Comparing 2013 Auburn to Previous BCS winners

I made this chart comparing Auburn’s rise in the Coaches’ Poll with previous BCS winners. Click to enlarge.

67 Responses to “Comparing 2013 Auburn to Previous BCS winners”

  1. Ft Worth John Says:

    After careful study, I have determined that all these teams end up at #1.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Wow. Unranked going into week 8.

  3. Spencer Lee Says:

    A buddy of mine just dug of the 12/5/12 edition of The Capstone Report. Not sure what it is but THIS is a must read…It’s the ultimate in bulletin board material.

    ALABAMA’S CAPSTONE REPORT (BOY WERE THEY WRONG, TOO FUNNY)

    Christmas Comes Early for Alabama Football Auburn Hires Gus Malzahn

    On December 4, 2012, the Auburn University football program made a statement, but nobody is sure what it is.
    It could be “We don’t have a clue what we’re doing.”
    Or it could be “We want a head coach that we can control.”
    Or it could be “We asked everybody and literally everybody but one candidate turned us down.”
    Whatever the statement may be, Auburn football spoke loud and clear on this day in history, screaming that it is content to stay exactly where it is.
    For you see, after firing the only coach to lead the Auburn Tigers to a national title since before the Kennedy administration, Auburn replaced their axed coach with, well, Gene Chizik part two.
    The author of the Dipsy-Doo, Trickeroo Offense© is back in town.
    Yes that’s right! The head man who was trolling high school sidelines just a handful of years ago, with only one year of head coaching experience…if you call Arkansas State college head coaching experience…is now the head coach in Lee County.
    Let me repeat…the husband of Krazy Kristi is back!!!
    The creator of sissy football, where we try to trick you rather than line up and play man football to beat you, is back!
    And the recipient of this barb from Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran…

    …is back!
    Tide fans everywhere sat on pins and needles for a few hours as it was unknown if the Tide defensive coodinator Kirby Smart would be offered and/or accept the job. Losing Smart would “smart” just a bit, though it’s hard to imagine true angst over any new head Auhbuhn man with Alabama head coach Nick Saban still at the helm.
    But a Smart departure for the Plains would have served more of an in-your-face than a “here-we-come” statement.
    Instead, Tide fans are celebrating Christmas early as the baboons in Lee County continue their cultish, fambly ways.
    The only time Malzahn’s offense succeeded against Nick Saban’s defense was when he had a once-in-a-lifetime, lightening-in-a-bottle, freak of nature quarterback under center. And that was an improbable, narrow one point win. Luckily for Malzahn, Cam Newtons come along every year. Oh wait….
    And the other times?
    26-21 and 42-14.
    Saban said in his first press conference in Tuscaloosa “We have an opponent in this state that we work 365 days a year to dominate.”
    Looks like that job just got a little easier.

  4. Spencer Lee Says:

    Great chart Mark…just shows how this team truly is one of destiny b/c it took a lot of shake ups to get us there…and a string of W’s after LSU.

  5. Lisa Says:

    LOL at the Crapstone Report! BTW, I’m adding Bama’s kickers, the 2 thUGA defenders that batted the ball up and Urban Meyer to my Christmas card list this year.

  6. Tdog Says:

    It’s just amazing, what this team has done. To give the Bammers a “little” slack, no one could have seen what happened this year, although they took it to another level…which is what they do.

    BTW, check this out. No wonder our guys were so inspired at the Iron Bowl, one of the best pre-game speeches I’ve heard. I thought I was Bo, but apparently it was Will Herring:

    http://youtu.be/OaVV2cZaXLk

  7. Tdog Says:

    Hmm..in case that link doesn’t work: http://tinyurl.com/nn6kvve

  8. JC in FLA Says:

    That chart looks like something our Sr mgmt. puts together for monthly program reviews, but of course, a lot of dry data on their charts ! That is amazing !! I love that Auburn is always shunned and we are under dogs…we are the Kings of winning against all odds, and it makes things that much more satisfying…especially when the Jesse Palmers and Lou Holtz’s of the world have to swallow that crow !
    WAR DAMN MIRACLE / EAGLE !!

