SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Tigers Maul Gamecocks, 56-17, Are Locks For BCS Title Game

Capping a year fraught with the upendings of historical powers in the SEC, the Auburn Tigers demolished the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Georgia Dome to claim the SEC Championship.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Tigers 56, Gamecocks 17 (Final)

We've hit rock bottom here in the Georgia Dome, in the waning minutes of the 2010 SEC Championship Game. Trailing 49-17 in the biggest game of his career as skipper of the Gamecocks, Steve Spurrier comes up on a third down his team can't convert -- and kicks a field goal. This one actually sails true off the foot of Spencer Lanning, but the psychic damage is done: If you're not watching, trust me when I say you've never seen a finer Tommy Bowden imitation than the one the Ol' Ballcoach is putting on right now. It is beyond upsetting.

The carnage isn't over. It's senior back Mario Fannin's birthday today, and he's brought out along with Barrett Trotter for what will be the Tigers' final drive. Trotter throws one 16-yard pass to Derek Winter, but the duo keep the ball on the ground the rest of the way, and Fannin plays out his swan song in the Georgia Dome with a six-yard touchdown. Connor Shaw takes the field for a final, heartsick two minutes, and it's all over. Final score in the 2010 SEC Championship Game: Auburn 56, South Carolina 17.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Emory Blake Extends Tigers' Lead To 49-14

With half the third quarter gone and a massive lead in the 2010 SEC Championship Game, it's evident the Tigers are eager to start running the clock out, but first they've got to get the ball back from the Gamecocks, who are anything but eager to share. Share they will, however, as the deceptively-named Ace Sanders fumbles a pass away at midfield.

Michael Dyer gets five straight carries, and the SC defense is visibly wearied trying to keep up as Onterio McCalebb takes his turn and rips off 22 yards down the right sideline. Five more rushing plays and one incomplete Cam Newton pass later, Emory Blake catches a 7-yard touchdown pass. It's Auburn 49, South Carolina 14, and the fourth quarter has barely begun. This would maybe be a good time to catch up on those leftover lunch dishes in the sink, do some laundry, or mix a pitcher of cocktails to get you through tonight's Big 12 Championship Game.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Cam Newton, Stephen Garcia Score Two More For Tigers

South Carolina, momentum dampened by Cam Newton's half-ending Hail Mary pass, get the ball to start the second half of the 2010 SEC Championship Game, and open the third quarter with a whimper. A five-minute drive stretching from their own 25-yard-line to Auburn's is rendered useless when Spencer Lanning misses a 42-yard field goal.

The Tigers are happy to oblige viewers eager for points, however, and in about a minute and a half, Cam Newton has hit Emory Blake with passes of six and 39 yards, rushed for 25 more, and barreled into the endzone for a one-yard score. Auburn 35, South Carolina 14.

It's about to get worse. On the Gamecocks' third answering play from scrimmage, Stephen Garcia is intercepted deep in his own territory for an 8-yard pick-six from T'Sharvan Bell. With 7:29 remaining in the third quarter, Auburn leads South Carolina, 42-17.

To make matters worse for Sakerlina, they're now at the losing end of a record. Cam Newton has just become the second player (along with former Gatormate Tim Tebow, natch) to throw and run for 20 touchdowns in a single season.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Cam Newton Hail Mary Gives Tigers 28-14 Halftime Lead

Update: Here's the Auburn Hail Mary video

After 28 points in one quarter, the Gamecocks and Tigers decide to slow the roll of the 2010 SEC Championship Game with a couple of well-timed turnovers.

South Carolina goes three-and-out following Auburn's third touchdown, and the Tigers appear to be slightly discombobulated on their next drive. Michael Dyer gains only two yards on first down; Cam Newton hits Darvin Adams for a 10-yard gain but throws two incompletions, and then something extraordinary happens: On 3rd-and-9, on Auburn's 30-yard line, Cam Newton loses the first fumble of his college career. There is a wiggling pile of bodies atop the ball almost immediately, and back it goes to the Gamecocks ... who hand it back themselves with a Stephen Garcia interception on second down.

Next, of course, Auburn goes three-and-out themselves, and South Carolina begins to employ Marcus Lattimore with a seriousness not seen so far this afternoon. The Gamecocks call three straight rushing plays; the freshman tailback records gains of 12 and 11 yards, while Garcia adds an additional six. A sack and a penalty set the drive back, and Spencer Lanning comes on to attempt a 51-yard field goal, which sails wide left.

