Oregon, Auburn lead the pack as NCAA bowl mania begins

By Justin Cohen

Writer

The end of the 2010 college football season has been nothing but spectacular, but a trio of huge Black Friday games helped to shape the possible Bowl Championship Series (BCS) landscape.

With only one week left in the college football season, pending any major upsets, the top contenders have set their place among the elite and are poised to accept invitations to key bowl games. The five big gamesthe Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and BCS Championship Game—are getting ready to give this year’s top schools money and publicity.

Oregon and Auburn are currently the two schools poised to play in the BCS Championship Game. Both teams are undefeated and claim stellar offenses. Auburn has defeated four ranked opponents this season. Quarterback Cam Newton has put together a marvelous season with 3,590 combined passing and running yards and 43 total touchdowns.

Oregon averages over 50 points per game. Star running back LaMichael James leads their offense with over 1,500 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. With both offenses putting up huge scores week after week, it would not be surprising if a high-scoring championship game awaits us as the top two teams are en route to clash on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

Beneath the top two, the non-automatic qualifying schools have been making headlines all season. TCU and Boise State have had impressive seasons, but Boise State was defeated by Nevada in overtime last Friday, ending the Broncos’ chances of playing for the national title.

TCU still remains undefeated as the number-three team in the BCS, and, with its season already finished, a Rose Bowl bid could be in the future. If a monumental upset were to happen over one of the top two teams, the Horned Frogs could even punch their ticket to Glendale for their own bid at a championship.

After the three undefeated teams, many one-loss teams are poised to accept BCS bowl bids, such as Stanford, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, Oklahoma and LSU.

Stanford has had excellent play from quarterback and possible first-round draft pick Andrew Luck. The Cardinals’ only loss came at the hands of undefeated Oregon. Wisconsin has put up over 200 points in the last three weeks and claimed the Big 10 tiebreaker over Ohio State and Michigan State, even though both had the same record.

Arkansas is the second-best BCS team in the SEC. Rounding out the top 10 in the BCS are Oklahoma, whose quarterback Landry Jones has passed for nearly 4,000 yards, and LSU, who has been in numerous close games this year, with the scoring difference between its opponents in eight of their games at eight or less.

Regardless of who plays, the bowls are all played with extra meaning as every team is looking to bring victory and honor to its school.

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