  9. Clay B Says:

    The only other team to start outside the top 10 was…Auburn in 2010. Amazing job by our coaches and players this year.

  10. nick Says:

    Yeah that Iron Bowl pregame speech, are you kidding me? I could have stopped yeldon on 4th & 1.

  11. Tdog Says:

    Seriously Nick…every time I listen to it, I get goose bumps, a bit teary and want to go Terry Tate Office Linebacker on someone wearing a Bama shirt!!!

  12. Music City Tiger Says:

    The only people in college football still calling Auburn’s offense gimmicky are Alabama fans. Seriously? Gimmicky? There was no trickery in the way we beat any of the teams this year.

  13. Lisa Says:

    Do they realise that when they refer to us as “gimmicky” it only makes them look worse? I know lots of bammers that need to ask Santa for a reality check and a sense of humor!

  14. Gaines Harrell Says:

    Let’s see, our offense runs the ball up the middle in a spread formation, meaning that we lose blockers for our running backs because they are in a receiver route, or in a misdirection play. When we run the ball up the middle, with five and six blockers taking on eight and nine defenders, we rack up four to six yards. Sounds like we are playing a little more “manly” than the other teams.

  15. Ft Worth John Says:

    Last spring the great Auburn prophet emeritus David Housel spoke these words – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kl5fOj79Xo
    WDE!

  16. Tdog Says:

    Something interesting…SI is doing a Heisman voting poll on their site…after I cast my votes (which I actually didn’t put Tre as #1 but 2nd in my vote)), the results for 1st, 2nd and 3rd votes showed Tre winning all three…could this be a massive upset in NY?? Probably not, but wow, it’s very interesting!

    http://college-football.si.com/2013/12/09/heisman-trophy-reader-poll/

  17. AuburnFish Says:

    More news outlets reporting Mack Brown stepping down at Texas. He seems clueless when asked for a statement. I wish that he would just leave already so they could announce little Nicky as the new HC!

  18. Lisa Says:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/college/fan-launches-protest-over-sec-championship-broadca/ncGkn/

  19. Spencer Lee Says:

    Lisa….I’m lost trying to see what the guy’s actual complaint was about. Impartiality? Bias? I don’t get it…

    As for AU running a gimmicky offense – for the sake of argument, let’s humor the detractors and say it is. Does that mean when Dismukes takes a Noseguard or Tackle and pushes them three yards downfield it was a mirage? Or when Greg Robinson pancakes a would be tackler it was smoke and mirrors? Seriously people…is that the best the naysayers can do? What’s funny, you “old timers” like me can easily recall the Triple Option (standard fare for wishbone offenses which were common among college teams in the 70′s – and in our case the early 80′s as well). Please tell me a major difference between the triple option and zone read? Apart from the cosmetic differences of a legit Fullback running in the 1 or 2 hole as the first of the three options – and the absence of a “pitch man” trailing the QB – I submit there is none. Some people just can’t stand the fact that AU lined up and beat them up and down the field when we had the ball.

  20. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    I did notice they gave AU more praise during the game… that had to be a first.

    They came off biased but also called that hit out of bounds a dirty play… still don’t think Josey was intentionally pushed into the cart.

    Besides, over the years, Verne has been full of piss and vinegar and has done plenty of bad-mouthing the Tigers… especially in the Iron Bowl and versus LSU.

    Mizzou keeps performing well… Verne will tone it down… or explode from lack of having a vitriol-filled tirade.

    Let it roll of Mizzou, consider it a badge of honor to share with your Tiger brethren in the Western Division. Insults are what those two come-up with when they can’t think of anything clever.

  21. Brandon Says:

    The Capstone keeps pumping ‘em out:

