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Daily Archive for January 2nd, 2011

5 things YOU should know about the Pac10 football

Five things SEC fans should know about the Pac-10

The quarterback play is outstanding.
Quarterback is the strength of West Coast football from high school through college. In the South, high school coaches are under much more pressure to win than in the West. That pressure, and the abundance of good high school running backs leads to a lot of run-oriented high school offenses. This year’s Oregon big-school champion, Aloha, actually played a lot like a Southern high school team, but pass-oriented teams like Lake Oswego and Sheldon of Eugene are much more common in the West. The abundance of quarterback talent is one reason Western Athletic Conference teams such as Boise State and Nevada have been successful. The quarterbacks left over after the Pac-10 teams make their choices still are exceptional. South Carolina won the SEC East and LSU won 10 games despite erratic quarterback play. No Pac-10 team in recent memory has been able to achieve that level of success without a strong quarterback.
What it means to the title game: Oregon will respect Cam Newton, but they won’t fear him.

The defenses are better than you think. Don’t be misled by the statistics that typically show Pac-10 teams giving up more points and yards than SEC and Big 10 teams. That largely reflects the strength of the offenses, led by future NFL quarterbacks. Six Pac-10 alums made this year’s Pro Bowl defensive roster. Only five former SEC players made the Pro Bowl on defense. Also, bucking conventional wisdom, seven SEC products were named to the Pro Bowl on offense vs. five from the Pac-10. The difference came on the offensive line, where the SEC held a 2-0 edge. And the Pac-10 defensive representatives aren’t just speed guys. Oregon’s Haloti Ngata was selected as a starter on the defensive line, as was Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs at linebacker. USC’s Clay Matthews is a reserve linebacker.
What it means: Auburn, a below-average SEC defense, will have just as much trouble slowing down Oregon as Pac-10 teams did.

The coaching is very good. The SEC has blue-chip coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, but the Pac-10 breeds more innovation. From Bill Walsh, who was a genius at Stanford before and after winning Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, to Pete Carroll at USC to Chip Kelly at Oregon, the Pac-10′s most successful coaches have been willing to take risks and innovate. No, SEC fans, LSU’s Les Miles isn’t innovative. He’s just crazy.
What it means: Oregon has the coaching edge in this game.

Pac-10 teams aren’t afraid of anyone.
For a variety of reasons, ranging from geography to the desire to play at least seven home games a year to make more money, most SEC teams don’t venture outside the South very often. Pac-10 teams, in contrast, pile up the frequent-flier miles. There aren’t as many teams in the West and most Pac-10 teams don’t have big enough stadiums to offer opponents huge checks to play them without a return trip. In the past five years, Oregon has played road games against Purdue, Tennessee, Michigan and Boise State. Not all of those teams were highly ranked when the Ducks played them, but they all represented potential losses when the games were scheduled. Worth mentioning: No one in the SEC will play at Southern Mississippi or Central Florida, much less at a non-automatic-qualifier team as strong as Boise State.

What it means: Oregon is more comfortable on the road than Auburn, whose longest trip this season was 480 miles to Lexington, Ky.

Oregon has become the Pac-10 team others hate. In 20 years, the Ducks have gone from virtually invisible on the college football map to the team living in the big mansion at the top of the hill. Needless to say, that doesn’t sit so well with the old-money schools like USC and Washington, a rival whose football fortune went bankrupt about the time Oregon was cashing in its Nike bucks. The closest thing to Oregon in the SEC is South Carolina, which made its first trip to the SEC title game this season under superstar coach Steve Spurrier. But the Gamecocks don’t have nearly as many toys, nor have they had as much success, as the Ducks.
What it means: Don’t start an argument with an Oregon fan.


5 Things the Pac-10 Should know about SEC football

Five things Pac-10 fans should know about the SEC

We heart cam

Football really is bigger in the South.
The most tangible example of football’s stature in the SEC is the size of the stadiums. Only one SEC stadium, Vanderbilt’s, is smaller than Oregon’s Autzen Stadium. Mississippi State’s Davis-Wade is the only other stadium in the SEC that seats fewer than 60,000. Seven of the 12 conference stadiums seat more than 80,000, compared with only two in the Pac-10. And the Pac-10′s biggest venues — the Rose Bowl and Los Angeles Coliseum — are off campus. Significantly, all of SEC stadiums are on campus, and most of the campuses are spread out, which facilitates tailgating on a scale that literally is not possible at most Pac-10 schools. (There’s even a “Tailgate the SEC” iPhone app.)
What it means to the title game: Auburn is more accustomed to big games and intense atmospheres than Oregon.

It takes a lot to impress big brother. Oregon defensive back Cliff Harris called Oregon State, Oregon’s little brother. In Glendale, Ariz., he’ll meet the nation’s toughest little brother. Auburn has won a national championship, produced three Heisman Trophy winners and finished in the Top 10 of the final AP poll countless times. Yet, the historic gap between Auburn and Alabama is huge. Auburn holds the Heisman edge 3-1, but Alabama leads in national championships (7-1), winning percentage, SEC titles and, most importantly, wins in the Iron Bowl rivalry. Arguably, the only Pac-10 team that can top Auburn’s history is USC, which is at Alabama’s level. But in the SEC, Auburn trails  Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee in accomplishments and national stature.
What it means: Think of Auburn as a team with Oregon’s talent and Oregon State’s something-to-prove attitude.

