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Auburn Claims Five National Football Championships

By on May 16th, 2014 in Football, News 22 Comments »
11993583-standard-Dameyeune craig- brian bahr, getty

Finally a champion? Former quarterback, Dameyeune Craig, a member of Auburn’s 1993 undefeated team, has been a vocal supporter of recognizing the team as champions. (photo:Brian Bahr/getty images)

For nearly two years Auburn officials have been considering recognizing as many as seven more football national championship teams. Many have taken notice in the last few days that the school has included three additional championships teams (1913,1983, and 1993) on the official web site.

The pro’s and con’s of recognizing additional championships besides the 1957 and 2010 teams have been tossed around for years. So the question is, ‘Why now?’

Legendary Auburn Coach Mike Donahue's 1913 team will finally get it's recognition.

Legendary Auburn Coach Mike Donahue’s 1913 team is  getting some recognition.

The short answer is Auburn was prompted to consider adding the three teams to their list of champions in part because of a treatise on the subject researched and written by Birmingham attorney and Auburn grad Michael Skotnicki. His book, “Auburn’s Unclaimed National Championships,” was published in 2012. 

It was reported last summer that Shotnicki met with school officials and presented a compelling case for Auburn recognizing at least seven additional teams (1910, 1913, 1914, 1958, 1983, 1993 and 2004). Shortly afterwards, Athletic Director, Jay Jacobs told 247 Sports that, “As we transition into another playoff format for the national champion, I just think we need to look hard at it,” Jacobs said. “We’re so competitive. We compare ourselves to other schools, if they’re counting something that we’re not counting, and we’re on equal footing, wouldn’t it be wise to count it.”

Coach Pat Dye and Tery Bowden's 1983 and 1993 teams will have National Championship banners hanging in Jordan-Hare. (photo:Bob Farley,al.com)

Coaches Pat Dye and Tery Bowden’s 1983 and 1993 teams may have National Championship banners hanging in Jordan-Hare. (photo:Bob Farley,al.com)

Claiming retroactive championships has been a fairly common practice for years. Notre Dame has followed that path as have USC, Michigan, and many others. Shotnicki pointed out that USC added the1939 title in 2004, and Ole Miss claims three national titles and, “not one is AP, Coaches’ Poll or BCS.” Texas A&M by the way, added the 1919 and 1927 titles when they entered the SEC two years ago.

In addition, one SEC school in particular has for years gotten away with claiming several questionable championships including one were they finished third in the SEC and 20th in the polls. Guess who that might be (hint- got 15 y’all)? Shotnicki cites that last one as a reason that Auburn has been so reluctant to claim teams he feels are more than deserving of the honor. He wrote, “Why should Auburn be any different? In this day and age, why should Auburn be so stuffy about it?”

To use some school’s rationale, Auburn which has had 11 undefeated seasons could’ve claimed at least that many championships. However, Shotnicki argued that unlike many other schools, his seven to nine teams all have a basis for recognition. They were, “All undefeated or won the conference championship, or both. And all  were recognized as national champions by several national selectors.”

Many feel that Tommy Tuberville's 2004 team should be recognized as National Champions.(photo:AP)

Tommy Tuberville has always said his 2004 team should be recognized as National Champions.(photo:AP)

Although many Auburn people feel like the 13-0, 2004 Tigers are the most deserving of a title … in the end it looks like Auburn chose only to add the three teams that appear in the record book of teams named national champions by one or more of the NCAA’s officially recognized selectors. Whether or not the school chooses to fly the banners in Jordan-Hare remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, some Auburn people will be happy with the news of three additional championships, some may not think the school went far enough, and probably some are of the opinion to not make any changes. This writer would be fine with keeping the status quo or with claiming all seven. Neither way will affect my love for Auburn.

But one thing I do like is when Jacobs said, “The former players that have been on those teams, they all support it.” That was proven by Dameyeune Craig tonight as he defended the move on twitter with this statement, “(AU) was the only undefeated team in the nation that year(’93). Not so far fetched when you think about it.” 

Hey, what’s good enough for Dameyeune Craig and Bo Jackson is good enough for me.

War Eagle!