    Auburn fans probably won’t read this; reality isn’t their style.
    But amid the gloating and celebration following one of the most improbable regular seasons in Auburn history, let this be a word to the wise:
    Like Gustav Malzahn, Terry Bowden looked fantastic for a year or two.
    Bowden came on the scene in 1993 following the crumbling of the Pat Dye Empire. Shortly after words like “Keep it down home, cuz” were uttered by the udder-loving brethren of Lee County, Tiny Tot waddled from Samford to Auburn an apparent Savior.
    Bowden rescued the Tiggers from the strangle-hold placed on it by that mean, Bear Bryant-like Gene Stallings, and immediately a rivalry was renewed. Bowden, the snot-nosed son of a legend, took the Tigers to 11-0, following a miraculous…sound familiar…improbable Iron Bowl win over the…sound familiar…defending National Champs. In Jordan-Hare Stadium.
    Again I say, sound familiar?
    Heck, insert whatever name you wish. Tommy Tuberville. Gene Chizik. These looked great for one shining moment in time. But all were evaded by something the Auburn football program has never known.
    SUSTAINED SUCCESS.
    Not a flash in the pan, as we’ve come to know the Tigers to be time and again. But year in and year out dominance. Something these Tigers will likely never know.
    So when you think of Gustav, and all the miracles that had to fall into place in order for 2013 to occur, think Terry Bowden. From an oddsmaker’s standpoint, he will soon reside in the same abyss.
    But please don’t remind your Aubie friends of the astronomical improbabilities of this kind of year happening again. Or that the man they now worship most likely won’t be there within the next three years.
    Let them relive history on their own. It’s just better that way.

    Read more at http://capstonereport.com/2013/12/05/warning-auburn-fans-terry-bowden-looked-great/22708/#RY8LM5loQX5oZBbF.99

  22. Lisa Says:

    That’s what I found so funny, Spencer. What was the basis of the petition. I guess the Updykes can’t find anything to poison so they are petitioning random things.

  23. Spencer Lee Says:

    Brandon, let’s keep a bookmark on that one. It will come in handy later…often.

    Lisa, well said. “Logical” and THAT guy are probably not mentioned in the same paragraph.

  24. Tdog Says:

    Okay, I heard something this morning and it’s really bothering me. One of my former Youth kids is now in the Bama Band and is saying that after the Iron Bowl, the UA Band had to hurry out of the stadium because AU fans were throwing things at them, trying to attack Big Al and throwing things at the bus–they had to haul @ss out of town. Does anyone know anything about this?? This does not sound like our fans, but I’m quite disturbed by this. Now, she’s a big time Bama fan (she goes to school there so it’s not like Bammer material) and is very passionate about the team, but I want to not believe this.

  25. Big Swoll Says:

    Tdog, that would be highly unfortunate. That kind of behavior should be well beneath the class Tiger supporters (of all sporting, academic and community endeavors) show in defeat as well as victory. Lets hold those accountable (if true) and make sure to cultivate a culture of class and dignity!

  26. Spencer Lee Says:

    Ditto that take Big Swoll. That’s not “Auburn Creed” material if the story is accurate. It’s worth noting the video footage I’ve seen of the band after Davis’ return shows a somber but completely unbothered group. If something were thrown at them it would have had to have been later. Nonetheless, if that took place there should be no tolerance toward the offenders.

  27. JCMac Says:

    In the tape, I remember the Million Dollar Band being in the stadium the whole time. I did not notice any rushing out of the stadium.

    I sincerely hope this didn’t happen. But just our celebration alone raises safety concerns for any fan/representative involved. Unfortunately, like big hits such celebrations are part of the game.

    Also, I should congratulate Mark Paden on his #1 status on the pick’em this year. I think he gave Auburn 10 points every time out. He picked with his heart and won! Kudos, to him we were all playing catch up to him all year long.

    Anyone up for Bowl Pick’em’s ?????

  28. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    Most def… You create the group and I will join!

  29. JCMac Says:

    http://games.espn.go.com/college-bowl-mania/en/group?groupID=47511&groupp=d2FyZWFnbGU%3D&invitesource=email&inviteuser=NDEwMjY3OTQwA&ex_cid=invite-email-bowlmania

    This is the link… I think.. the password is: wareagle

    Mark you can post this on twitter if would like.

  30. Spencer Lee Says:

    I’m in on the Bowl Pick Em…I feel fully confident that my picks will totally reek. Only felt sure about 3 of them.

  31. Spencer Lee Says:

    BTW, I echo the congrats to Mark Paden for winning the gold and JCMac for taking the Bronze. I came in a respectable 5th. Not sure what kind of metal 5th place gets…..maybe shrapnel? lol

  32. Walt Says:

    I signed up for the Bowl Pick’em. Wow, that’s tough. It’s tough enough just to pick who is going to win games, but then to rank my confidence in all of those games? That’s near impossible.

