SEC Bloggers BCS National Championship Review
One for the thumb
Each week, CFN's SEC Bloggers put the SEC under the microscope, looking for the Lucky 7 (6 for the BCS Championship Game).
BG is Billy Gomila, BH is Brian Harbach, GH is Gabe Harris , RM is Russ Mitchell, and BS is Barrett Sallee.
1. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Mike Dyer, RB, Auburn
BG: Michael Dyer; RB, Auburn – The freshman picked up the tough yardage when asked early, and made the big plays late. His final drive will be forever remembered, regardless of how the rest of Dyer's career shakes out .
BH: Michael Dyer; RB, Auburn – In true Gus Malzahn fashion, Auburn started with a game plan to incorporate Onterio McCalebb early, realized how effective Dyer was running, and the true freshmen took over the game.
GH: Michael Dyer; RB, Auburn – Running the ball and controlling the clock was going to be essential for Auburn to win the BCS Championship. Dyer fulfilled his promise as a top recruit with clock controlling yards and two of the most memorable runs in history.
RM: Michael Dyer; RB, Auburn – Hello college football world, my name is Michael Dyer.
BS: Michael Dyer; RB, Auburn – On a night when Cam Newton was not the Can Newton we saw for the majority of the season, the freshman stole the show and provided one of the most dramatic plays of the BCS era.
2. DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
BG: Nick Fairley; DT, Auburn – Both defenses wound up playing better football than anybody thought they would, but Fairly was the single most disruptive force.
BH: Nick Fairley; DT, Auburn – It was one of the most dominating efforts from a defensive player in a BCS Championship game that we may have ever seen.
GH: Nick Fairley; DT, Auburn – Dominated the line of scrimmage, freeing up teammates to make plays even when he wasn't – see Mike Blanc's safety. Forced a fumble and sacked the QB once.
RM: Nick Fairley; DT, Auburn – Might have cemented the first overall draft pick with this performance. In the Oregon backfield like they stole his dog. (Nod to Duck linebacker Casey Matthews. See you on Sundays, Mr. Matthews.)
BS: Nick Fairley; DT, Auburn – Oregon's offense is based on timing, and Fairley disrupted any of that. He's an absolute beast.
3. SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BG: Ryan Shoemaker; P, Auburn – Shoemaker kept Oregon in tough field position all night with three punts downed inside the 20.
BH: Ryan Shoemaker; P, Auburn – Where did that effort come from? Auburn fans have been moaning about the one time Freshmen All SEC punter for years, and he saves his best effort in four seasons for this.
GH: Ryan Shoemaker; P, Auburn – Struggling punter came up with his best game on the biggest stage. Oregon's punt returner has the ability to change games, but was stymied due to Shoemaker's long and accurate punts. Honorable mention to Wes Byrum for kicking the game winner.
RM: Wes Byrum; K, Auburn – Not just the field goals; his kickoffs were things of beauty, landing regularly on the goal line.
BG: Ryan Shoemaker; P, Auburn – Auburn's punting has been a sore spot all season, but Shoemaker was solid all night.
4. COACH OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BG: Nick Aliotti – Both defensive coordinators called a fantastic night, but Aliotti's crew held Auburn down with little help from their offense, and nearly made the crucial play with Casey Matthews' late forced fumble. Of course, that next drive kind of ruined it.
BH: Ted Roof – It says a lot about a coach who can take a month to set up a game plan and actually have the team be able to execute it successfully. Roof's work was equal to Gus Malzahn for the first time at Auburn.
GH: Ted Roof – Auburn's defense looked like top-shelf SEC against the best offense it faced all year. Oregon was ineffective running the ball and I never felt they were going to be able to consistently move it against the Tigers.
RM: Nick Aliotti – You could go with Roof here and I'd have no complaints. But given the job Oregon did of stopping Cam (which is a relative statement), the front line being as undersized as it was, we give the nod to Aliotti.
BS: Josh Bynes – For our money he was a player/coach on the field for the dominant Tiger D all night.
5. BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BG: Defense – Who expected to see any of it in this game?
BH: Oregon play calling – There were some amazing calls by Chip Kelly during this game, but in the red zone he struggled. Then with the Auburn run defense dominating, Oregon tried to run the ball too many times instead of putting it in the air. (Nod to Russ Mitchell for picking Auburn to win the National Championship on Oct. 16.)
GH: The final score – While I didn't expect scores in the forties, I thought at least one team would score at least in the thirties. The long layoff gave the defenses a lot of time to prepare, and allowed a little rust to form on the offenses.
RM: Lack of scoring – For a game that featured nearly 1,000 yards of offense, 22-19 was a shocker.
BS: Auburn's defense – Ted Roof's unit took its share of criticism all season, but the defense stepped up big when the Tigers needed it most.
6. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BG: Chip Kelly – Oregon's offensive mastermind went into brainlock near the goal line on both sides of the field and nearly had a meltdown before the final score.
BH: Darron Thomas – Thomas was wildly inconsistent in this game; he passed for a lot of yards but was sometimes inaccurate and threw two picks. He also did a poor job executing the zone read in big situations.
GH: None – This was a fun game with an exciting finish. What more can you ask for?
RM: The University of Phoenix Stadium field – C'mon, you can't do better than that for the BCS National Championship game?? It resembled an ice rink at times. While it affected both teams, one has to wonder if Oregon was hampered a bit more given its reliance on shifty skill players. (Nod to both teams' inability to score from the goal line.)
BS: There's not one – This was a fantastic game by two fantastic teams on college football greatest stage. It's a shame that somebody had to lose.