If only TCU could play Auburn for the title

January, 11, 2011
As I watched Auburn's winning field goal go through the uprights (I was in the stadium to witness it because my dad and most of my family graduated from Auburn and have been season-ticket holders for over 50 years), I couldn't help but wonder how fun a TCU-Auburn game would be (full disclosure: I went to TCU, so that would be really cool for me).

We now have two undefeated teams, but only one national champion. Don't misunderstand: Auburn deserves its No. 1 ranking. The Tigers beat seven teams in the top-25 and got through the SEC without a blemish. But TCU beat everyone on its schedule, including a Wisconsin team that many considered the best one-loss team in the country. Just picture:

* Auburn QB Cam Newton against TCU's top-ranked defense. Few teams did much to stop Newton, but how might Gary Patterson's defense scheme things up against him? I'd sure like to see that.

* Auburn's running game against TCU's rush defense. Michael Dyer was a big reason Auburn beat Oregon to win the title. Could Auburn's big offensive line muscle TCU's line to create holes in the running game? How might TCU slow down Auburn's ground game?

* How would TCU QB Andy Dalton do against Auburn's secondary? Auburn had a top-10 rushing defense all season, but the pass defense was not nearly as good. Could Dalton take advantage?

* While TCU and Oregon have similar styles of offenses, TCU is deeper at the running back and wide receivers. How would Auburn's defense account for all of the playmakers on the field at the same time for the Frogs?

* Newton is unreal in the open field and has made the zone-read a weapon for the Tigers. But Dalton has been running that play with major success for years now at TCU. It would be interesting to see both run their offenses.

* Think of the storylines about the top-2 defensive players on each team. Nick Fairley dominated Oregon and disrupted the Ducks most of the night. Tank Carder was all over the field against Wisconsin and got his hands on the tw0-point conversion attempt to seal the Rose Bowl.

* It would be the SEC champion against a non-AQ that clearly belongs with the big boys. Wouldn't you tune it to watch that? Too bad it can't happen. If you ask me, it would be a close game between two excellent football teams.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



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