As the days of the game neared, I found myself worried that there was too much time in between the last games played by both teams and this National Championship on January 10th. This is way too long a layoff and the rhythm from both teams was off terribly. There was a stat that “Super” Cam Newton only had 28 yards of total offense then finally warmed up in the second quarter gaining 258. Same could be said for Oregon’s offense. They were positively anemic until a Thomas to Maehl 81 yard bomb when pinned to their own goal line to show some signs of life and eventually scoring themselves.
Why are we playing this game on January 10th in the first place? The very arguement against a playoff was borne when we were only playing until January 2nd or 3rd at the latest? Hyping the game for 37 days to me seemed to dissipate the excitement for the game rather than enhance it. We sports fans started wrapping our minds around NFL playoff games, looking forward to NBA basketball heating up after football is over, paying for Christmas, etc. Its alot like being a youngster and your girlfriend goes away for the summer. You lose that feeling and can’t get it back. Don’t worry, just like your ex, they didnt either. We did get some pyrotechnics in the second quarter and we slept through much of the second half. The issue is we didnt get the game we were promised, we only recieved a little more than the second quarter when it came to teams in rhythm.
I’d like to say the defenses steppped up but that was only the case when it came to Casey Matthews forced fumble. Even the goal line stances seemed to be about playcalling that was out of sync more than overpowering defense. SEC fans will say that it was a show of their conferences dominance on the line of scrimmage yet they were stymied at the goal line also. Yet we had a surprise MVP in Dyer who had a dominant last drive. Was it me or was that Emmitt Smith balance and power he showcased? Fairley was easily the night’s best defender and disrupted Oregon’s offense the entire evening. Cam Newton and LaMichael James weren’t the stars of the night although Newton had a few moments. Dyer and Fairley were the difference in Auburn’s 22-19 victory.
To the victor goes the spoils, so we will celebrate the SEC’s 5th National Championship in a row right now. Tomorrow is another day. We need to get the game back to a January 2nd game. Once we made it past two weeks we started to forget about the game and the teams were no longer playing at an optimum level. We were subject to a sloppy game that didn’t have a good flow to it. I want to see a championship game where the teams are as I remembered them a few weeks ago. The further we get away from the New Year’s weekend lessons the impact of the game as an event. Hopefully we will get a playoff system soon if we’re going to be this far past the new year. If we do that we’ll have teams playing through that time and a better championship game then we saw last night.