Skip to main content

Fiction: I-A Playoffs: Auburn Carted Off as National Champions

Auburn 20, USC 17
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville was carried off the field as undefeated and uncontested national champions, after defeating a shocked USC squad 20-17 on a last-second FG by K John Vaughn.

The Tigers got here by beating Utah 29-27, Louisville 24-0, and Michigan 24-21. USC got here by beating Boise St. 42-34, Iowa 31-0, and Georgia 37-21. (Michigan beat the previously-unbeaten Sooners 37-33 to set up their semifinal match with USC).

Billed as a high-scoring affair, the tough Tiger defense set the tone with 5 sacks of QB Matt Leinart, and a couple of interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD by J. Rosegreen. At the time it made the score 17-7 late in the 3rd quarter, but the Trojans came right back with a big drive, alternating big RB Reggie Bush rushes and QB Matt Leinart passes. Ultimately Leinart found WR Dwayne Jarrett in the end zone, cutting the lead to 17-14.

After a 3-and-out, the USC offense again drove the length of the field, but the national champion Tiger defense held firm, holding the Trojans to a FG to tie the game with 1:47 remaining. Then, in the defining drive of the game, Orange Bowl MVP Jason Campbell led a bruising drive, with 3 3rd-down conversions. With two seconds left, Vaughn lined up for the 37 yard field goal and nailed it.

After the game, coach Tuberville, who nearly lost his job at the end of last season, said, "I just wanted to win by one, that's all that counts. If you have to win with style points, you might as well throw out all the systems.''

This reporter couldn't agree more. And hopefully next year, I won't need to resort to fiction to find a true national champion. Hopefully we'll have one for real.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

What Are You Doing the Night of Lehigh's 2017 Home Opener?

I have this vision.

It's the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend.  It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

And it's 6:00 PM.

In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program - at Navy, Lehigh's first game against an FBS team in over a decade.

In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?

Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.

However, is it doable?  I've got to believe the answer is "yes".


Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.