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Former Auburn basketball star Charles Barkley on the Tigers

Barkley expects the game to be dominated by the offenses but says the Tigers can't let it become a shootout.

January 09, 2011|By Charles Barkley
  • Charles Barkley tries out a gift from talk show host George Lopez, who presented him a special training club to help correct Barkley's notoriously awful golf swing. The two are good friends, and Barkley has made several appearances on Lopez's show.
Charles Barkley tries out a gift from talk show host George Lopez, who presented… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

I'm a big football fan. I'm from Alabama, so you've got no choice. It's either Alabama or Auburn — and I'm an Auburn guy.

When I was there, Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy. I always tell people one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life was going to watch Bo Jackson play every Saturday. It was pretty awesome.

Now I think we have the best college football player in the country. Oregon has more weapons, but I think Cam Newton has just been the best player in the country all year. If you go back and look at these games, he's been willing that team through and I think it's going to continue.

I don't think either one of these defenses can control the other team's offense. I think you've just got to try to slow both of them down. I mean, they average 49 and almost 43 points, so I don't think all of a sudden they're going to go down to 10 points.

I always say when you play a game like this, turnovers are going to be huge.

I've never met Gene Chizik. I've never met Cam Newton, either. I've been to three or four games, but I try not to bother them. What I mean by that is: This is their time. I want them to enjoy their time in the limelight. It's not my time.

Ahmad Rashad is one of my good friends. As for explaining War Eagle and Tigers, I don't think anybody knows that. I always say when you're really good it just takes more than one word to describe you.

I'm in Atlanta every week for TNT. Clearly, the Auburn Nation is on the warpath. We have a huge following here. So it's been a magical time all year for us.

I think if the score is around 30, Auburn wins. If it's over 30 and becomes a shootout, I think Oregon wins. I just think they've got more weapons.

But I think it's going to be a great game.

Charles Barkley, an NBA analyst for TNT, attended Auburn from 1982 to 1984. The 11-time all-star and 1993 NBA MVP played for two gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic teams and has said he would like to one day run for governor of Alabama. Barkley was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

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