For the first time in close to fifty years Auburn will not have to play Alabama and Georgia back to back at the end of the 2011 season.
Auburn has agreed to the SEC’s request to move their open date before the 2011 Iron Bowl.
The move is in response to Alabama’s complaint to the league office about the number of SEC schools (6) that had open dates before playing the Tide in 2010. The conference has been trying to get teams to agree to move those open dates.
Auburn was able to make their schedule move when homecoming foe Samford University agreed to play the Tigers on the week before the Iron Bowl. Next year’s game will also be moved back to Saturday, which should make it easier for fans to attend the game. I know my family will be happy with the Iron Bowl’s return to a Saturday kickoff.
The move accommodates the league’s request and at the same time allows Auburn to not have to play 11 straight games before getting a break. Auburn will now have their open week before the Georgia game.
I have always felt that Auburn had a particularly tough task playing their two biggest rivals back to back at the end of the season. And for many years it was even tougher.
Before the league split into divisions, Auburn had to end the year playing Florida, Georgia, and Alabama; prompting former Coach Pat Dye to dub that part of the schedule, “Amen Corner.” The move should help Auburn this year since they will have their break after the ninth week instead of after week eleven.
Although I personally like having a week off before playing Bama, the change comes at a good time due to an especially tough road schedule. The Tigers play Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia all on the road in 2011.
However, Gene Chizik proved this year that it makes no difference. No matter what happens, the Tigers just “continue to do what they do.” Auburn will be ready anytime, anyplace to tee it up.
And now that the 2010 season is barely over, I have to admit that I am already looking forward with anticipation to teeing it up September 3rd.