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A spirit that is not afraid

Championship goals are in sight


In 1998, the college football world decided to create the Bowl Championship series, also known as the BCS, which was designed to always pit No. 1 against No. 2 in the national championship game.

The BCS uses a special computer formula for a third of the total rankings to go along with the coaches and Harris Interactive polls.

Although there has been controversy about whether to keep the system, this week Auburn is a commanding No. 1 in the BCS poll, its highest ranking since its inception in '98.

The Tigers will try to keep this ranking while traveling to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss.

The Rebels offense has continued to grow under quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who ranks second on the team with 400 rushing yards and an average of 180 passing yards per game.

The Oregon transfer threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns last week against Arkansas.

Since Auburn ranks 101st nationally in pass defense, the Rebels have a chance to keep it close.

For the Rebels, defense is a major concern.

The Rebels have allowed a league-worst 32 points per game and are tenth in total defense\0xAD.

Saturday is not looking any better with the league's best offense coming to town to put up a fight.

The Tigers have put up incredible numbers against conference opponents, averaging an impressive 321 rushing yards per game, leading the league by 132.6 yards per game.

Although the passing game seems to be lacking, the key here will be passing efficiency.

Auburn ranks fourth nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 170.45.

This, in large part, is due to the average of 9.92 yards per pass attempt, which also ranks second in the nation.

The Tigers have also scored touchdowns on 8.78 percent of its pass attempts, ranking seventh in the nation.

On special teams, Auburn will once again need a stellar performance.

Ole Miss leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks third nationally in punt returns, averaging 20.6 yards per return.

Not only can they return, but sophomore punter Tyler Campbell knows how to pin an opponent deep in its own territory.

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Campbell averages a league-best 45.9 yards per punt.

Then there is Cameron Newton.

He once again showed how vital he is to this team last Saturday, rushing for 217 yards and throwing for 86 more.

The junior-college transfer leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in rushing.

In just eight games, Newton has already broken the SEC's single-season rushing record by a quarterback with 1,077 yards.

The previous record was held by Auburn's Jimmy Sidle in 1963.

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