The 2010 season is now over and the Ducks completed their best season in school history. Although they did not beat Auburn in Glendale, the team still deserves recognition. SEC blogs and reports boast that “them Orygun boys couldn't live up to a real defense,” “Orygun was never in that game,” or “when push came to shove, Orygun wasn't able to match up with the tough SEC.”
It's true that when it's all said and done, a win's a win and a loss is a loss. But to say that the Ducks weren't competitive at the Natty is ludacris. Darron Thomas played his heart out, scampering away from All-American Nick Fairley, in order to complete 27 of 40 for 363 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. Cliff Harris led the defense with an interception and a fumble recovery, he nearly had a second interception one play before Cam Newton threw a 35 yard touchdown to give Auburn a 7-3 lead. Had Harris held onto that ball before tumbling out-of-bounds, the game may have changed drastically.
But of course there's no way Harris holds onto that ball, because the Ducks were never in the game, right? When Darron Thomas found LaMichael James for a late touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion to tie the game, the Ducks still weren't in it, were they?
Regardless of what the SEC biased country says, they may just need to watch the tape again. Had LaMichael James scored on the 3rd and 2 from the Auburn 3 on the first play of the second quarter the game would have been different. Or if Lavasier Tuinei scored in the third quarter, or Kenyon Barner scored on any of the four plays to come things may have changed. Oh and don't forget about the safety the Tigers squeaked out to give them a crucial two points. I'm not trying to make excuses for the Ducks, Auburn is a very, very good team, but it was a lot closer than the SEC biased bloggers and reporters think. The Ducks were very close to celebrating in Glendale.
The Ducks may have fallen short to the SEC West Champion Auburn Tigers 10 days ago, but they will get another shot on opening day in the 2011 season, when they travel to Dallas to play the LSU Tigers. Many of the same SEC bloggers who claim that Auburn rolled over the Ducks in the National Title Game, brag that the Ducks won't match up to Les Miles and the Tigers.
If the SEC can be biased, then why can't the Pac-12? Look for the Ducks to roll into Oregon, having won 15 straight regular season games, with no hopes of breaking that streak.
I know all of us Ducks fans wanted and expected to win in Glendale, but don't hang your heads. Cam Newton's and Jim Harbaugh ran away to the NFL and that leaves the door wide open for a repeat appearance in the 2012 National Title Game next January at the Superdome in New Orleans.
So, sit back, relax, and while you get ready for the Tigers in September, watch Ducks Basketball take place on brand new Matthew Knight Arena's wacky floor.
I love my Ducks!