2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
BCS Bowl Game
BCS Championship 2011 Logo.gif
1234 Total
Oregon 01108 19
Auburn 01633 22
DateJanuary 10, 2011
StadiumUniversity of Phoenix Stadium
LocationGlendale, Arizona
MVPOffense: Michael Dyer (RB, Auburn)
Defense: Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn)
FavoriteAuburn by 2[1]
National anthemAir Force Cadet Chorale
RefereeBill LeMonnier (Big Ten)
Halftime showAuburn University Marching Band
Oregon Marching Band
PayoutUS$21.2 million
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersBrent Musburger (play-by-play)
Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi (sideline) [2]
Nielsen ratings17.8 (27.3 million viewers)[3]
BCS National Championship Game
 < 2010  2012

The 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game was a college football bowl game to determine the national champion of the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season. The finale of the 2010–2011 Bowl Championship Series was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the host facility of the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on January 10, 2011 (8:30 p.m. ET).

The Auburn Tigers from the Southeastern Conference faced the Oregon Ducks of the Pacific-10 Conference for the national championship. The Ducks were seeking to win their first national championship in school history. A 19-yard field goal by Wes Byrum, as time expired, won the game for the Tigers, with the final score 22–19. It was the Tigers's fifth NCAA recognized national championship and the second claimed by the school.

The game was the first BCS National Championship Game not televised on network television, instead being aired on ESPN[4] and simulcast on ESPN3, and recorded a 16.1 rating, the highest overnight rating on record for a cable television program, topping the previous high of 14.4, set by Patriots vs. Saints on ESPN in 2009.[5] This marked the second time that the national championship under the BCS system was played in Arizona.[6] It was also the first time that the BCS National Championship was streamed to a video game console, specifically the Xbox 360.


Finishing No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS rankings, respectively, the Auburn Tigers from the Southeastern Conference faced the Oregon Ducks of the Pacific-10 Conference for the national championship. Both teams finished the regular season undefeated. The Coaches Poll, which partially factored into the BCS rankings, had Oregon No. 1 and Auburn No. 2, though Auburn's higher rankings in the Harris Interactive Poll and computer polls gave them the edge for No. 1 in the BCS. The Associated Press Poll (AP), which did not factor into the BCS rankings, had Auburn No. 1 and Oregon No. 2.

Oregon Ducks

See also: 2010 Oregon Ducks football team

The Ducks led the Pacific-10 Conference in scoring offense (592 points, 49.3 average), rushing offense (42 touchdowns, 303.8 yards per game), rushing defense (11 touchdowns, 117.6 yards per game), and total offense (71 touchdowns, 537.5 yards per game). The team was led by tailback LaMichael James, who tops the conference with 1,682 yards on 281 carries, 21 touchdowns and averaging 152.9 yards per game. His longest carry was for 76 yards. Jeff Maehl was Oregon's top receiver at 78.58 ypg for 12 touchdowns. Casey Matthews had averaged 6.08 tackles per game for the Ducks, followed by Spencer Paysinger (5.7), Talmadge Jackson III (5.6) and John Boyett (5.6).

Oregon was wearing the Nike new Pro Combat uniforms, their 13th uniform combination worn this season.

Auburn Tigers

See also: 2010 Auburn Tigers football team

The Tigers completed the season on top of the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense (42.7 points per game), rushing offense (287.2 yards per game) and total offense (497.7 yards per game). Auburn also led the conference in pass efficiency (174 of 261 passes, 6 interceptions, 66.7%, 29 touchdowns), third-down conversions (77 of 145, 53.1%) and first downs (316 or 24.3 per game). Quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led the conference in rushing, pass efficiency, total offense, and scoring. On the receiving end, Darvin Adams caught 48 passes for 909 yards (69.92 ypg) and 7 touchdowns. On the defensive side, Auburn was led by Lombardi Award winning, Consensus All-American defensive tackle Nick Fairly, who led the conference in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (24). The Tigers secondary was led by Josh Bynes, Zac Etheridge and Neiko Thorpe combined to make 199 tackles for the Tigers during the season. The Tigers were very strong in close games, having a 6–0 record in one-possession games entering the National Championship.[7][8]

Starting lineups

Selected in an NFL Draft (number corresponds to draft round)

† = 2010 All-American

Auburn Position Oregon
Darvin Adams WR Lavasier Tuinei
Terrell Zachary WR D.J. Davis
Lee Ziemba 7 LT Bo Thran
Mike Berry LG Carson York
Ryan Pugh C Jordan Holmes
Byron Isom RG C.E. Kaiser
Brandon Mosley 4 RT Mark Asper 6
Philip Lutzenkirchen TE David Paulson
Kodi Burns WR Jeff Maehl
Cam Newton 1 QB Darron Thomas
Michael Dyer RB LaMichael James 2
Nosa Eguae DE Terrell Turner
Zach Clayton 7 DT Brandon Blair
Nick Fairley 1 DT Zac Clark
Antoine Carter DE Kenny Rowe
Josh Bynes MLB Casey Matthews 4
Craig Stevens LOLB Spencer Paysinger
Daren Bates ROLB Josh Kaddu 5
Demond Washington CB Cliff Harris
Neiko Thorpe CB Talmadge Jackson III
Zac Etheridge FS John Boyett 6
Mike McNeil SS Eddie Pleasant

Game summary

Prior to the game a moment of silence was held for the victims of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, two days before the game in which U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and six others, including Federal Judge John Roll, were killed.[9]

Despite the two teams having among the nations top offenses, neither team scored in the first quarter, with both teams punting on their opening drive. On Oregon's second drive Thomas threw an interception to Demond Washington. On the second play of the ensuing drive Newton threw an interception to Cliff Harris. On the following drive after moving the ball to the Auburn 27, Thomas threw his second interception, this time to safety Zac Etheridge. Auburn once again failed to capitalize on a Thomas interception and punted.

