomplished a lot more than the Rose Bowl defenses did and vice versa for the offenses.

Due to some untimely turnovers and red zone drives that stalled on fourth down calls, there were a lot of points left on the University of Phoenix Stadium field (and wasn’t that a joke).

If anything surprised me, it was the talent gap.  Auburn, which isn’t the most talented team in the SEC, had clear advantages on both lines over Oregon.  I didn’t see a single area where I thought Oregon had an edge in talent.  It’s a tribute to Chip Kelly and his staff that they were able to keep the game as close as it was.  But Auburn had the better players and needed just about every one of them to secure the victory in the end.

So congrats to the Auburn family for the win.  I suspect you’re going to learn in one form or fashion over the next year or so exactly what “All In” means, although I hope there’s no fire where there’s smoke.  College football doesn’t need another scandal.

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88 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football

88 responses to “It takes a village to raise a national title trophy.

  1. JasonC

    Best $180,001 Bobby Lowder ever spent.

    • Vindexdawg

      Exactly so, Jason. Like the Senator says, it takes a Village….so long as the Village has a banker . Congrats to the Auburn Village on securing a 4 to 5 year rental on the 2010 BCS NC trophy.

  2. Bryant Denny

    I have a lot of friends that are “All In.” I am happy for them, but when wishing them well, I simply choose to forget that Auburn is involved.

    This may sound like sour grapes, but it was pretty obvious last night that the two best teams in college football were not playing. Oregon, was a joke. That Auburn’s defense shut them down shows how awful the Pac-12 is. Despite having the best defensive player in college football, the Ducks got their fair share of yardage. I kind of like ole Chip, but darlin’, sometimes you gotta kick those field goals.

    I would have loved to have Fairley on Bama’s team this year, but the guy is a thug. #32 is also borderline felon – he shouldn’t have played another down after hurting #96. But when you’re all in, I guess you’re all in.

    Have a good day,

    BD

    • AthensHomerDawg

      OK….I’ll bite. Who are the best teams in college football?
      #32 hit on #96? All I saw him do was knee him in the rear end. I’m not debating his felon rating.
      Sour grapes? Yeah, kinda has that melody goin’ on.

      • Russ

        I know they probably look the same, but that was the head of #96 receiving the knee of #32. Hence the blood to the side of the head. I thought Trooper Taylor was going to kiss him afterwards.

        Auburn sure makes it hard to pull for them. Oregon kept it close but Auburn seemed better across the board.

        So, when Auburn gives the trophy back, is the title just vacated, or does Oregon get it by default?

        • Russ

          Okay, I fail writing.

          AHD said “…knee him in the rear end”. I was referring to #96′s head and rear end probably looking the same.

          It loses any semblance of humor when I have to explain it. Sigh.

      • Bryant Denny

        Sour grapes…yeah…letting your biggest rival come back from 24 down and then go on to win the NC kind of does that. :)

    • Charles

      Vintage Bammer talk: “Oregon, was a joke.” Let’s just dispense with the postseason altogether since “RARRRLLLLL EVER TEAM ‘CEPT AHRS SUKKKSSS!!!!”

      I thought it was a great game, but am disappointed with the outcome. Time for the winter/spring/summer of our discontent.

      • Bryant Denny

        Eh, just my opinion. I thought physically Oregon appeared to be out of their league, but managed to keep fighting and hang in there. I thought a LSU/UF/Bama-type team of the past several years would have destroyed the Ducks (based on how they played last night).

        BTW, the impression is dead on. :)

        BD

        • Charles

          Oh sure, that’s perfectly fair. But, again, Oregon did administer the same horrific beatdown of Tennessee that everyone else did (not terribly distinguishing, I know). And Oregon could have darn well beaten Auburn if it weren’t for the points they left on the field. I saw a well-conditioned, scrappy team that was outsized and out-matched but fought hard. Not bad for stinking hippies.