(Update 5-17-14: Jay Jacobs told the Auburn Plainsman this afternoon that even though the school has listed five national championships on it’s web site, the actual claiming of the titles is still under consideration. That’s puzzling, if  the final decision to recognize them hasn’t been made yet, why are they on the school’s official athletic site?)

How do you feel about Auburn adding three national championships?

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22 Comments

  1. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Two things: one it’s about damn time and two they ought to go ahead and claim all seven. Quit worrying about what others might say. The other schools that claim their NC’s don’t give a crap what others think. Just like Michigan, they claim 11, nine more than what is recognized by NCAA national selectors. At least what Shotnicki presnts in his book is AU has a real basis for making the claims – and not just because they won a bowl game like the freaking turds do for one of their’s.

  2. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I know this is going to rub some the wrong way but I am a bit disappointed in this. To me, this is the easy way. I think JJ has done a lot to redeem himself. However, this is folly. And it will end badly.

    I am not saying that the teams and players in question didn’t lay their guts on the line or wrestle with them Angels. No. But I can’t for the life of me understand why we want to be like bammers. It makes absolutely no sense. Just as Auburn is gaining prominence… we are going to shirk our tradition of being in a “practical world” or that we “believe in work, hard work”. No, now we are going to be just another braggart.

    Well, I can say this – won’t be talked about in my home. Nope. Only 1957 and 2010. Why? Because we earned them. Dirt and all. And I don’t blush at all when a bammer wants to bash… I point right back with pride at the pitiful two… and how beautiful and special they are! They make us uniquely Auburn. I will let the rest of you stammer as you try to explain this revisionist BS.

    Well, looks like JJ has made up his mind. My only question is.. why follow after the fake bammers?

    I can hear my Momma now. “If they jump off a bridge, you going jump off too?”

    Good question. And life keeps teaching me that all things change. Even family. Regardless, you enjoy your Auburn. I will enjoy mine.

    WDE

    • uglyjoe says:

      Agreed

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      I think i have heard this argument before: everybody is a winner. Until now this was for peewee football and bama fans. Everybody wins a trophy! Feel slighted? No worries, here is another to make you feel better about yourself.

      Prepare for the ribbing. Let the jokes begin!

      S.E.C.= secure your championship! Hurry before they are all gone!!!!

      I wonder? For those that are for this, will this make you feel more secure about being an Auburn fan? If so… maybe the problem isn’t how many championships we have… or they have?

      Something to ponder.

      WDE

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..There’s no harm in claiming these, and Auburn does have a legit argument on every one of the new titles. In terms of impact on the present or future… None. I do think it’s nice to recognize players that toiled in those years, and didn’t get the recognition. Situation corrected a bit, now!

    …..On the other hand, I like a clear-cut champion. Won it on the field champion. Like the way tennis does it. You have to win the match. Any win in tennis has to be by two points or more. No eeking or legislating. A winner is decided on the court. If it’s just a one-point lead, they keep playing till someone wins by two.

  4. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I thought Michael Skotnicki made an excellent case for all seven in his book. Recruits, ESPN, and the average fan believe what they see and hear. Say it long enough and it becomes history.

    It will increase Auburn’s reputation as a team that has a history of National Championships. Why does this matter? Because so many pointed to Auburn as a one-hit wonder in 2004 compared to USC and Oklahoma. Oklahoma got in the NCG over Auburn in large part due to the banners hanging in their stadium.

    Marketing is a critical weapon in the national arena. It is time to play big boy football and show the world we belong. These banners help in that regard. Gus and the team will prove it on the field to further cement Auburn’s reputation as legitimate.

    ESPN has their golden boys that they promote, and for too long Auburn has been outside that select circle. The subtle influence of ESPN’s constant propaganda cannot be over-emphasized. It affects voters in the coaches’ poll as well as national fan perceptions.

  5. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I have seriously conflicting opinions and emotions about this decision. Recognizing our national championship worthy teams of the past is long overdue, but Auburn is going to catch some serious PR flack over this decision. I hope Jay took time over the past two years to rehearse his potential responses to the media.

