Some much needed love for Auburn

Philip Consuegra

I promised myself that I wouldn’t rant and rave this week about how I think Auburn deserves a shot at the National Championship of college football.

I thought I could resist the temptation of explaining the obvious, about why the 10-0 Auburn Tigers need to be there in Miami playing in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4, but I would be committing a crime if I didn’t tell all of you out there why they should be there. It would be an injustice to football, and a travesty for sports. So here it goes:

Auburn deserves a shot at the National Title. All season, they have done exactly what the BCS has asked a team worthy of a shot to do. They’ve gone into LSU and defeated the defending champs. They met Tennessee and beat them decisively. Most recently, they took on a powerful Georgia team, and made it look easy. In short, Auburn, not USC, is the most dominant team in college football.

Just look at it a little deeper. Jason Campbell is about as consistent and automatic as you can get under center. Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is the workhorse of the team, scoring 10 rushing touchdowns and adding a receiving touchdown. The guy has even thrown for a TD.

Their offense has been explosive, scoring at least 30 points against each of their opponents but two, LSU in the bayou and Georgia.

The hidden strength of this Auburn ball club has been their steady, dominant defense. The Auburn D has allowed more than 14 points only once, against Arkansas on Oct. 16. Here’s a little note on that: the Tigers still beat them by 18. With a points allowed average of only 9.3 points a game, teams are lucky to score more than a single touchdown against these guys.

Commenting on his team’s unbelievable play against Georgia, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said, “One thing I’d say: I’d hate to play us.”

Now, if I were a college coach, like I am every Saturday in front of the TV, the one thing I would fear more than this Auburn team is this Auburn team after they found out they are snubbed.

Those sentiments are shared, as the voters in the Associated Press Poll voted Auburn No. 2. But, unfortunately for people like me, it’s not the polls that count anymore. It’s the computers.

The computers seem to think that Oklahoma and USC are more deserving of an appearance in the Orange Bowl. Again, the computers couldn’t be more wrong. Auburn is more deserving than either one of those teams, because of two major reasons: strength of schedule and their quality wins.

Auburn plays in the SEC, which is one of the best, toughest conferences in the nation. They’ve beaten three top 10 teams the week they’ve played them: No. 4 LSU, No. 8 Tennessee and No. 5 Georgia. Those teams were beaten by a combined score of 68-25.

The best Oklahoma can do is beat No. 5 Texas, No. 20 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Texas A&M. Those combined scores would add up to 92-70. USC has beaten No. 7 Cal and No. 19 Arizona State. Combined score: 68-24. In the quality wins department, Auburn has got both beat.

Anyway you look at it, Auburn deserves a shot. For the good of college football, for the good of the BCS, for the good of mankind, give Auburn a chance to play for what, in my mind, it has already earned: an Orange Bowl berth.

This should be fun watching the BCS ruin another National Championship. It’s getting to be their tradition, something everyone is ready for come December. I compare it to Christmas every year: just as slow getting there, and you never really know if you’re going to get a present or a lump of coal.

Fans like me are getting impatient with the system, and for our sake, we better be waking up to stockings full of delights on BCS Selection Day.

Games of the week: Rivalries are always fun. Here’s a couple to be looking at.

Michigan visits Ohio State with Michigan looking for a trip to the Rose Bowl. Florida-Florida State is always a fun one to watch, as is the annual Auburn-Alabama donnybrook.

Take your pick – it’s like an all-you-can-eat special this week.