Saturday, January 1, 2011

Countdown to "The Natty" - Do Tight Wins Signal Trouble for Auburn?

Should we read anything into the fact that Auburn won four games by three points or less and two more by only one touchdown…often in come from behind efforts…as a sign of potential weakness compared to Oregon who dominated all but one opponent the entire season?

Or, should we see those series of events simply as evidence of a resilient, talented and motivated team?

Well, honestly, it's probably a mix of both with some luck thrown in...and the ball did bounce to Auburn's benefit an awful lot this season.

Certainly Auburn and SEC fans will say that the close wins are just evidence of the SEC being "the best conference in America." Pac-10 fans will say, barely won six games while Oregon dominated all but one team it played.

But for the sake of argument, I'll say that yes...the fact that the Tigers had many close games and almost lost a few if not for some last minute magic and luck is indeed something they should be concerned with when playing Oregon.

Why? Those close calls by Auburn tell me that they're beatable. They are not a juggernaut that cannot be stopped. Nope. They are human. They can be defeated. There are things about that team that can be exploited. And for Oregon, they've been able to pick out such weak points in every team they've played and taken advantage to win every game they played...including that tight one against Cal.

Yes, a big reason why Auburn was able to come from behind and/or close the deal on close games is that they are talented and highly motivated. But, if teams like Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson, LSU and Mississippi State can give Auburn a run for their money - in some cases right down to the last minute of a game - then Oregon can too.

And, unlike those other teams...Oregon is better. They may be able to do what those other squads could not - finish off Auburn.

But that's part of the fun...we shall see.

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