Welcome to Dr. Saturday's BCS as the College Football Playoff feature. This week we'll go through each of the 16 years of the BCS and hypothesize if the national championship would have changed hands under the new College Football Playoff.
Since we don't have the benefit of a selection committee, we're taking the top four teams from the BCS standings entering bowl season. Another rematch in 2009?
No. 1 Auburn (14-0)
Coach: Gene Chizik
Notable players: QB Cam Newton, RB Michael Dyer, RB Onterio McCalebb, WR Darvin Adams, DL Nick Fairley, DL Antoine Carter, DB Neiko Thorpe
Auburn's season: The Alabama dominance shifted in 2010. After an overtime scare against Clemson in September, Auburn beat Kentucky by three on Oct. 9. In the Iron Bowl, the Tigers came back from a 24-0 deficit in the first half to win 28-27. (Side note: The 2010 Iron Bowl was great, but it's dwarfed by 2013.) The win set up a rematch with South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game after the Tigers won the first game by eight. The second game was 56-17 in Auburn's favor. Newton won the Heisman, throwing for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns while running for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns.
No. 2 Oregon (12-1)
Coach: Chip Kelly
Notable players: QB Darron Thomas, RB LaMichael James, WR Jeff Maehl, LB Spencer Paysinger, LB Dion Jordan, DB Cliff Harris
Oregon's season: The Ducks offense was unstoppable all season with the exception of a visit to Cal. There, Oregon won a defensive struggle 15-13. Every other game, Oregon scored at least 37 points and scored 48 or more points eight times. Thomas threw for 2,881 yards and 30 touchdowns while James ran for 1,731 yards and 21 touchdowns.
No. 3 TCU (13-0)
Coach: Gary Patterson
Notable players: QB Andy Dalton, RB Ed Wesley, RB Matthew Tucker, WR Josh Boyce, DL Wayne Daniels, DB Alex Ibiloye, DB Tejay Johnson
TCU's season: The Horned Frogs again went undefeated and came up short. Blame it on the Mountain West. TCU scheduled and beat Oregon State in the first game of the season and then demolished its conference opposition. The closest game was a 40-35 win over San Diego State on Nov. 13. Dalton threw for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns while Wesley ran for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns.
No. 4 Stanford (12-1)
Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Notable players: QB Andrew Luck, RB Stepfan Taylor, WR Doug Baldwin, TE Coby Fleener, LB Shayne Skov, DL Sione Fua, DB Richard Sherman
Stanford's season: The loss on Stanford's schedule came at the hands of the conference foe two spots ahead. That was a trip to Oregon on Oct. 2 that the Ducks won 52-31. A week later, Stanford escaped against USC 37-35. In the final six games of the Cardinal's season, Stanford outscored its opponents 226-56. Luck threw for 3,338 yards and 23 touchdowns while Taylor had 1,137 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. And in case you were wondering, Sherman had four interceptions.
The 2011 BCS Championship Game: This one was for all the Tostitos. With the game tied at 19-19, Auburn went on a drive that included a long run by Dyer that almost didn't happen. As he was spun to the turf, Dyer's knee or butt never hit the ground. After a brief hesitation, he kept running and gained 37 yards. On the third play after that run, he ran for 16 more yards and Wes Byrum kicked a 19-yard field goal to give Auburn a 22-19 win. Thomas threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions while Newton had 265 yards passing and two touchdowns and a pick.
The Playoff matchups: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 4 Stanford, No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 TCU
Just missing out: No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Ohio State
The semifinals: Newton vs. Luck? Can you imagine a semifinal like that? This would be a pretty evenly matched game, but we're taking Newton and Auburn here. It's one of the rare games that could be just as likely to finish 16-13 or 38-35. The other semifinal would have been a perfect opportunity for TCU to legitimize its undefeated season. However, Oregon's defense clamps down on the TCU offense and the Ducks escape to play Auburn again.
The finals: With the exception of Dyer's explosion on Auburn's final drive, both teams relatively struggled running the ball in the BCS Championship Game. Oregon ran 32 times for 75 yards while Newton ran 22 times for 64 yards. However, we don't think Newton is bottled up in this hypothetical final. While it's very close with James, Newton is the best player on the field. We're taking Auburn.
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