          Just my opinion, but either the SEC was down or we’ve seen a re-alignment in power in the conference. Arkansas and Auburn as BCS representatives? Strange times, indeed.

          Also my opinion, the 2004 Auburn team would have dismantled everyone this season – including their 2010 counterparts. Either way, screw ‘em.

    • Mitchell Gantt

      Fuck off, bammie. Enjoy looking up at Auburn for a while–just like you’ve been doing for the last 30-odd-years.

  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    “College football doesn’t need another scandal.” Sorry Senator, but college football desperately needs another scandal–one that is so awful that the public will as one rise up and demand that the NCAA clean up the sport or be replaced by another institution that will. Finding out that the National Champion has a system in place for paying players and that the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner was paid to attend and play for Auburn just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    • gastr1

      I have to agree. College football needs and deserves scandal after scandal after scandal until the whole thing is redefined.

      • You are SO right. Unless someone in the media (not a journalist, there really aren’t many of those) can follow the money trail through the NCAA and make it stick, we are going to get more and more of the same.

        I didn’t watch the game. Did not watch the Ohio State game, either. Most of the fun in watching college evaporated this season because of the absurdly obvious ‘rulings’ made by its’ governing body. It was a tainted, stinky season operated by hacks, and I relish the idea that someone might be able to pull back the curtain at the NCAA, but I’d die many times over if I held my breath on that.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Well said. This was probably the first time in my 30 years of watching college football that I was not the least bit sad to see the end of the college football year (and not only because of the sad state of UGA). Seeing Ohio State and Auburn teams victorious at the end of the bowl season was an appropriate capper to to a season and a sport that needs a good scrubbing.

    • Joe

      Why, it didn’t break any backs after USC did it?

    • Bryant Denny

      Unless said uprising causing a crack down on oversigning. :)

  4. 81 Dog

    you’re a lot more generous than I am, Senator. I am perfectly fine with the NCAA posse bringing those cheating, smug SOBs to heel, and penalizing them back to the leather helmet era.

    their team played a good game last night, but they’re dirty, they’ve always been dirty, and until the proper authorities put their collective foot down, they’ll stay dirty. If there’s another scandal, that’s on them. I’d rather see them get caught than get away with it.

    • Russ

      Yeah, the smug attitude and cheap shots make it really hard NOT to pull for NCAA to drop the hammer.

      We’ll have to wait for all the checks to clear and the jerseys to be sold first, then the NCAA will mysteriously find that “additional information”. Just a matter of time.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Those authorities danced AJ and UGa around for several weeks but rushed to get Cam back on the field and allowed the OSU players to serve their penance in 2011. I’m not feeling it.

      • Bryant Denny

        That’s thing I most don’t understand about this scandal. Declared ineligible on Monday (after a long holiday weekend) and eligible on Tuesday. Riiiiight.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Intimidation is an advantage. Taking your opponent’s mind off of what they need to do is a very effective strategy.

      Getting a turnover is worth an occasional 15-yard penalty.

      Cheap shots have always been a part of the game. Anyone who has been in a pile knows this.

      Some call it old school football.

  5. HVL Dawg

    I guess this game proves the other side of the argument that when you drive it to the opponet’s 1 yard line on fourth down you should take the points- kick the ball.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Well played sir.

    • Russ

      I’d say there was a little bit more at stake here than a Liberty Bowl trophy.

      • sUGArdaddy

        The point is you’ve got to make decisions to try to win the game. Driving and getting no points is more demoralizing than getting 3, especially when you’re doubtful your D can get a safety or stop the other team deep in their territory.

        Richt needs to toughen up and be looser, but IMHO, he’s taken too much heat for the FG in Memphis. When didn’t gain 6 yards on 3rd and 7 and had it 4th and 1. We couldn’t get a yard on 3rd and 1 and he was fed up w/ our pathetic push up front. To me, that sequence was an indictment of our S & C program. Maybe he’ll make a different call after 8 months w/ Joe T at the helm.

