Michael James

Auburn, Oregon to open 2019 season at Cowboys stadium

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Nearly a decade after their epic championship game battle, Auburn and Oregon are set to go at it again on a neutral field.

On Twitter Tuesday, AU athletic director Jay Jacobs announced that his Tigers football program will open the 2019 season against the Ducks.  The game will be played at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex, in the annual Cowboys Classic.

Barring a matchup in a bowl or playoff between now and then, the 2019 game will be the second-ever between the programs.  The first was in the BCS title game following the 2010 season, a 22-19 AU win in Glendale, Ariz., that was decided on a Wes Byrum field goal with no time left on the clock.  Byrum’s kick came after the Ducks had tied the game with a LaMichael James touchdown reception from Darron Thomas — and two-point conversion — with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter.

Jacobs’ announcement means that the next five Cowboys Classic games are set:

  • 2015 Alabama vs. Wisconsin
  • 2016 Alabama vs. USC
  • 2017 Florida vs. Michigan
  • 2018 LSU vs. Miami
  • 2019 Auburn vs. Oregon

March Madness upsets sparking the College Football Playoff argument again

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The Atlantic Sun champions from Mercer took advantage of their 14-seed by taking down Duke in the first round in Raleigh, North Carolina Friday afternoon. As is expected whenever something like this happens in the world of college basketball, the inevitable question about seeing something similar happen in college football popped up on Twitter.

Again, comparing college football to college basketball is like comparing apples and oranges. There are too many differences between the two sports and the way they operate to even make it a worthwhile discussion. Even with the start of the brand new College Football Playoff coming our way this 2014 season is not enough to start making comparisons between the two sports and their respective postseason formats.

College football has the BCS busters that have provided some great memories and moments at times. Boise State was put on a map thanks to their trademark blue turf, but it was an upset of Oklahoma that made the Broncos a legitimate household name. Utah managed to win a pair of BCS bowl games against Pittsburgh and Alabama, no small feat that has helped raise their profile to be attractive enough for an invite to join the Pac 10 (now the Pac 12, of course). Others, such as Hawaii and Northern Illinois, have been less fortunate against the bluebloods of the sport, which is similar to the fate most of the heavy underdogs in basketball’s postseason experience.

It’s true. Imaginations run wild when Dayton beats Ohio State and Florida Gulf Coast beats Georgetown, but we are collectively reluctant to embrace the same when Boise State crashes a BCS bowl game or Northern Illinois or Fresno State are making a run. Why is that? For some reason when it comes to football, many prefer to see the teams with the most talent play because the expectation is a more competitive game is more likely.

Instead of spending time wishing college football’s playoff system set a stage for similar March Madness drama or arguing in favor of the sanctity of the regular season, maybe we should just enjoy each sport for what they are. Both are pretty great.

Barner’s record day garners Camp recognition

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In all of the no-brainers through 10 weeks of the 2012 season, this one ranks right up there as one of the biggest.

In its weekly Sunday release, the Walter Camp Foundation announced that Oregon’s Kenjon Barner is one of two players recognized for their outstanding performances in Week 10.

And what an electric, record-breaking performance it was for the running back in earning Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.  In the No. 2 Ducks’ 11-point road win over USC, Barner rushed for 321 yards on “just” 38 carries and score five times on the ground.  The yardage total broke the school record set by LaMichael James, who was in attendance for the game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Kansas State’s Allen Chapman earned defensive honors.  The defensive back recorded three interceptions, returning one of those 29 yards for a touchdown, in the No. 3 Wildcats’ 44-30 win over Oklahoma State.

Chapman is just the third defensive back honored by Camp this season, while Barner is the fourth running back.

Week 1: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner
Week 2: Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones
Week 3
: Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o
Week 4
: Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson, Western Michigan linebacker Desmond Bozeman
Week 5
: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti
Week 6
: Florida running back Mike Gillislee, Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer
Week 7
: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene
Week 8
: Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, LSU linebacker Kevin Minter
Week 9
: Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones
Week 10
: Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, Kansas State defensive back Allen Chapman