Three things we learned from the 2010 NCAA football regular season:

One player can make a difference

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that I’m talking about Cam Newton. Without Newton, Auburn is a mediocre team at best and is nowhere near the BCS national championship game this season. They may have been good enough to go bowling, but they probably would’ve been in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl instead of playing for the national title. Newton didn’t quite take the easiest road in becoming an Auburn Tiger, but I’m sure he’s glad he did. I’m also sure the university and its fans are glad he did too, even with the NCAA investigations that have transpired over the past few months. I think it’s going to end up working out for Newton and Auburn, at least this season. He’s the front-runner for the most coveted individual award in sports and he has his team in position to be honored as the best football team in the country. Needless to say, Newton has provided college football with much excitement this season, and he still has one game to go.

Sometimes winning just isn’t enough

At the start of this season, we all thought that Boise State would’ve been the team who was left out of the national championship even after going undefeated. Well a couple missed field goals and an unlikely regular season loss later, TCU is our new favorite snub. The Horned Frogs had a spectacular regular season, going 12-0, but still found themselves on the outside looking in after both Auburn (13-0) and Oregon (12-0) went undefeated in much tougher conferences. I’m not sure if TCU would’ve jumped ahead of a one-loss Auburn and/or Oregon team, but it definitely would’ve made things much more interesting. As it is now, TCU will match up with Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. This is probably one of the games I am most looking forward to because it gives TCU a chance to showcase just how good they are. It also features the nation’s No. 3 ranked rushing defense (89 yards per game) in TCU against the three-headed running attack of Wisconsin, who is averaging 247.3 yards a contest. It also features a Badgers offense that has scored 70 or more points three times this season (which could be more than their basketball team at this point) against TCU’s No. 1 defense, who only gives up 11.4 points per contest.

Running the ball, not passing, is formula for success

I’m just going to let the statistics for the top five teams in the nation do the talking for me on this one.

No. 1 Auburn Tigers
287.2 rush yards per game/210.5 pass yards
6th in nation/69th in nation

No. 2 Oregon Ducks
303.5 rush yards/233.7 pass yards
4th in nation/48th in nation

No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs
261.2 rush yards/230.3 pass yards
8th in nation/53rd in nation

No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (outlier)
211 rush yards/256.3 pass yards
17th in nation/30th in nation

No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers
247.3 rush yards/202.8 pass yards
12th in nation/74th in nation

Now, who ever said passing is the name of the game?

Submitted by Steve Giles