        • You mean how Auburn went for the points, and that attitude led to the win?

        • Bryant Denny

          There are some that say if you can’t get one yard when you really need it, then you don’t really deserve to win. I’m in that camp.

          Whatever offense you run, when you need one yard, you better be able to get it.

          • HVL Dawg

            And there are some, who more correctly, would say that if Oregon had kicked their field goal they would be national champions right now. Maybe not macho, but national champions.

            • Russ

              Not if Cam threw the ball 1 foot longer. What if’s can go both ways. A field goal early in the 3rd quarter changes the dynamic. Maybe Oregon gets hot and goes on a roll. Maybe Auburn gets pissed and goes on a roll. We’ll never know. It played out like it did, that’s all we can say, and Auburn had more points at the end.

  6. Chuck

    Best defensive player of the night? The Turf. For both teams, but aside from a shortage of Oregon cheerleader camera shots, and well, Musberger, that was the most ridiculous thing I saw last night.

    • Regular Guy

      Yep, the Oregon cheerleaders may have been the most talented squad on the field!!!!

      • Russ

        Oh yes sir, that was grade A talent!

        The field was a joke. Why did they replace it? Was the Fiesta Bowl exceptionally hard on it? Makes no sense to me. A good turf can easily handle a football game a week.

    • HVL Dawg

      The announcers said that the turf came from Oregon. Most rye grass seed comes from Oregon. Rye grass is a cool season grass that would have great (green) color in January in Arizona. They had it very lush and green and mowed very low so that it looked great on TV. Rye grass grows straight up with very little lateral growth. Lateral growth creates thatch. Mowing low is great for looks but bad for thatch. Cleats use to use thatch for traction. No thatch = no traction.

      The University of Arizona (warm weather climate) should have a bermudagrass base and use rye grass just enough for bowl season color. Instead they choose to have an aesthetically beautiful field that couldn’t host an athletic event. They should contact the University of Georgia Ag Experiment Station in Tifton, GA for more recomendations on which grasses would be suitable for January football in Arizona.

      Geez. Does the SEC have to tell the whole country every detail about how to play football?

      • Russ

        +1

        I thought everyone knew you only overseeded with rye for color. :)

        • Macallanlover

          That’s what my snobby “bermuda grass purist” friends think too, but rye is a pretty decent playing surface at The Augusta National Golf Club. Never really got why courses in the middle South and up would rather be dormant with Bermuda brown fairways from Thanksgiving to May just to avoid retarding the re-emergence of Bermuda through rye for 3 weeks. (I know there are a couple of other factors as well, but losing nearly half the year is incentive enough for me to vote for rye.) I think lazy superintendants are to blame for a lot of the non-overseeding.

          • HVL Dawg

            Whoa brother! You just threw me a hanging curve ball. You know what happens at Augusta National two weeks after the Masters? CLOSED until late fall. That’s beacuse their ryegrass dies and they have an unplayable bermuda base underneath. I’ve seen photographs of the course in the summertime and it is bad ugly. With grass you can pick which 7 months you you want peak quality, not 12 months, 7 months. And don’t blame the superintendent. He’s trying to maintain quality with a shrinking budget.

            • Macallanlover

              Not exactly HVL. Thousands of courses overseed Bermuda with rye and play all year long (courses at Reynolds Plantation for instance.) Augusta National is quite unique as you know, they have always chosen to close in May, even when they had Bermuda greens. They specifically want certain playing characteristics, and never intended to be a year-round course. They only have 30 local members, all of which belong to other clubs for play between May and November. Better watch out for those, supposedly, hanging curves; sometimes they are late bloomers that dart away once you swing.

              • NRBQ

                No one outside the club has reliable info on membership numbers or where the members are from. They guard their secrets like the Vatican.

                However, I personally know, have met or done business with well over 20 members (or their wives) who live in Augusta, and that guess about 30 locals is way off.

