SEC West Division Champs—Ain’t It Great To Be An Auburn Tiger?
Julie Bennett/ al.com
Words cannot describe what it was like to be a witness to No. 6 Auburn’s dominating win over No. 1 Alabama. This writer has witnessed some great Auburn wins over the last 50 years but nothing like this year’s Iron Bowl.
I witnessed backup quarterback Mailon Kent coming off the bench to defeat Joe Namath and the Tide in 1963, Pat Dye’s team ending a nine-year Bama streak in 1982, the “Kick Six” in 2013 and, of course, the 30–20 Auburn victory in the first ever Iron Bowl played in Jordan-Hare in 1989—to name a few.
While the ‘89 experience will forever be one of the top 5 most important events in my life, the 2017 edition “almost” fulfilled my long-awaited bucket list.
After Coach Dye forced Alabama to play at Auburn I said I would be ready to go to heaven if I could ever witness a complete blowout of the Tide. But I guess the Lord is not ready to take me just yet. While the 26–14 finish could have been much worse, it was not the blowout score that I’ve dreamed of; nevertheless, it was a dominating win in every category, and it felt oh so good!
The Tide only looked like a No. 1 team for about a minute and a half on their quick touchdown drive at the beginning of the third quarter. The rest of the game was all Auburn.
There was no single hero like Chris Davis in the Kick Six or David Langner in the “Punt Bama Punt” game. However, there were plenty of heroes in this one. And it begins with a rocking Auburn crowd. I’m not sure any visiting team could have won in that loud electrifying environment. The best defense in the nation just fed off their energy all night.
Of course Chip Lindsey deserves a lot of credit, too. The offensive coordinator masterfully kept the Bama defense off balance the entire evening. And Jarrett Stidham more than proved he’s the missing link the Tigers have needed the last two years.
But make no mistake about it, the coach that many did not want a few weeks ago is the man responsible for this win. After the disappointment in Baton Rouge, Coach Malzahn kept this team together with a single-minded focus on getting to Atlanta. No one outside of Auburn’s locker room believed it would happen. But Gus did, and his players responded.
Standing there in Jordan-Hare and watching the fans storm the field, the band playing, the video on the jumbotron of great plays from this season, and thousands of Auburn fans singing a reverse “Rammer Jammer,” the words echoing around the stadium. It all made for a night to remember. Being there in person or soaking it in from their living room, Auburn fans everywhere joined in the celebration. It was a great night.
The Tigers are Champions of the toughest division in college football and headed to Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game.
Ain’t it Great to be an Auburn Tiger? War Eagle and …