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Entries in Nick Fairley (3)


Auburn Wins BCS National Championship

Picture of Gene Chizik and Nick Fairley

One Great Season

Better late than never.

Football fans didn't get the 60 minutes of excitement they were promised, but they still saw a thrilling final five minutes as Auburn won the BCS National Championship game over Oregon, 22-19, in Glendale, Ariz., Monday night. Auburn's Wes Byrum made a 19-yard field goal as time expired to provide the winning margin.

Auburn appeared to have scored the game-winning touchdown on a scamper up the middle by freshman running back Michael Dyer in the late seconds. But officials reviewed the play and ruled him down inside the 1-yard line. The Tigers then ran one play to kill some clock before trotting out Byrum for his heroic kick that sent Toomer's Corner into toilet-paper mode back home in ice-covered Alabama.

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Auburn-Oregon Preview: Finally, The Prediction

Logo BCS National Championship Game

One Great Season

The OGS editorial team was hoping to crank out 17 BCS National Championship Game preview breakdowns before tonight's kickoff. Please forgive us for only providing you with 15 pieces over the last two weeks.

Below are the links to all of them, as well as to some other recent stories related to Oregon and Auburn. And below that section will be one final preview ending in One Great Season's official prediction for tonight's title tilt. Lastly, don't forget to visit OGS after the game and througout the day Tuesday with post-game coverage and reaction.

Auburn-Oregon Previews:

+ The Quarterbacks
+ The Running Backs
+ The Receivers
+ The Offensive Lines
+ The Defensive Lines
+ The Linebackers
+ The Defensive Backs
+ Special Teams
+ The Coaches
+ Auburn Rush Offense vs. Oregon Rush Defense
+ Auburn Pass Offense vs. Oregon Pass Defense
+ Oregon Rush Offense vs. Auburn Rush Defense
+ Oregon Pass Offense vs. Auburn Pass Defense
+ Stats, Trends & Other Notes

+ NCG COACHES: No Sophomore Jinx For Kelly, Chizik

+ AMERICA'S TEAM: Is It Oregon?


+ COLLEGE STARS: Did Cam Newton Steal Terrelle Pryor's Season?

+ HEISMAN BROADCAST: Fowler, ESPN Navigate Newton's Bumpy Road

+ COMPARISON: Auburn Comeback Impressive, But Oregon Win More Telling

+ TIMELINE: The Cam Newton Saga

Some think the long layoff will hurt the Ducks more because their offense is reliant on sharpness, angles, technique and precision. I am not one of them. I'm more inclined to think Auburn's defensive anchor, tackle Nick Fairley, may have enjoyed himself at a postseason banquet or two or downed a few slices of holiday pie. He's Auburn's best chance to disrupt the Oregon offensive flow, and while he'll be the best defensive player on the field for either side, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Ducks come right out at an even more frenetic pace than usual to see what kind of conditioning they're up against. One of two things will happen: the Lombardi Award winner will tire early and the Ducks will be successful, or Fairley and his linemates will be game and Oregon will have to adjust.

So from a cardiovascular perspective, Oregon is more likely to wear the opponent down. But from a physical point-of-view, I give the edge to Auburn. The war of attrition is even.

If everyone stays healthy and the teams play their respective games, I think Oregon has the slightly better chance of winning. In addition to Fairley being the best defensive player in the game, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be the best offensive player of the game. Those kinds of superlatives are nice during awards season, but if your goal is a championship, you need the superior team, and that's where Oregon has the advantage. And back to individual players, Oregon will have the second-best defensive player in the game in Casey Matthews and the second-best offensive player, Heisman third-place finisher LaMichael James.

Newton will make big plays and James will make big plays. So if their achievements cancel each other out, what will be the difference? A Cliff Harris touchdown return, either via punt or interception. Oregon wins, 34-30, in a slightly lower-scoring game than everyone's expecting.


Auburn-Oregon Preview: The Defensive Lines

Picture Of Nick Fairley

Welcome to the fifth of 17 — yep, 17 — BCS National Championship Game preview pieces here on OGS. Each day until Jan. 10, we'll take a comparative look at Auburn and Oregon. Today's fifth topic examines each team's defensive lines.

One Great Season

We've previewed four positions and singled out game-changers like Auburn's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton and Oregon's electrifying running back LaMichael James.

Today's breakdown of the teams' defensive lines brings us to the BCS National Championship Game's next difference-maker, Auburn tackle Nick Fairley.

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