Auburn University is the top-ranked team in college football, and will play Oregon for the Bowl Championship Series title on January 10 in Arizona.
Last Saturday in New York, Tigers’ quarterback Cam Newton was named the Heisman Trophy winner in a rout, but not without controversy.
Though not calling out Reggie Bush just yet, there is a cloud hovering over the choice, given that Cam’s father Cecil has said his son was for sale at the right price.
Newton, a 6’, 6”, 250-pound junior, beat out Stanford signal-caller Andrew Luck, Ducks’ running back LaMichael James, and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore for the most-coveted piece of hardware.
“Honestly, it’s a dream come true for me, something every child has a dream about that plays the sport of football, and I’m living testimony that anything is possible,” Newton said.
On paper and film, it seems the right choice. After all, the Tigers are undefeated, and Newton is a big reason why they’re making their first appearance in the title game.
Newton has the height of a lineman and the speed of a tailback. Forget trying to arm tackle him, because it will take every bit of strength and energy just to bring him down.
Newton is a marvelous passer with pin-point accuracy. In a victory over Georgia, the 21-year-old Newton became the first Southeastern Conference player to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
During the gauntlet that is the college football campaign, Newton, who initially attended the University of Florida in 2007 and 2008, before leaving for Blinn Junior College in Texas, has proven himself on the field, and is deserving of the Heisman, Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp Award.
Working in the always-brutal SEC, where each game is a knock-down affair, Auburn was the best team. Some games were close, but the Tigers always found a way to escape.
None was more dramatic than the Iron Bowl, the yearly battle between arch-rival Alabama and Auburn. Trailing 24-0 at the half, it looked as though the Tigers’ chances for a national crown were slipping away.
Not to worry, for over the next 30 minutes, Newton put on a tour de force that hasn’t been seen in some time.
Newton, who hails from Georgia, erased the deficit and rallied the Tigers by throwing for 216 yards with three touchdowns, running for one more, as Auburn pulled out a 28-27 triumph.
In November, Mississippi State claimed the elder Newton peddled his son for money, which is in clear violation of NCAA rules.
In early December, Newton was ruled ineligible, but a few days later, the NCAA reversed its decision, stating Newton was eligible for the SEC title clash against South Carolina.
It’s a good thing for the Auburn faithful Newton was, as he accounted for six touchdowns (four through the air and two on the ground) during the 56-17 thrashing of the Gamecocks.
So far, it’s been an amazing run for Newton, who is well-spoken and poised.
For Newton’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t have to return the Heisman, something Bush felt obligated to do.
Rick Assad has been a sportswriter for more than two decades. He has a political science degree from UCLA, a journalism degree from CSUN, and is a staff writer for diamondboxing.com, and is a columnist for socalboxing.wordpress.com. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.