    Side Note: (Ahem… Regarding the caption under the picture at the top of the article. Stan White, along with assistance from Patrick Nix, was the QB of the undefeated ’93 team.)

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Technically, Dameyune Craig was on that 1993 team. He was a redshirt freshman, and scout team phenom. He came in to the 1994 camp basically neck and neck with Patrick Nix. Nix ultimately won the job, but it was a tight competition.

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        I couldn’t remember if he was a true freshman, or a redshirt freshman in the ’94 season. Thanks for the info.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Thanks Third Gen.

      I made the change in the caption. Brain fart on my part, having not had much sleep all week and being up 14 hours when I wrote that. I was just thinking about Dameyeune (who was on that team) since he had been defending the move all day Friday, I wanted to use his picture. But that’s no excuse especially since Stan White and Patrick Nix are two of my all time favorites.

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        Not a big deal AubTigerman. Easy mistake to make, especially when you’re running on empty! Looking back, I wish I had emailed you instead of pointing it out here. Sort of makes me look like jerk know it all. I hope that’s not how it sounded.

        • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

          Not at all man, appreciate all the help I can get.
          Just wished I caught it before it stayed up for a day. Please let me know anytime you see something like that. War Eagle my friend!

  6. mvhcpa says:

    I think that we should have left it at two. Nonetheless, I do not mind claiming retro and additional national titles if there is a basis. I bet all our claims have a lot more legitimacy than that non-SEC title year that Bama claims.

    Michael Val
    (who has to go buy that book now!)

  7. AUwaterboy says:

    This is something that Auburn should have done a long time ago. I’m good with adding the 3 especially that they have some kind of NCAA blessing. But i really believe they should list all those that Shotnicki has researched and provided evidence of having been selected as national champions.
    Its not anything wrong with it. multiple champions are in just about every year before the BCS and as i understand it – that’s why we needed the BCS and now playoff to stop all the debate. I hope the school will actually fly the flags at JHS. Needs to be done because of recruiting and because it’s long overdue.

  8. GreenvilleAUfan GreenvilleAUfan says:

    I think Auburn people for so long have been taught that we were not going to claim any of them unless they came from the AP/Coaches’ poll or BCS that it’s hard to wrap our minds around this idea. Also with all the social media and 24/7 news stirring up controversy, it’s too late now for Auburn to claim all 7. If that was going to be done it should have been done in the past.

    Having said that, I think the 3 that are listed on the official site are okay for the reasons listed in ATM’s article, so though I feel a little conflicted about it, I voted in the poll for approve the change.

  9. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    One of the great things about TET is the respectful atmosphere – ladies and gentlemen disagree like ladies and gentlemen.
    I absolutely respect the comments from those who do not believe AU should claim additional national championships in football. However, in all honesty, I cannot agree with this position. Times change, and I believe Auburn should change also so long as the claimed championships have substance, especially those in earlier years such as 1913 when there was very little formal structure.
    I also could not care less about what others think as long as Auburn’s position is sound and supportable. As another respondent pointed out, “It’s all about marketing.” Strong teams follow strong recruiting, and strong recruiting follows, among other things, being perceived as a peer at the national level.
    I wrote Jay Jacobs earlier this year supporting AU claiming additional championships. I also voted in favor of claiming as many as are supportable.
    WAR EAGLE. I’m looking forward to a great season in 2014!

  10. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    In case no one is paying attention AU is doing quite well in recruiting, fake titles not withstanding. Currently #2 or #3. When Yeldon ditched us for bama a couple years back with Chizik i don’t think he said he did so because AU’s lack of NC.

    Last year we actually got to play for a national championship. Never heard one reporter say that due to AU’s pedigree… that it should have been prevented from being allowed to go or that because bama has 15 (or 50) that they would bring more viewers and should go over AU.

    Never heard one analyst anywhere EVER say… marketing wins championships.

    Men play footballC. on the field. And it 1

  11. restless6 says:

    I like it. The turds have done it for a long time, and now they mock us. Just another reason to hate them even more.

    How cool is it that Patrick Nix is our local high school football coach?!

  12. [...] was no support out of the administration.”Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs now wants to take a look.“We want to do what’s best for Auburn, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks [...]