The Mad Hatter and Cam Newton 

October, 19, 2010

I was out with the USC Trojans this morning, so I apologize for the late jump on this blog. We're going to take a look at some of Week 8's biggest stories. I'm pretty sure the word "Tigers" is going to come up fairly often in this entry.

'Miles Magic' vs. 'The Cam Newton Express'

Cameron Newton has taken the SEC by storm. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder -- once Tim Tebow's understudy -- has transformed the Auburn Tigers into a BCS title contender and into the SEC's top offense. He's the flavor of the week (or is it month?) of Heisman banter. Newton leads the conference in rushing. (It has been 47 years since the last time a quarterback led the SEC in rushing for a season; that was Auburn's Jimmy Sidle in 1963.)

Newton has also been very solid throwing the football, completing 66 percent of his passes. He has a 13-5 TD-INT mark and ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency. I'm not shocked that Newton has been spectacular. The part that does surprise me is that he hasn't had more shake-your-head moments of disappointment and inconsistency -- just because the guy hasn't played much football at this level before this season. To not have so many ups-and-downs at this stage is really remarkable. But as great as Newton has been, he gets his toughest test thus far Saturday: the LSU defense, which leads the SEC and is third in the country in total defense (242 ypg).