                • Macallanlover

                  While true about the secrecy on membership information, the 30 number for locals is accurate (give or tale 1-2 at the Chairman’s discretion.) Augusta isn’t a big town, if you know the influential group there, you would know most of the members.

                  Augusta uses a “band” system of membership quotas to control play. 30 is the local number, the next might be 75 for a 150 mile radius, 150 for 300 miles, etc, with a large number of international members recognizing some may not even come to Augusta more than once every 3 years. Pine Valley uses a similar system, although they have more than 30 local members. Not being argumentative,, just have reliable info. Certainly subject to change, it is The National after all, and they make the rules.

              • HVL Dawg

                I think you like GA football, good single malt and playing golf on green grass. So do I.

                I think I’ll pour myself a glass of Glenlivit 16 year old and raise a toast to you. Cheers!

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Glenlivit Nadurra Cask Strength? Mighty fine stuff. But be careful–it’s extra strong and can get you really wasted. I think I’ll join you with some Highland Park 15 that I have. Cheers to both you and Mac!

          • Russ

            Man, the season hasn’t even been over for a day, and we’re already reduced to have grass feuds. :)

            It’s gonna be a looooooooong off season.

  7. By Georgia We Did It

    The 4th down play where Cam short armed the receiver in the endzone flats was not a “call” issue but an execution issue. The guy was wide open with no Oregon defender around. And, becasue they didn’t make the TD, Oregon had to start on their 1 or 2 yd line. The next 2 plays were a penalty and a safety. That’s the other side of the coin if you don’t make the TD on the 2 yd line. You put the pressure back on the other team instead of them feeling like they won when you decide to kick it. It was a good call and the right call to go for it. Sends a bad message to your team when you don’t go for it (see liberty bowl) and helps the defense feel like they accomplished something when you don’t score a TD.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1000.

    • HackerDog

      As good as the defense feels when they force the other team to accept 3 points instead of 7, they feel a hell of a lot better when they force the other team to accept no points.

      Of all the issues to be concerned about from the Liberty Bowl, going for 4th and goal is way down on the list.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        HD, we lost by 4 points. The difference between 3 and 7 is 4. And it wasn’t 4th and 1. It was 4th and inches for a first down at the 1 and 1/2.

        • Russ

          +1

          Plus, it’s the mindset. Playing not to lose, versus playing to win. It’s the Liberty Bowl against C-USA. Play to win.

          Eh, I’d rather argue about the grass anyway.

        • Hackerdog

          I can do the math. And I agree that, if Richt knew the final score ahead of time, the way you now seem to be arguing that he should have, then it was stupid not to go for it. But I seriously doubt that his time machine, the one that fails him in predicting which one-star kids are future stars, is up to the job of telling him exactly how many points he will be required to score in order to win each game.

          The fact is that our OL couldn’t generate a push all year, against anybody. So I don’t see how, except with perfect hindsight, a 4th and 1 becomes a no-brainer.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            The kick isn’t a no-brainer either from the hash at that short a distance and at that angle. But I digress. The issue is playing to win rather than playing not to lose. I thought at the time that holding UGA to a FG gave a lift to UCF and demoralized the UGA offense, which was never the same again in that game.

            • Hackerdog

              I can count the number of kicks Walsh has missed from that distance on one finger. But I digress.

              One can just as easily say that playing to win means scoring points when given the opportunity. If Oregon had kicked a field goal rather than going for 4th and goal, and failing, they may be enjoying the championship today.

  8. Cousin Eddie

    “College footbal doesn’t need another scandal.” To late they have one, or two or, well you get the point. Until the Camgate saga is resolved College Foootball will have a scandal much like the Bush deal at USC west. The NCAA caused a scandal at THE osu, but once they all turn pro that one will be over.
    As long as winning matters there will be a scandal, because someone will blame someone of cheating and getting away with it, that the way it has always been and UNFORTUNANELY always will be.

