There are two things to take away from Auburn’s 49-31 defeat of Georgia Saturday night:
1) If Cam Newton doesn’t, Auburn’s sneaky-bad defense is what is going to cost them the national championship.
We already kind of knew that since they’ve been giving up a ton of points all season. But 31 points to Georgia? Come on. This is one of the worst teams Mark Richt has had in Athens, and they’re starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback. Actually, Aaron Murray has done remarkably well considering that fact.
Either way, there is no way Auburn can keep up with Oregon or Boise State. Sure, the Tigers score a ton of points, but no way do they win a shootout against either one of those squads.
Hell, there’s a decent chance they lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Remember Alabama? They’re still pretty good, and you know The Nick Saban doesn’t cotton to losing to in-state rivals.
2) There is a very good chance these games will, officially, never have happened according to the NCAA.
If even half of the Cameron Newton recruiting stuff is true, there is no way these games are going to end up counting. The press and, finally, NCAA investigators are going to be all over this program and we’re going to have a Reggie Bush situation all over again. And it isn’t like the NCAA was impartial in that investigation either. They’ll go after Auburn and believe any source with any information, no matter how spurious.
If Cam Newton wins the Heisman and/or if Auburn plays for the national title, it might actually hurt the BCS and the Heisman even more. The Heisman Foundation would have given the award to a player they knew had shaky credentials, cheapening the award even more. There’s even a good chance the voters would purposely avoid voting for Newton if some of these accusations prove to be true.
The BCS national title game would mean absolutely nothing if anything is proven by January. It’s even possible Auburn could be banned from the game by then. Not likely, but possible.
And if Auburn just remains tainted but undefeated heading into the title game, what kind of effect would it have on the game? Will people tune out because they dislike Newton and Auburn because of the allegations? Will people tune in just to root against them because this makes Auburn one of the biggest heels in college football history? Even better, if the game is Auburn/Boise State or Auburn/TCU, will anyone at all root for the SEC champs? What happens if Auburn wins but gets the win vacated so Boise or TCU ends up the champion some time down the road even though they didn’t win the game?
And yet this is probably the only way the BCS could make college football better.
Newton better leave for the NFL because the rest of this season is going to be a circus. Worse, his leaving Auburn after this season would be a complete fiasco for his defense of his father’s and his own actions during the recruiting process. A total disaster.
That’s not to say the timing of this whole scandal isn’t totally questionable. Florida and probably every other SEC school are totally behind this leaked information, or it would have come out right after Newton chose Auburn.
I honestly can’t wait for more to come out. I’m refreshing ESPN.com’s college football section right now, even.