GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Before we kick it off here tonight between Auburn and Oregon for the BCS national championship, a few things of note:
This is the first BCS National Championship Game contested between teams that were not ranked in the AP preseason top 10.Oregon was No. 11 and Auburn No. 22.
With both of these teams being led by a head coach in his second season at the school, 10 of the past 11 coaches to win the BCS national championship will have done it within their first four seasons with that program.
Auburn has trailed in eight of its 13 victories this season and overcame double-digit deficits to beat Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
The SEC is 6-0 in BCS National Championships and has won its past seven national title games if you go back to the 1997 Sugar Bowl. No. 3 Florida beat No. 1 Florida State after No. 2 Arizona State had already lost in the Rose Bowl. Auburn can give the SEC five straight BCS titles, with four different schools winning the past four.
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton leads the nation in passing efficiency (188.2, which would be an FBS single-season record) and entered the bowl season ranked 10th nationally with 1,409 rushing yards, which is the most for a quarterback in SEC history. He’s one of three players in FBS history to have 20 touchdown passes and 20 touchdown runs in the same season.
Oregon’s LaMichael James leads the country over the past two seasons with 36 runs of 25 yards or longer.
Auburn’s Gene Chizik is 7-0 in bowl games as a head coach and assistant coach.