The 2011 BCS National Championship Game, played to crown the ostensible champs of the 2010 college football season, is just days away. After a largely flat and uninteresting postseason, let's reacquaint ourselves with two of the three remaining undefeated teams in I-A ball:
The No. 1 Auburn Tigers: Are here thanks to, among other reasons, Cam Newton's father's lack of prowess as a financial negotiator. And though they're known for the Explosive! Offensive! Firepower! of Gus Malzahn, they've had their low-octane moments. There was the 17-14 victory at Mississippi State in Week 2, and the 27-24 overtime win over Clemson the week after that. Showing a flair for playing down to overmatched opponents, the Tigers edged past Kentucky, 37-34, in early October before putting the pedal down. They've been held below 30 points only four times this season, and scored above 40 seven times. For dramatic purposes, they saved their highest-profile wins for last: A 28-27 nailbaiter of an Iron Bowl triumph, and a 56-17 obliteration of South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game.
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks: Look to finally win the big one after past brushes with BCS glory and a rare season in which they got to keep the same quarterback for twelve weeks without him losing a limb. The Ducks shut out their only mid-major and I-AA opponents this season by margins of 69 and 72 points, and apart from one bizarro 51-13 hiccup against Cal in mid-November, have scored at least 37 points in every regular-season game of 2010, with an average of over 49 ppg. They beat all three of their ranked Pac-10 opponents by a combined margin of 153-92, and emerged with an uncontested conference title. And other than Cal, no team this season finished within a possession of even tying them.
Both teams are undefeated, with Oregon at 12-0 and Auburn 13-0. Both entered the 2010 BCS standings ranked in the top five, and have not fallen out since. They're separated in the final regular-season BCS standings by just over a hundredth of a point. Scandal and hysteria aside, after a season rife with the public faceplants of traditional power after power, the folks who actually stand to make money off this contest couldn't have scripted a better matchup.
The 2011 BCS Championship Game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. EST on Monday, January 10. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream right up through game time, as we review key unit matchups, odds, bowl history and more, and connect with Ducks and Tigers fans at SB Nation's Addicted To Quack and Track and Track Em Tigers. For a complete list of bowl games and scores, browse our 2010 college football postseason schedule.