  33. Ft Worth John Says:

    I agree Walt. I just left them all where they were. The only thing predictable about college football is that it is UNpredictable.

  34. Gaines Harrell Says:

    Spence, I know that second place gets to keep their job and third place gets a steak knife set!

  35. Ft Worth John Says:

    The rest of you are fired!

  36. Music City Tiger Says:

    Spencer, remember you are disqualified from any winnings for picking against Auburn :P

  37. Spencer Lee Says:

    MCT, noted. For what it’s worth I did put AU/FSU at the bottom. Translation: I think we could actually pull this sucker out. :)

    Gaines, I could only hope for steak knives on this one. I’m probably looking at a pink slip per Ft. Worth John. lol

  38. Spencer Lee Says:

    p.s. just a random statement…..I’m typing this from a Mickey D’s in Oxford, AL. A literal stones throw from the football field where one of AU’s hot shot verbal commits played the last few years. Just for fun you ought to see his highlight reel on YouTube. I know everybody’s highlights look good but this guy is remarkable even given that fact. His goal line dive where he jumps over everyone at shoulder pad height Amazing…

  39. Walt Says:

    Hey, Spencer, I’m just up the road from you, right now. I’m at Ft McClellan on a Guard exercise. Such fun.

  40. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Aubie is poised for another title!

    http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/12/aubies_2013_highlight_reel_pla.html

  41. Spencer Lee Says:

    Walt you ARE close by….almost as close as we are when we’re both home. lol Enjoy the sights and sounds of spectacular Ft. McClellan! :)

    p.s. Bob it is a well documented fact our mascots (Aubie plus the eagles) rule the world of collegiate sports! :) Cool video for real.

  42. Spencer Lee Says:

    Former AU star Ben Tate in a very candid article on cnnsi.com. You definitely get depth to his personality and personal story here. I’ll label it a must read for long time AU fans and Tate fans in particular.

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/12/ben-tate-houston-texans-acupuncture/?eref=sihp

  43. JC in FLA Says:

    I noticed when Jaemis was talking about his winning the Heisman last night, the three Auburn winners of the past were over his shoulder, like to whisper, ” Enjoy this moment, cause we are going to shut you down come Jan 6″! I think it was an omen ! Tre seems to have such class. I sure hope he comes back to win it next year !

  44. Walt Says:

    This is your reminder that we are, in fact, in the BCS Championship game. War Eagle!!!!!

  45. Ft Worth John Says:

    Okay Auburner Family this is important – I NEED MORE COMMENTS! I’m tired of clicking on my Auburner link and the # of comments is the same as it was 10 minutes ago and the 10 minutes before that. I know you have lives and families but even a short comment is enough of a fix for a little while.
    Sorry I yelled.

  46. JCMac Says:

    Ft Worth John, and others who are around… I was having a debate with a FSU fan… I told her there are multiple teams in the SEC that go undefeated with FSU’s schedule… What do you think?

    She also asked how many teams blow out the competition in the ACC like FSU did… thoughts?

    Last thought, I like AJ McCarron, there I said it.

  47. Ft Worth John Says:

    AU, Mizzou, bama, lsu and probably aTm and SC would go undefeated with fsu’s schedule. Every SEC team would have been bowl eligible. As far as blowouts go – that’s almost impossible to determine. Different coaches, offensive styles, etc.

    AJ does seem to show a lot of class. He’s obviously made some questionable decisions in his life, ha.

  48. Music City Tiger Says:

    JCMac, as an SEC fan, I would like to say Alabama, Auburn, LSU, TexasA&M, South Carolina, Missouri and healthy Georgia will go undefeated with FSU’s schedule.

