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National Championship Game Open Thread

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Use this thread to discuss the last college football game for almost eight months.

Monday, January 10
8:30 PM ET No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 Auburn

Why watch the national championship game?  You don't like Oregon (except for those lovable characters at Addicted to Quack) and you don't like the SEC.  You cannot possibly stand an entire offseason of Oregon bandwagoners or SEC homers proclaiming their dominance over the college football landscape.  You'll be happy to watch one team go home with bruised egos, so you're tuning in tonight.

Oregon, as you all know, is led by LaMichael James and Darron Thomas on offense.  Auburn will have to remain extremely disciplined on defense if they want to avoid giving up big plays.  You can bet they've spent hours watching how Cal shut down the Oregon offense.  Unfortunately for the Tigers, defense was not their strong suit this year.  They can give up points in bunches.  Their strongest player on defense is DT Nick Fairley.  To exploit him, Oregon will have to use their draw plays and zone reads to get him to over-pursue or misread the play.  He's a great player, but Oregon should be able to limit his effectiveness.

Cam Newton leads the Auburn offense.  He's a solid passer who completed over 67% of his passes for nearly 2,600 yards, 28TDs, and only 6 interceptions.  In case you haven't heard, he's also a decent runner.  He ran for 1,400 yards and 20TDs and he also caught a pass for a TD.  He is Auburn's offense.  Oregon will have its hands full trying to shut him down.  This game will probably come down to the play of Oregon's linebackers.  Auburn uses a lot of pre-snap movement and those LBs will have to diagnose plays quickly and shed their blockers to prevent Cam, Mario Fannin, or Onterio McCalebb from breaking free and gaining huge chunks of yardage.  On passing plays Oregon will have to do its best to keep Newton in the pocket because he's obviously a lethal scrambler.  If (and when) he breaks free, those LBs need to wrap him up immediately.

Winner: Auburns offense is better, but Oregon's defense is much better. Oregon wins by a feather.