Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Auburn and Oregon are two marvelously talented college football teams with explosive offenses. But what will really determine who wins the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game Monday evening? The way I look at it, it comes down to how much the Oregon defense can contain Auburn quarterback Cam Newton -- both running and throwing. Oregon will score -- a lot. If the Ducks can disrupt Newton's passing game and keep him from running for more than 100 yards, they could be in business. But if the Heisman Trophy-winner has a game in which it looks like no one else is on the field with him or wants to tackle him, then it doesn't matter how many points Oregon scores, because Auburn with Newton (who incidentally has his own day Saturday in Alabama, declared by Gov. Bob Riley) unchecked will probably score more. Of course, turnovers, big plays and penalties will factor in, too. One thing that is hard to dismiss is that Oregon scored 52 points on Stanford, and if you saw what the Cardinal did to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl earlier this week en route to a 12-1 season, and then consider how Oregon came back from a 21-3 deficit to run away from that same Stanford team in the second half, then it will be hard to picture the Ducks losing. On the flip side, look at Auburn's scintillating comeback victory over Alabama, a team that on any given Saturday could beat anyone, maybe even a few NFL teams. What about the location, Glendale, Arizona? It's in Pac-10 country. Will that be a factor? It could help Oregon some. If they were playing in Miami or New Orleans, there would be more of an SEC mindset. But maybe I'm being ridiculous. Auburn Coach Gene Chizik, speaking at a media event Friday, describes his team as almost carefree.
Auburn Coach Gene Chizik
"They are happy guys," Chizik said. "They enjoy what they're doing. They enjoy playing football at Auburn. The great thing about our team, if you really watch our team close, they love to have fun and they love to do -- they love to kind of be on the edge out there. "But when it's time to start playing football, they lock in, and it is time to go, and they know how to switch it on when it is time to go to work and practice and get the work done that they need to do and there is no question. In the weight room, too. They know when it's time, it's time."