Damn. It seems like as the older I get, all those things my mother told me when I was young to keep me honest are getting bludgeoned to death and left in the ditch as I travel further down the road of life.
The War Eagle whoopin' bunch from Auburn wins the SEC's fifth straight championship as they hit a last second field goal at point-blank range to give them a 22-19 advantage over the Oregon Ducks. The game was exciting up until the moment that Auburn's Michael Dyer ripped off a 16-yard run to the one-yard line with 10 seconds left, and then it was like waiting for death. Cam Newton came out for one more play, not to try for a game-winning touchdown, but to down the ball in the victory formation and then came the field goal. Ho hum.
You have to admit, most of it was a pretty good game, although a weird one. No one in the country could have imagined a 22-19 score. Both offenses were supposed to shred the other's defense, but it never happened. Auburn could manage only two field goals the second half, while Oregon was limited to a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Both quarterbacks, Oregon's Darron Thomas, and Auburn's Cam Newton, were okay but not brilliant as both missed key plays that could have lead to scoring opportunities.
Perhaps the weirdest part of the game was that Oregon was somehow penalized by stopping Auburn on fourth down late in the second quarter, only to turn around and grant the Tigers a safety, making the score 11-9. Upon giving the ball back to the Tigers, Auburn proceeded to drive 66 yards in a little under two minutes to score another touchdown, giving Auburn a 16-11 lead at half. The safety was the turning point in the game. It basically granted Auburn back-to-back possessions in which they scored nine points, and, just as important, kept the Oregon offense off the field for an extended period of time.
Or was the weirdest part of the game Dyers' 37-yard run late in the game in which he appeared to be down, but was later ruled to have neither touched his knee nor his wrist? The run all but sealed the game for the Tigers.
There were some outstanding performances on both sides of the ball. Auburn's Dyer was unstoppable most of the time, grinding out first downs against the Duck defense and finishing with 143 yards on 22 carries. Oregon's Jeff Maehl had nine receptions for 133 yards. His longest reception of the night, a 81-yarder after the Ducks buried themselves at their own seven due to a botched reverse on a kickoff return, lead to the Ducks only touchdown in the first half.
Auburn wins their first national title since 1957, a year in which they somehow won a national title while on NCAA probation. it's probably a fitting end to the season given the rich history of shady dealings by the school over the years. Perhaps it's mere jealousy, but can anyone from Auburn blame other fans when they wonder what's happened this time around - what kind of underhanded deals were made that brought these players together?
Perhaps member CheeseandCorn said it best:
The countdown to this BCS championship being vacated starts now.
The sad part is - I imagine that most of the country feels the same way.