  9. The Watergirl

    Has nothing to do with being a UGA fan, all of collge football is sick and tired of the crap Auburn pulls!!! Auburn is the dirtiest program going right now, Troop Taylor is the biggest thug of them all on the sidelines and AU proved again how dirty they play last night!!

    I thought Cecil was supposed to distance himself from the AU program and not be at the game??????

    Go to: http://www2.oanow.com/sports/2011/jan/11/cam-and-cecil-im-111048/?referer=None&shorturl=http://oanow.com/im/111048

    Cecil Newton was at the game

    Any comment Senator?!?!

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Another lie from Auburn. Another lie from the media about this sordid mess. +1 to The Watergirl for finding this.

  10. Scorpio Jones, III

    I read an interesting comparison of the recruiting rankings of Oregon and Auburn players coming out of high school….teams looked pretty even according to the Newbergians…guess the grits are better in Auburn.

    And I gotta ask….what was Pet doing on the podium?
    Seems like having a convicted felon on your board of directors would not set well most places.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    Think of Roof/Chizik the same way you think of Smart/Saban.

    Chizik is the architect of that defense and they played well. They were getting enough of a push from their line (especially Fairley) where they could mix coverages, dropping different linebackers and linemen at times to help their suspect pass defense.

    They gave up the long drive plus the two-pointer late, but getting the turnovers and holding Oregon under 20 points are very solid achievements.

    Also it was clear Auburn was the better-conditioned team, as they have been all season.

    • Bryant Denny

      Either solid achievements or Oregon was just out of their league a bit.

      AU’s defense is in the bottom of the SEC and managed to physically whip OU.

      • Russ

        AU’s defense played well, but I agree with BD that no one feared AU’s defense this year in league play, yet they were lauded last night as the typical dominant SEC defense.

      • HackerDog

        Auburn has two defenses. A rush defense (1st in the SEC, 9th in the country) and a pass defense (12th in the SEC, 108th in the country).

  12. Irishdawg

    “Yep, the Oregon cheerleaders may have been the most talented squad on the field!!!!”

    I’m amazed a town as rainy and gloomy as Eugene, OR, can pull that kind of atomically hot coed. Oregon has had some otherwordly babes on that squad for years now; something must be in the water up there.

    And count me in among those that hope Auburn gets face-raped by the NCAA.

  13. Ausdawg85

    Auburn’s win was worth how much? Say at least $2mm, but we know it’s much more.

    $200k for Cam is a 1000% return. Brilliant! Ssssss…Eeeee….Ccccc! Smartest damn conference in the land. Suck it, Wharton.

  14. Go Dawgs!

    I’ll echo the points above that Auburn needs to be exposed and laid low for whatever they did in this Cam Newton fiasco. I have no idea what happened, but I do know that it’s simply not possible for events to have unfolded as Scam and his father, the Right Reverend Cecil, say they did. He knew. Did Auburn? And did Auburn pay? I don’t think we’ll ever know. It’s really too bad. Between Cam, the cheap shot artists known as Fairley and Ziemba (remember him? Fairley really took the heat off of that POS), and the Ohio State deal, this season was pretty disheartening. Then there was the Georgia fiasco, and I’m not talking AJ Green, I’m talking UCF.

    I’ll tell you what really got me fired up last night, though. Auburn got the ball inside of their own five yard line with a three point lead and thirty seconds left on the first half clock. Take a knee and go to the locker room and let’s win this damn thing, right? Nope. Gene Chizik unleashed Malzahn and Newton, and they moved that ball up to midfield, and Newton got a chance to throw it into the end zone. That’s knowing that every possession counts in a big game. That’s having balls, playing to win instead of playing not to lose. Is it responsible to coach every game like that? Hell no. But it was the right attitude to have. If Georgia had valued every possession against Auburn the way Auburn valued every possession against Oregon (hell, the way they valued every possession against UGA for that matter, the onside kick was the biggest play in that game), maybe Georgia beats Auburn. Maybe Georgia beats a lot of the teams we lost to despite having superior talent. I hope Georgia’s coaches watched last night and saw what it takes to win. Auburn isn’t better than Georgia talent-wise at too many positions on the field. But they’ve got it in spades over Georgia in the moxie department. Hope Mark Richt was watching, and taking notes, and trying to find his stones.

