Once again chants of S.E.C!, S.E.C! are happening around the south, especially in Auburn, Alabama. The Tigers won their first national championship since 1957 defeating Oregon in the BCS National Championship Game 22-19.
"Well, obviously, you know, it is really hard for me to describe the feeling that I have for the Auburn family." Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said in the post game press conference. "I'm not sure if 15 weeks ago anyone believed that we could do this except us."
Auburn was no where near the national championship radar screen when the season kicked off in August. Cam Newton was just another SEC quarterback. 14 games and an intense NCAA investigation later Newton is the Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn wins the national championship.
"I don't want nobody to feel sorry for me because throughout this year didn't nobody feel sorry for Auburn." Auburn quarterback Cam Newton said in the post game press conference. "We got the last laugh."
Newton completed one of the best seasons by a college quarterback and accomplished the tri-fecta. SEC Championship, Heisman Trophy winner and now leading his Tiger team to a National Championship. Is the NFL next for Newton?
"I'm not going to make no decision right now." Newton said. "It is something I have to sit down with Coach Chizik and my family and just get the vibe of so many different people. We will go from there."
"He is a great football player, and he is a great human being." Chizik said of his starting quarterback. "We love him at Auburn and we got his back in everything that he does and everything that he stands for."
"He (Newton) is a great football player." Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said in the post game press conference. "I'm not into ranking guys. I wasn't there to see Sammy Baugh play, but in my career as a head coach, he's the best player I've seen."
While Newton and the explosive Auburn defense has received most of the attention this year, the Tiger defense was the difference in the game. Mike McNeil led Auburn with 14 tackles and Nick Fairley was all over the field. Oregon had a hell of a time accounting for Fairley throughout the game.
"Nick Fairley proved he was the best defensive lineman in the country." Kelly said.
Fairley ended up with five tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss.
"Man, our defense, we showed America everything we done each and every Saturday out there on the field." Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley said in the post game press conference. "Man, we have been doing this, like I said, for 14 weeks. We just went unnoticed throughout the year. Now that we got noticed out here on the big stand, we just showed what we can do."
Chip Kelly added, "I had a lot of respect for them defensively. I was really, really impressed with their front. We knew it was going to be a test for us."
Here's sound with Auburn QB Cam Newton after the game. (Thanks WVTM-TV)
Auburn's kicker Wes Byrum on the field after the game. (Thanks CBS Sports.com)
Photo Courtesy: Hal Yaeger/The Birmingham News