BCS National Championship Free Pick: Oregon Ducks vs. Auburn Tigers
(12-0, 7-4-1 ATS)
(13-0, 9-4 ATS)
It all comes down to this… After 34 previous bowl games and a total of 25 wins between these teams earlier in the year, the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers finally get it on to determine who will be the winner of the BCS Championship, the most illustrious prize in the NCAA football betting world. This duel in Glendale, AZ is for all of the marbles this year and will be the one game that you certainly do not want to miss betting on the college football odds.
First, we have the Ducks, who have arguably the most dynamic offense in the nation with a ton of players that run the football all over the place. Head Coach Chip Kelly went through some heartache at the start of the year when he had to kick QB Jeremiah Masoli off of the team and suspended some of his best players, including RB LaMichael James for the first game of the season. In spite of that though, this team still averaged 542.1 yards and 49.3 points per game, both numbers of which were the best in the country. QB Darron Thomas threw for 2,500 yards and 28 scores on the year, and he was one of seven players on this offense that rushed for at least 125 yards as well. James was the nation’s leading rusher with 1,702 yards and 21 TDs, and he immediately became the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy for 2011 after being the runner up this year when he announced that he was returning to school for his junior season this past weekend. Don’t forget about RB Kenjon Barner, who rushed for 537 yards on just 81 carries this year, or WR Jeffrey Maehl, who caught 68 passes for 943 yards and 12 TDs, all team highs on the year.
Many questioned bringing Head Coach Gene Chizik to Auburn a few years ago, but now, there is no one anywhere in the great state of Alabama that is doubting what these Tigers are doing. Of course, it really helps when you have the Heisman Trophy winner on your side in the form of QB Cam Newton. Newton simply did everything this year for the Tigers. He threw for 2,589 yards and rushed for 1,409 more, accounting for 28 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs, making him just one of two men in the history of college football that can say they had at least 20 TDs both rushing and passing in the same year. RB Michael Dyer needs just 50 yards to reach the 1,000 yard barrier for the year, while RB Onterio McCalebb, often the forgotten back in this bunch, had 763 yards on just 89 carries with nine TDs. WR Darvin Adams set an SEC Championship Game record with seven receptions for 217 yards and two scores against the South Carolina Gamecocks, and the most impressive part of this one was that he racked up all of those stats in the first half. Auburn also has a man that would probably be a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft if he elected to come out of school early in DE Nick Fairley, who is one of the most feared defensive linemen in the country.
We know that Oregon’s offense is great, but there is something about how finely tuned it needs to be to work that scares us. It will have been six weeks since the Ducks saw game action when they take to the field against the Tigers. Newton just finds ways to make things happen for the Tigers on a regular basis regardless of who the opponent is. This Auburn team just feels like a touched squad, and between the power of Newton and the offense and Fairley and the defense, the Tigers will be too tough to tame in Glendale.
BCS National Championship Pick: Auburn Tigers -2.5
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