Programming note: Join the Doc at 8:30 p.m. ET for a BCS Championship live blog.
Predictions: There are too many to count, and none of them are worth the screens they're magically displayed upon – individually, anyway. Assuming the wisdom of crowds might fare somewhat better, I hit up some of the top college football voices on Twitter for their picks in tonight's BCS Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon, in 140 characters or less:
• Stewart Mandel, national columnist for Sports Illustrated: "Auburn, 48-39. I don't have much faith in either teams' defense to stop the other's offense. Cam Newton will be more unstoppable than Oregon." (@slmandel)
• Chris Brown, proprietor of Smart Football and occasional contributor to the New York Times: "Auburn 38, Oregon 35. Defense will be the difference but, while OU's is better, I like Auburn's stellar D-Line in the matchup. Plus, Cam." (@smartfootball)
• Clay Travis, Nashville-based author, radio host and columnist for AOL Fan House:Auburn wins 41-31, breaking open a tie game in 4th quarter with final ten points. Whether it will stand, who knows?"(@ClayTravisBGID) "
• Graham Watson, college sports reporter for AOL Fan House: "Oregon has had the flashy offense, but they haven't been tested as much as Auburn. Hard to go against Newton in this game. Auburn 45-41." (@greide)
• Pete Thamel, national college football and basketball reporter for the New York Times:Oregon 28, Auburn 27. It won't be as high scoring as many predicted. Look for Cliff Harris to make one more big play in a big game." (@PeteThamelNYT) "
• Bryan Fischer, national columnist for CBS Sports: "Oregon 38, Auburn 33. Despite visions of VY-Rose Bowl in my head, UO's defense gets at least one stop of Newton. Auburn D is gassed in 4th." (@BryanDFischer)
• Dan Rubenstein, Oregon fan and one half of the Solid Verbal podcast for Sirius Radio's The Score: "Long layoff favors the better prepared team. Great offenses means D that turns balls over has an advantage. Oregon 34 - Auburn 27." (@Dan_Rubenstein)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled Cam Newton love fest:
• Bill Connelly, proprietor of Rock M Nation and college analyst for Football Outsiders: "Auburn 39, Oregon 28. The teams have put together similar statistical profiles, but Auburn's done it against much tougher competition." (@FO_College)
• Teddy Greenstein, reporter for the Chicago Tribune: "I'll take the team that was ranked 22nd to start the season over the the 22-1 longshot to win a national title. Auburn 34, Oregon 33." (@TeddyGreenstein)
There you are: Consensus says Auburn by about 2-to-1, no one citing SEC superiority (thanks for the restraint, Clay) and no one except Pete Thamel imagining either team winning with less than 33 points – a good bet, considering five of the last six champs have easily exceeded that number in victory. The good news if you're just hoping for a close game: The widest predicted spread in is only 11 points. Everyone sees a tight game into the fourth quarter, which is all an unaffiliated fan can ask for.
Oh, and as for the Doc's pick? I'll be weighing in later.
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.