    • Dog in Fla

      “But they’ve got it in spades over Georgia in the moxie department.”

      Look on the bright side. Mark moxied up about as much as he could against O’Leary: Logan didn’t make any fair catches on punts.

  15. What fresh hell is this?

    1. The groundskeeper/s should be drawn and quartered.

    2. Auburn was the better team…on both sides of the ball, and that doesn’t say much for Oregon after what I witnessed from the Auburn D this year.

    3. Auburn plays dirty ball.

    4. College football does need the NCAA to bring the hammer down on Auburn, in epic fashion….not doing so is tacit approval of pay-for-play.

    Did you hear the obvious disappointment in Brent Douchebergers voice with the Auburn victory? How does this man continue to be employed?

  16. ScoutDawg

    That sir is one HELL OF A GOOD POINT! +100000000

  17. ScoutDawg

    Referring to GO DAWGS statement.

  18. Irishdawg

    For all of Chip Kelly’s boldness in his play calling, that 4th down goal line play was a terrible call. They ran off-tackle into the teeth of the AU D-line. Why not roll out the QB for a run/pass option? Oregon wins the game if they score there, despite Auburn’s clear physical superiority.

  19. Macallanlover

    Hardly anyone, or thing, ever “needs” a scandal but CFB is in dire need of this one essentially because the handling of the situations at Auburn and OSU were scandals themselves. It requires another black eye to even begin cleaning up the mess. While they are at it, throw in the oversigning abuse solution and begin to restore credibility.

    Not to overplay it, but CFB is at a crisis point. There are so many passionate fans that have supported CFB’s growth over the past century who are now on the verge of moving away from the sport because it has become so dirty. We have all seen examples of bad behavior before 2010, but I don’t recall the powers that be ever selling ourt so publicly, and indefensibly before. Add to that the millions of fans of those schools who excuse the obvious cheating simply because it means a W for their program. Small minorities who lack ethics have always been among us but the inmates truly seem to be running the asylum now. And it isn’t just the fans of the exposed programs that are endorsing this type of behavior. I read everyday on this blog, and other message boards, fans who call for their coaches to sell out and be like the cheaters.

    This has been the saddest CFB season ever for me, and it has nothing to do with UGA’s 6-7 record. Watching the “win at all costs” attitude spread and become institutionalized in CFB is making me rethink my devotion to it. I will certainly not ever contribute as much of my time, or money, to support CFB again. I hate to say it, but the college sport has closed the gap with the NFL the past few years, and not in a good way. In fact, the NFL commish is doing a much better job addressing their image problems than what I see happening at the collegiate level.

    Someone had better step up to this issue soon, or risk killing the Golden Goose. Since it seems to be the pursuit of money that has driven many of these problems, it may take a decline of the revenue stream to get the decision makers’ attention. Reading a variety of team’s message boards the past few weeks, there is a growing sentiment of disgust. Whether that translates into action or not, I don’t know. But many programs simply cannot keep pace with the rich programs, even if they were willing to sell their souls.

  20. Mitchell Gantt

    No, Bluto, of COURSE you “hope” that. It’s not like you haven’t been leading the “OMG AUBURN SCANDAL” cheer in dozens of posts over the last couple of months. [/sarcasm]

    Fuck you and fuck all the other mangy dawgies and your unearned sense of entitlement. You suck, and your team sucks, and your coach sucks. You’re not getting a mulligan, Auburn is keeping its championships, and all you jealous morons can suck it. Enjoy the off-season with your losing program and soon-to-be-fired coach. Over here, we’re going to enjoy being undefeated SEC and BCS champs, and your tears are a sweet, sweet aperitif.