One important point to take away from the freshly-hatched Cam Newton Six-Figure Circus is that the Auburn football program isn't implicated, unless they, too, were asked to pay him, and right now nobody's saying that they were or they did. Gene Chizik addressed the issue rather emphatically at the top of his radio show tonight:
Not a lot of wiggle room there. But if Newton is ruled ineligible thanks to incidents that took place before he even signed with the Tigers, because of the agent-like substance alleged to have contacted Mississippi State on his behalf, the SEC West title, SEC championship, and national title races will all change dramatically. SB Nation Atlanta takes a look at the wider implications if Auburn is forced to take the field without their brightest star:
Newton has accounted for 41 percent of his team’s rushing yards and 93 percent of their passing yards. He’s even caught one of Auburn’s 16 touchdown receptions. He’s fourth in the nation in rushing yards and yards per pass attempt, and he’s done it against one of the country’s toughest schedules.
Without him Auburn might have a decent running game, though much of Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb’s effectiveness has been due to the attention Newton draws.
Auburn’s defense ranks in the bottom of the SEC. The only teams worse in both scoring and total defense are the Mississippi Rebels, Tennessee Volunteers, and Vanderbilt Commodores, who combine for one SEC win against teams besides each other.