Early in the second quarter, Oregon scored the first points on a 26-yard field goal, to go up 3-0. Auburn then claimed the lead on an 82-yard drive, finishing with a Kodi Burns touchdown reception. Oregon responded quickly with a four-play drive, ending with a touchdown reception by LaMichael James and added a two-point conversion to make the score 11-7. The next drive, Auburn drove to the Oregon one yard line but turned the ball over on downs. Two plays later, however, Auburn tackled James in the endzone for a safety, making the score 11-9. On Auburn's final drive of the first half, Newton found Emory Blake for a 30-yard touchdown pass to make the score 16-11 at the half.

On the first drive of the 3rd quarter, Auburn kicker Wes Byrum kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Auburn a 19-11 lead.[10] Following a pair of punts by both teams, Oregon drove to the Auburn 1 yard line, but was stopped on the goal line and lost possession.

The teams traded possession several times in the 4th quarter, until Oregon recovered a fumble on the Auburn 40-yard line with 5:05 left. Oregon then drove down the field and scored a touchdown at the 2:33 minute mark. They added a two-point conversion to even the score, 19-19.[11]

On the game's final possession, Auburn drove 73 yards[12] to the Oregon 1-yard line. The drive included a run by Michael Dyer, in which he appeared to be tackled after 6-7 yards, but fell on top of defender Eddie Pleasant. Since neither his knees nor the ball touched the ground, the Auburn sideline urged Dyer to continue after getting back up, and the Oregon defense finally tackled him after a 37-yard gain. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was upheld. Dyer then rushed for a touchdown, but a subsequent review showed that Dyer's knee went down before crossing the goal line. The touchdown was reversed and the ball placed at the Oregon 1-yard line. From there, Auburn ran the clock down to 2 seconds, and Wes Byrum kicked a game-winning 19-yard field goal as time expired, giving Auburn the national championship.[13][14]

Scoring summary

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Auburn Oregon
2 14:13 10 62 3:01 Oregon 26-yard field goal by Rob Beard 0 3
2 12:00 8 82 2:13 Auburn Kodi Burns 35-yard touchdown reception from Cam Newton, Wes Byrum kick good 7 3
2 10:58 4 93 1:02 Oregon LaMichael James 8-yard touchdown reception from Darron Thomas, 2-point run good 7 11
2 3:26 1 -1 0:18 Auburn LaMichael James tackled in end zone for a safety by Mike Blanc 9 11
2 1:47 6 66 1:39 Auburn Emory Blake 30-yard touchdown reception from Cam Newton, Wes Byrum kick good 16 11
3 11:30 9 60 3:30 Auburn 28-yard field goal by Wes Byrum 19 11
4 2:33 8 40 2:21 Oregon LaMichael James 2-yard touchdown reception from Darron Thomas, 2-point pass good 19 19
4 0:00 7 73 2:33 Auburn 19-yard field goal by Wes Byrum 22 19
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 22 19


Statistics ORE AUB
First downs 23 24
Total yards 449 519
Rushes–yards 32–75 50–274
Passing yards 374 265
Passing: Comp–Att–Int 28–41–2 20–35–1
Time of possession 27:03 32:57
Team Category Player Statistics
Auburn Passing Cam Newton 20/34, 265 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Michael Dyer 22 carries, 143 yards
Receiving Emory Blake 4 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD
Oregon Passing Darron Thomas 27/40, 363 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing LaMichael James 13 carries, 49 yards
Receiving Jeff Maehl 9 receptions, 133 yards


By winning the game, Auburn was crowned as the BCS National Champion. In addition, Auburn was ranked as the number one team by the Associated Press.[15]


Main article: 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings



  1. ^ The Odds, Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2011
  2. ^ "Herbstreit, Musburger to call title game". nbcsports.com. November 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  3. ^ "BCS: Auburn/Oregon Down, Still Sets Cable Record - Sports Media Watch". sportsmediawatch.net. January 11, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Dufresne, Chris (June 13, 2009), "Rose Bowl game moving to ESPN in 2011", Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ "BCS draws record cable rating", ESPN, January 13, 2011
  6. ^ Hedding, Judy (2010), 2011 BCS Championship Game Will Be In Arizona
  7. ^ "2010 Auburn Tigers Stats".
  8. ^ "2010 Southeastern Conference Leaders".
  9. ^ The Associated Press (10 January 2011). "BCS game holds moment of silence before start". The Washington Post.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Auburn vs. Oregon - Box Score - January 10, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "LaMichael James #21 RB". ESPN.
  12. ^ "Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks - Drivechart - January 10, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Auburn vs. Oregon - Game Recap - January 10, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Auburn vs. Oregon - Play-By-Play". ESPN.com. January 10, 2011.
  15. ^ "Auburn wins first AP title since 1957". ESPN.
  16. ^ "Oregon vs Conferences". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012.
  17. ^ "Auburn vs Conferences". Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  18. ^ "Cam Newton X-Rayed Following BCS Championship, May Have 'Significant Back Injury'". SBNation.com. January 11, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2018.