Parkey wallops another one home.
(Photo by Acid Reign)
War Eagle, everybody! I think that it’s finally sinking in that Auburn is the SEC Champion, this season! It’s been a wild decade thus far, from champions to cellar-dweller, and back to the top again. This season has been particularly special, for two reasons. First, no one expected it. But the real surprise was that a number of things outside the control of the team fell into place to allow Auburn a chance to win another national title.
Normally when Auburn is in the top five, bad things happen elsewhere. Number five Miami jumps number three Auburn for the title in 1983. The 1993 Tigers finished as the nation’s only unbeaten, untied team, and couldn’t crack the top three. The 2004 hard fighting soldiers went undefeated, and could rise no higher than 3rd in the BCS.
This year, the Tigers would need help after a September loss at LSU. I don’t think any of us were expecting a national championship game, up till 4th and 18 against Georgia almost 4 weeks ago. Somehow, the ball bounced right in that one, and Auburn pulled out the victory! Then against Alabama, the Tide was trying for the win on a long field goal, with 1 second left. Auburn has been there, before, back in 1985. Van Tiffin wasn’t on the field, this time, and Auburn’s Chris Davis returned the miss 109 yards to put Auburn over Bama!
Even with the SEC Title Game in play, Auburn was still on the outside looking in, at any BCS Title hopes. Somehow, it all worked out. There will be those in coming days who laugh at Auburn opening as a 7 point underdog against Florida State. I say to Tiger fans, don’t dwell on the negatives like that. The real story is that we, and the SEC have the respect of the nation’s writers, coaches, and pollsters. Auburn finished in the final pre-bowl poll ahead of Baylor, Michigan State, and Ohio State, all teams like Auburn, who have just one loss.
Another group that clearly respects Auburn are the fans up in Missouri. Kudos to this bunch. In this state, we’re pretty accustomed to hearing lots of excuses and accusations when we knock off a top team. “Y’all cheated. Your team is thugs. Had the referees paid. Bought a quarterback. Lucky.” And of course, my favorite, “That chuck and duck high school offense won’t work in the SEC!”
It almost never happens in this league for the opposing fans and media to give Auburn credit for actually accomplishing anything. My thanks goes out to the Missouri fans. I’ve really enjoyed hearing them talk about how great the Auburn offense is, this year.
Some Acid grousing, after the jump!
The number one target for my angst this morning is the SEC Coaches All-SEC team. How does Greg Robinson get left off the two-deep on this team? He gave up no sacks all season, and was easily the best left tackle in the league!
I’d also add that leaving Chris Davis off the return specialist lists is a shame, too. Davis also led the SEC in passes defended per game, but was relegated to second-team All-SEC in the defensive backfield.
The Auburn Tiger rushing game was truly something to behold, this past year, particularly the second half of the season. Auburn finished first in the league in rushing yards per game, by almost a hundred yards over Missouri. Auburn had 11 more rushing touchdowns than their nearest competitor, LSU. Auburn’s Tre Mason finished the season with 1621 rushing yards, which was more than the entire Vanderbilt offense finished with!
I must admit with some glee that it’s been fun being a lurker on some college boards, this week. The Mack Brown/Nick Saban “breaking news” posts out there have been pretty laughable, but I’ve enjoyed watching Bama folk squirm. Some of ‘em are still stinging about the Iron Bowl loss, and think that they can do better than Saban.
My viewpoint is that unless Nick is really sick of Tuscaloosa and the pompous pachyderm population, he’s staying. Alabama still has the biggest pool of talent in the nation, and they’ve lined up a good chunk of another top class. Why in the world would he want to make a move to a dysfunctional Texas administration and try to rebuild another program?
It would be pretty amusing if Saban did leave. I’ve asked my Bama co-workers who they think should replace Saban if he leaves, and the results are pretty interesting. It’s about half split between current defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, and Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney. Coach Dabo at the Capstone… I’m finding that a hysterical idea!
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