South Carolina's defense bucks up admirably on Auburn's next drive. With 5:32 remaining in the half on a fresh first down, South Carolina linebacker Josh Dickerson sails through the Auburn line to bring Newton down with a 2-yard loss. On the next play, undeterred, Darvin Adams brings down a 16-yard midair catch. A holding penalty slows the Tigers' roll, and the ever-reliable Wes Byrum misses a 36-yard field goal.

The Gamecocks get into enemy territory with big plays from Lattimore, Patrick DiMarco, and Auburn pass interferers. Stephen Garcia gets a good look at the end zone but over throws D.L. Moore and South Carolina has to settle for ... a 26-yard reception by Lattimore on 3rd-and-9, and a one-yard touchdown grab by Alshon Jeffery! There's a football game brewing in what's been a foregone conclusion all week, and ...

... here we go again! Auburn has 12 seconds on the clock and a one-touchdown lead. On second down, with seven seconds remaining, Newton launches the ball 51 yards into the endzone, where it's tipped and then caught by Darvin Adams, who does not drop it. Now, for real this time, Auburn has a two-touchdown lead over South Carolina at the half, 28-14. Steve Spurrier, speaking to Tracy Wolfson: "Yeah, we looked pretty stupid on that last play."

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Darvin Adams Puts Tigers Up 21-7 (And Makes It Look Easy)

Brace yourselves, delicate viewers of the 2010 SEC Championship Game: Several plays are about to elapse without any scoring taking place.

South Carolina takes over on their own 19-yard line with 5:24 remaining in the first quarter. An 18-yard kickoff return got them out of reach of their own endzone, but the ball won't be going much farther down the field.

Stephen Garcia gets a paltry yard running up the middle on first down, but recovers nicely with a 10-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery on 2nd-and-9. The Gamecocks' second set of downs will not be converted, however, and Auburn gets the ball back on their own 14-yard line.

Right away, what the pundits are going to call EXPLOSIVE! PLAYCALLING! rears its ugly but effective head. Cam Newton hits Philip Lutzenkirchen over the middle for an 18-yard pass; Michael Dyer rushes right for four yards; Newton throws another rare incompletion -- and then hits Darvin Adams in stride for a 54-yard touchdown. It should be pointed out that Adams isn't even jogging fast. An easy lope into the endzone, with nobody close, and the Tigers are up by two scores. With 2:20 remaining in the first quarter, Auburn leads South Carolina, 21-7.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Cam Newton's Legs Retake Tigers' Lead, 14-7

The Auburn Tigers take over, after a 22-yard kickoff return by Demond Washington, at their own 26-yard line. Cam Newton gets straight back to making flashy plays, hitting Eric Smith down the right side for a 14-yard gain on first down. The Gamecocks seem to have Michael Dyer's number early, as the highly-touted freshman gets a bare yard on his next carry. Undeterred, Newton takes to the air for an 11-yard pass to Darvin Adams.

Auburns' next set of downs are more frustrating -- to begin with. Newton throws an incomplete pass thanks to a tipped ball, rushes right for a two-yard loss, and just when you think Auburn might be slowed, he runs right over the middle for a 20-yard gain on 3rd-and-12. There is no other team in the SEC that can pull off a move like that with such confidence. Two plays later, Darvin Adams catches a 13-yarder; Dyer finally gets an 11-yard gash up the middle, and Newton himself barrels a final five yards for a touchdown. With 6:08 remaining in the first quarter of the 2010 SEC Championship Game, Auburn leads South Carolina, 14-7.

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SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Gamecocks Tie It Up, 7-7

The Tigers lead 7-0 in the first quarter of the 2010 SEC Championship Game, but not to be outdone, Auburn's defense takes great pans to show it can be just as gracious as South Carolina's.

Bryce Sherman managed a 25-yard kickoff return for the Gamecocks, and on first down, Stephen Garcia hits Alshon Jeffery for a 13-yard pass down the middle. Freshman phenom tailback Marcus Lattimore gets the next two touches, and gains four yards. Garcia, faced with 3rd-and-5, pulls a classic Spurrier move and hits D.L. Moore for an 18-yard gain, then rushes himself for 7 yards on the Gamecocks' next first down. One more pass to Jeffery for 12 yards, and South Carolina is well within striking distance. And strike they do, with Garcia hitting a wide-open Patrick DiMarco over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown. With 10:17 remaining in the first quarter, the 2010 SEC Championship Game is tied, 7-7.

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