- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - First the Heisman. Now the BCS championship.

And soon a big check Cam Newton can cash without having to explain it to anyone.

One of the shortest but memorable college careers a quarterback can have likely ended Monday night as Newton and his Auburn teammates celebrated amid falling confetti. A season mired in controversy turned magical, thanks largely to a player who overcame every obstacle put in his path.

Newton’s stay with the Tigers always figured to be a one-off deal. But, oh, what a deal it was.

They took a gamble on an immense talent who bounced from Florida to junior college before landing at Auburn. He paid them back by delivering the school’s first national title in 53 years.

“Anything is possible,” Newton said. “I guarantee five or six months ago that no one would bet their last dollar that Auburn would win the national championship. … And now we’re standing here.”

It’s doubtful many people would have bet he’d be there at the end. The NCAA found evidence his father tried to sell his son to the highest bidder out of junior college, but ruled Newton eligible because it said the quarterback was unaware of Dad’s doings.

He kept playing, and Auburn kept winning. Fourteen games in all.

He didn’t have his best night against Oregon, despite the Tigers’ 22-19 win, not even close. For a time it looked as though a fumble might do him in, and he took so many hard hits that his back was still aching long after the game ended.

But now he’s a champion. Now he’s a legitimate first-round draft pick.

And the next time Cecil Newton asks for some money for his son, there surely will be an NFL team more than eager to provide it.

Newton has until Saturday to make himself available for the draft, though most Auburn fans assume he’s gone. That’s fine, considering the tradeoff was a national title for a university starved for glory.

If he has a plan, Newton isn’t tipping his hand just yet.

“It is something I have to sit down with coach Chizik and my family and just get the vibe of so many different people. We will go from there.”

Realists will tell you there’s not a lot left for Newton to prove at Auburn. Cynics will say that if Dad was shopping his son to colleges for $180,000 he certainly will tell him to ask for more from the NFL.

Story Continues →