Good Teams Sometimes Miracle Their Way
photo: Todd Van Ernst
Three quarters into Saturday, I figured there was no way we could lose. We had run the ball up and down on Georgia all day and besides–we’re the consummate second half team this year. Georgia friends on Facebook were turning off the game– for crying out loud. There would be no 4th quarter collapse from Auburn. But we had kept Aaron Murray down most of the day. He was due. Slowly, we saw our momentum evaporate and theirs build. Twenty-one 4th quarter points surrendered. And we were bowling gutter balls all of a sudden. Three straight pass plays–nothing. Why weren’t we trying to re-establish the run? Why weren’t we trying to re-establish the WIN?
There are few miracle plays in college football lore that last throughout the decades, and they’re never associated with your team. There was “The Play” between Cal and Stanford in 1982, and Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary against Miami in 1984. Both of those plays had squat riding on the line for the teams involved. The Prayer in Jordan-Hare had two long-time rivals battling in a furious contest with national championship implications on the line. In southeastern circles, it don’t get no better than that. Nick Marshall’s sixty-yards in the air fling and Ricardo Louis’s look what dropped into my lap catch will certainly go down as legend. Or in the state of Alabama, even better, at least be worthy of a Daniel Moore print.
Good teams sometimes miracle their way. Luck isn’t the apt word here. Luck somehow implies that you had a chance, that the hand of fortune had finally swept back your way–ahead of schedule, to be sure, but just in the nick of time. No such lucky consideration was due Auburn at that moment. It’s not like we were deserving. Late 20 point lead blown. 4th and 18. Me sitting on the couch sulking in disbelief. Those, my friends, are the main ingredients in a piss cocktail. What did we do to have the college football gods to smile upon us like that?
Keep in mind that you can’t rub such a victory in on the opposition too much, lest you anger said gods. Just take your win and keep your eye on the prize. Yes, you can call scoreboard, but we have work to do. Yea, perhaps a bigger miracle might have been of the fifty-something cameras in that damned stadium, why CBS didn’t have a single one on the Georgia side to show that Aaron Murray didn’t really get into the end zone on that 4th down scamper, making our miracling entirely unnecessary, safe to put back in our bag of tricks for use another time. Miracles are scarce. Using ours the way we did is like using up all your lifelines by the $400 question. I guess we’re still alive to win the million bucks though.
Now comes the most anticipated two weeks in Auburn football in three years. The Iron Bowl will have the whole nation watching once again. Auburn will be playing for a chance to go to Atlanta, win the SEC, and possibly play for the national championship. Alabama will be playing for a chance to go to Atlanta and on to the BCS title game, or to win second place in the west and lobby to get a rematch with Auburn for the national championship. That’s really the only three options available here, I think.
The whole nation has Bama fatigue and will rally around the Auburn base to knock the Gumps off their perch and allow someone else to win the BCS, even if it’s to yet again another SEC team. While their team is mighty, their fans are generally considered to be the worst between the Updykes and the Teabaggers. Yea, sometime you have to make a deal with the devil. Be careful. With so many bandwagon fans jumping on the next fortnight, Auburn will briefly know what it’s like to be an Alabama fan. The rest of the country is finally learning what it’s like for the rest of the SEC.
Every team in the nation MUST root for Auburn with the exception of FSU. I doubt anyone is going to jump them for #2 unless they lose and a BCS title for them doesn’t look as convincing if they can’t knock off a SEC team. Ohio State and Baylor have to chance Auburn jumping them just to get Bama knocked out of there and open up a slot. Oregon is a mere .0057 ahead of us for 5th in the BCS. The Ducks might not remain ahead of us even if we lose to the Tide. I have every confidence that Auburn will jump no lower than 2nd place in the BCS with a win over Alabama and the East champion–most likely South Carolina.
Look–our country is calling. They need us. They need us to restore all that is right and proper in college football. Just beat Alabama and the football gods will smile on us again and award us the right to compete for the highest trophy in the land. Auburn was the last major team to get seriously hosed in the BCS. They won’t do it to us again. We will have all the ingredients–worst to first season, miracle play, the tearing down of our biggest rival in the biggest matchup for all the marbles between us in a generation. No more talk of a Sugar Bowl berth. It’s BCS or bust! We are coming.