SEC teams are fast and big. Fans of the two conferences, and especially of Auburn and Oregon, have spent a lot of time on message boards in the past month debating who has the faster players. The answer: Both conferences have a lot of really fast players, though Oregon probably has more than Auburn this season. The real difference in the conferences is size. The SEC combines Big 10 size with Pac-10 speed. Auburn’s smallest offensive lineman, All-American center Ryan Pugh, weighs 297 pounds. The Tigers have only one starter, wide receiver Darvin Adams, who weighs less than 210 pounds. Quarterback Cam Newton weighs 250. Oregon only has one lineman, guard Mark Asper, who weighs more than Pugh’s 297 pounds, and all their starting wide receivers as well as running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner weigh less than 210 — most a lot less.
What it means: As good as Cam Newton is, the key to this game is whether Oregon’s defensive line can handle Auburn’s offensive line.

The SEC’s undefeated BCS championship game record is a big deal. Many describe SEC fans as arrogant. Whether it’s arrogance or confidence, SEC fans — especially those from the power schools — point to the conference’s 6-0 record in BCS championship games as justification. Four different teams have won those championships. No other conference has more than two teams with BCS titles, and if Auburn wins, the SEC will have five. No SEC team wants to be the one that ends the win streak.
What it means: No one needs another reason to want to win a national title, but the SEC streak is part of Auburn’s motivational mix.

The rivalries are more intense. Schools are located much closer together, allowing thousands of fans to travel to road games. Auburn fans, for example, are within a 6-hour drive of eight SEC opponents: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Oregon is that close to two Pac-10 foes: Oregon State and Washington. There’s nothing like seeing opposing fans in person to stoke a rivalry. Another factor: Most SEC teams stock their rosters primarily with in-state players. If you live in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina or Louisiana, there’s a good chance you went to a high school that produces at least one SEC player a decade. As anyone who has attended a high school football game knows, rooting for someone you know increases the passion.
What it means: Don’t start an argument with an Auburn fan.


Auburn University.  Alumni, students, fans.  This is it. 

Its old news Alabama has titles, whatever.  The news is that Auburn is preparing to seek vengance from 1993, and 2004.  Rules kept us out of both title games before, you dont like the rules–dont play the game.  Its like the Welfare Check debate, you hate this person gets to sit at home and get a check for doing nothing–Change the rules.  2004 Auburn sat out to the BCS welfare.  This year, Auburn is in!  We played by the rules and got where we knew we were headed.  Thanks to all the leadership of the Offensive line, Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, I can go on and on but you’ve heard the names all season!

This is rare.  This is a lifetime of waiting.  1957 was the last opportunity.  I was here in 1993, I saw 11-0. I was there in 2004, I saw 13-0.  I am here in 2010, I have seen 13-0, I’m ready for 14-0 with a CRYSTAL BALL!!  I am not saying Auburn is a shoe in at the title.   Honestly, I am going to tell you what we already know.  Oregon is a great time, it is the title game for a reason.  This is not the Capital One bowl, people.  My point is that we have all been to the Sugar Bowl, we might have gone to the Music City, or Outback or Peach bowl.  Those were whatever as well, you can miss those.  They didnt mean much.  Maybe a free chic-fil-a spicy chicken sandwich, plus an excuse to see all the friends.

This isnt about friends.  This is history.  This is Memories.  Take that extra 100 bucks out of savings and JUST DO IT!!  I understand you might not make a flight to glendale, the car, the hotel, the flight can all cost up to a grand easily!  We havn’t even spoke of a ticket to the game yet.  But what I highly recommend, IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND GLENDALE…. GO TO AUBURN AND WATCH THE GAME AT THE AUBURN ARENA!!

This expericne is amazing!  It is FREE! Concession stands will be open.  Just pack that flask, fill up with gas and GO!  You honestly feel like you are watching the game front and center.  At home, you get that lonely feeling, even if you are with 10-15 folks.  Auburn areana– thousands of people.  You absolutely cannot beat it.  Every play is front and center.  The big screens are lowered to eye level.  You have everyone cheering with you just as loud as you can ever imagine. 

Honestly, I did this for the SEC championship game.  UNBELIEVABLE! I honestly felt like I was at the game in person, I did not feel like I missed a single thing.  There was no void of missing the SEC championship game.  It just feels right!

So, whether you are debating Glendale still (hope not, tickets have skyrocketed) or watching the game at a buddies.  Im just saying a drive down to the plains on Jan. 10th to Auburn Areana for the game should be your next best option to Glendale Arizona!

On the Flippy Floppy…

Auburn starters: Antoine Carter, DE, 6-4, 256 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Nick Fairley, DT, 6-5, 298 (Mobile, Ala.); Zach Clayton, DT, 6-3, 296 (Opelika, Ala.); Nosa Eguae, DE, 6-2, 258 (Mansfield, Texas).

Stats: Fairley, winner of the Lombardi Award, leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a school-record 21 tackles for loss. He’s second in the SEC with 10.5 quarterback sacks.

What to know about Auburn: The line is the strength of a sometimes inconsistent Auburn defense and it begins with Fairley. Few players can disrupt and harass quarterbacks more effectively. Clayton is a solid run-stopper inside, while Eguae and Carter can make plays off the edge, so teams aren’t able to put all their resources into stopping Fairley.

Oregon starters: Bo Thran, LT, 6-5, 281 (Gresham, Ore.); Carson York, LG, 6-5, 286 (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho); Jordan Holmes, C, 6-5, 300 (Yuba City, Calif.); C.E. Kaiser, RG, 6-4, 290 (Veradale, Wash.); Mark Asper, RT, 6-7, 322 (Idaho Falls, Idaho).

Stats: Oregon ranked fourth in the nation in rushing offense (303.8 yards per game) and are one of four teams in the nation to average more than six yards per carry (6.11). Auburn averaged 6.2.

What to know about Oregon: Auburn’s Nick Fairley is a handful, but the Ducks limited Oregon State All-America defensive tackle Stephen Paea to three tackles (one solo) in the Civil War. Holmes was named first-team all-Pac-10, Thran second team.