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Auburn not thinking national title

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Auburn's Ronnie Brown dives over the pile for a one-yard touchdown against Arkansas during Saturday's game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn’s Ronnie Brown dives over the pile for a one-yard touchdown against Arkansas during Saturday’s game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

STF, Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. — There was some national championship talk going on in the locker room at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The visitors' locker room, that is.

The third-ranked Tigers refused to engage in such ambitious talk after dismantling Arkansas 38-20 on Saturday, but Razorbacks quarterback Matt Jones had no such qualms.

"They have a chance to do something special this year," Jones said. "They have a chance to go to the SEC championship game and possibly the national championship game."

With the initial Bowl Championship Series standings due out Monday, national title talk is perhaps premature. What's not at all premature is the likelihood that the Tigers (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) will be playing for the league title in Atlanta.

Only games against Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) and at Mississippi (3-4, 2-2) are on the horizon before No. 10 Georgia visits on Nov. 13.

The Razorbacks (3-3, 1-2) were the chief contender for the SEC West crown after the Tigers beat LSU 10-9, their only close game this season. Every other team in the division has at least two league losses.

So how about those BCS standings?

"There's no reason to worry about that," Auburn defensive back Junior Rosegreen said. "If we keep winning and keep doing what we're capable of doing, those things will speak for themselves.

"It's hard, but when you're on a mission, you don't worry about things like that."

Auburn can draw plenty of confidence from the way quarterback Jason Campbell, tailback Ronnie Brown and the defense are playing.

Campbell was a pristine 17-of-19 for a career-high 297 yards and three touchdowns against Arkansas. It was the highest completion percentage any Auburn quarterback had managed in a game, but they weren't all high percentage passes.

Campbell had a 67-yard TD pass to Devin Aromashodu off a flea flicker, a 30-yarder to Courtney Taylor and a 19-yarder to Ben Obomanu.

"I told Jason before the game it's not as important how many you hit, but that you hit the right ones," offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "I didn't know he would hit them all."

Brown gained 101 yards on 15 carries, his second straight 100-yard performance off the bench. Starter Carnell Williams gained 71 yards but coach Tommy Tuberville reserved his biggest praise for their blocking not their running.

"It's tough for somebody to defend what we're doing," Tuberville said.

While the offense was racking up 522 yards, the defense allowed two big plays from Jones — a 54-yard run and a 61-yard touchdown pass to Steven Harris — but little else to the league's top offense. Jones was hampered by a groin injury much of the game.

"I think we're playing good right now," defensive end Stanley McClover said. "We've still got a long way to go.

"If everyone keeps getting better and everyone plays hard, we've got a chance to be a great team."

Cornerback Carlos Rogers admits it's getting harder and harder not to check out scores of the teams ranked ahead of them — Miami, Oklahoma and Southern California.

He was frustrated by the Hurricanes' 41-38 scare against Louisville Thursday night, but the Tigers vaulted over Miami in the rankings anyway.

"We were kind of mad about that game," Rogers said. "They should have won it. But at the same time, our opportunity is going to come."

On the flip side: "Lose once and we're out of there."