Everyone has opinions. These are mine on some of the biggest debates in college football this season.
1. The SEC
At the start of the season, I told whoever might be listening that I thought UGA and Auburn would dominate their respective halves of the SEC. Then AJ Green was suspended, and I took back the UGA half of my prediction; I had no idea they would drop four in a row, and had I known how poorly the rest of the SEC East was going to play this year, I still would have picked Georgia to win the SEC East. So, either way, I was wrong about Georgia. On the other side of the conference, I picked Auburn and Alabama to be 11-0 when they met for the Iron Bowl. I was off by one team, and I'm proud about that.
2. Auburn and Oregon
For the last few weeks, I've thought of Oregon as the only unbeatable team in the regular season, mainly because teams don't have time to prepare for their hurry-up run offense. However, I also believe a championship caliber team could prepare for that in five weeks before a bowl game. Auburn's defense is suspect, but I don't think you can really gameplan for Cam Newton - stuff the box and he throws it, but spread your coverage and he sneaks out and around for 15 yards. So, if they met today, I figure Oregon would win. If they meet in January, I figure Auburn will win. And that's how I'll pick it if given the chance.
3. TCU and BSU
Both deserve a shot over a one-loss team - LSU, Wisconsin, doesn't matter - but only if Auburn or Oregon loses one of their remaining two games. That said, if the next question is which team deserves it first, my answer is BSU without hesitation. The no-brainer reasoning is based on their recent history against each other. BSU beat TCU in a BCS bowl last year and hasn't lost since or shown any reason why they would lose to TCU this year. Unless TCU can prove they're better than BSU (which they haven't), then BSU deserves the first crack at crashing the national championship.
Of course, some will argue that the Mountain West is much stronger than the WAC and BSU's schedule is, overall, weaker than TCU's. That is clearly true, but neither team was going to lose a conference game, so we have to look outside conference play, and BSU has a decisive advantage there. Both teams played Oregon State in what essentially amounted to home games, but I give TCU a small edge because it was at a "neutral site" instead of on a blue field. With Oregon State removed, their strongest non-conference opponents were Baylor (for TCU) and Virginia Tech (for BSU). A potential BCS conference champion is stronger than a perennial basement team in an up-year, especially since BSU beat Virginia Tech 2000 miles from Boise. Still, this is secondary to BSU beating TCU the last two times they've played. BSU should be ranked #3
behind Oregon and Auburn.
4. Cam Newton
As an Auburn fan, it's a stressful situation. Debates still rage over whether they were truly the best team in the country the last two times they were undefeated. In 1993 they were on probation for late '80s recruiting violations and couldn't even be seen on TV. In 2004 they were probably even better, but pre-season rankings locked them out of the title game. In 2010, the recruitment of their star quarterback is threatening their first chance at a national championship in decades. So what do I think? It's simple: Without proof, it's just hearsay, and it's not much of a story. If he took the money, then it's another season wasted for Auburn. If he didn't take the money, then shame on everyone who has already thrown him under the proverbial bus for it. Until we know for sure, it's a pointless story.
Perhaps most importantly: he is clearly the best player in college football this year, and 11 teams still lost to Auburn on the field. If those wins are vacated, the teams that lost to Auburn don't deserve any boost for it, because they still lost those games.