Joey Harrington and Jason Campbell preview the BCS National Championship game.
Athlon Sports' Braden Gall had an opportunity to sit down with former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington and former Auburn signal caller Jason Campbell to preview the 2010 BCS Championship game.
You can listen to the entire interview here: Section 120: Joey Harrington and Jason Campbell.
These two quarterbacks were both BCS bowl winners, conference champions and first round NFL selections. Each quarterbacked one of the best teams in their respecitve school's history.
Harrington was a Heisman Finalist and conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2001 when he led the 11-1 Pac-10 champion Ducks to a 38-16 Fiesta Bowl win over then-No. 3 Colorado.
Campbell's 2004 undefeated season is well documented. The SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and title game MVP, led the Auburn Tigers to a 13-0 record and a 16-13 Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech.
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
Campbell wasted no time in starting the good-natured trash talk:
"You can play a pre-mini national championship game of Auburn going down the field and scoring over and over again. And not get a chance to see the Duck do too many push-ups."
"...there is no trash talking because we had a great discussion and I convinced Jason that Oregon is going to win. So Jason actually thinks Oregon is going to win so there is nothing trash talk about."
When Harrington was asked about the long layoff between the title game and the end of the regular season:
"I loved it. I thought it was great. You go through a 12-game season...and you're pretty beat up. And you have entire month to think about this one game. I love the bowl preperation giving everyone a chance to be mentally and physically fresh."
To Campbell, can you gameplan for Cam Newton?
"I don't think you can," responded the Auburn quarterback.
And of course, a true Tiger never misses a chance to take a shot at Alabama:
"I just thought it was great the way they came back against Alabama. To come back against a Nick Saban team in Tuscaloosa just shows a lot of resiliency of that team and what type of leader Cam is."
Despite his allegiance to Auburn, Campbell recognizes just how tough Monday night will be:
"I am looking forward to the game. It's going to be exciting. You look at Oregon, they are a well-coached team and they are a fast offense"
And his key to the game:
"Which defense can stay in tip-top shape, because it's hard to simulate the other team's speed as an offense in practice. And special teams. When you watch the bowl games, a lot of games have been won and lost on special teams."
Harrington speaks to the speed of the Oregon offense:
"Obviously, they have got alot of talent at the skill positions and when you add to that how fast they play — they were getting plays off every 13 to 15 seconds. And that is not something that takes it toll in the first and second quarters, but so oftern during the season by the end of the third quarter you'd see the opposing linemen with their hands on their hips, bent over trying to get some air. Plays that start at 2, 3 and 4-yard gains become 5, 6, and 7-yard gains in the third quarter and by the fourth quarter those are the big explosive plays that win a football game."
I couldn't miss the chance to ask Campbell about his 2004 team. Did he think that his unbeaten team could beat this unbeaten Auburn squad? (In fact, he called for a playoff!)
"That's a funny question, beacuse you know I am going to be a little biased. In '04, our defense was highly ranked just as well as our offense. We were pretty evenly matched on both sides of the ball. Both of us wished we had that opportunity to play for the national title but because of the way the system is, both of us were denied."
For predictions, however, you have to listen to the interview...