    Would they blow out the competition? Probably.
    But these are all speculations and what makes college football more enjoyable. :)

  49. Gaines Harrell Says:

    FSU has always had an inferiority complex in regards to the SEC. They really wanted to be a part of the conference for a while, but balked at the chance to join in ’92, largely due to Auburn beating them in ’90. Bobby Bowden swore up and down after that loss that he would never join the SEC, nor play a team from the SEC (outside of U of F) unless it was a bowl game. He knew that he could run the table in the ACC, go undefeated, and have a shot at the NC each year. If FSU had joined the SEC, they would have been a doormat for quite some time because of the recruiting challenges, and the fact that our teams tend to play up. For example, I remember a Vanderbilt/Notre Dame Thursday night ESPN game in the late 80′s where Notre Dame was expected to blow out the ‘Dores. The ‘Dores had a strategy of losing 15 yards on 1st and 2nd down, then throwing a long bomb to get the first! It seemed like each series, they would end up 3rd and 20, and get the first down. They had a legitimate shot at winning the game, but ended up losing 14 – 10. I believe that Lou Holtz’s Fidgeting Irish won the NC that year where as The ‘Dores won 1 game that year (I believe). Just goes to show how tough our doormats really are competing against non-conference teams! Of course, over the years the SEC has been the target of upset non-conference games during the season, and we have had our fair share of upset losses to less dominant teams (see Walt’s Eagles beating Florida this year…), but above and beyond all other conferences, we have consistency in our parity. We have great teams year-in, year-out.

    As for FSU’s schedule, do remember that they blew out Clemson, who did beat UGA (closely, though…). I don’t see that as a measure of team quality, only that Clemson can’t stop being Clemson and choking when it counts. I wouldn’t necessarily say that FSU would or would not have had a successful year this year in the SEC instead of the ACC, but they would have had a tougher time ending at #1 and playing for the BCS Championship. I believe that Auburn matches up well against the ‘Noles in a lot of respects, and the game will be very interesting indeed; much better than an FSU – OSU matchup in my opinion. But I really think that our guys want this more than anyone else in College Football, because we really want to erase the memories of 2011 and 2012. FSU assuredly wants to win, but their desire is no where near where ours is. This season has been a statement season, and yes, with a little luck we are where we are. Then again, Roberto Louis was in the right place at the right time because of his discipline as a receiver. Saban made a coaching error and Malzhan art-of-war’d him. Missouri is an outstanding team, and see what we did to them riding on a wave of confidence. FSU is damn good, and will put up a fight, and will play a clean, hard game. But our guys are just feeling it right now. Confidence upon confidence led us here, and Gus believes, as do I, that small victories lead to big wins. There have been numerous small personal and team victories that have led to big wins this year. Now, the culmination of those small victories will lead us to the biggest win of the year! War Damn Eagle!!!

  50. Music City Tiger Says:

    Gaines, Roberto Louis? That made me chuckle!
    Otherwise, an excellent comment.

  51. Spencer Lee Says:

    My take on FSU in the SEC. I recall in `92

  52. Spencer Lee Says:

    …wow, that was short. Let’s try this again. I recall in `92 that Bobby Bowden was quoted as saying “some people feed their egos on conference titles” which I believe was a slam on AU since Pat Dye talked incessantly about wanting to win the SEC. FSU and Miami were offered the first crack at joining the SEC earlier that year as the first 2 teams to join the 10 that were in at the time. They each balked, thus we got SC and Ark. I have a different take on how they would have fared in the SEC from 92 to current. They had some great teams – including a NC team themselves in 99 or so. They recruit elite players and I think joining the SEC would have made them even better. The competition would have been much tougher of course but I think they would have won another title or two because a great team in a great conference is going to get pushed to new heights BECAUSE of having to play other good/great teams consistently.

    So that’s my 2 cents worth. We’ll have our hands full and so will FSU. Neither team will be able to put a perfect match on the field in practice as far as scout teams go. Jeremy Johnson isn’t Jameis Winston and FSU won’t have anyone with a 4.4 forty that makes zone reads as well as Nick. I expect some sloppy play from both sides early…picks, fumbles, unforced errors. Then both teams settling down. If we can keep it close in the 4th we’ll have a shot. This team thrives in that scenario.

  53. Spencer Lee Says:

    Quick p.s. the prior quote is not meant to be a “Bobby Bowden hated Pat Dye” thing b/c that would be a total lie. Bowden and Dye had great respect for each other and were quoted in and out of the media as saying so. I took Bowden’s quote primarily as one against those that set their sights on just a conference title instead of the NC. Dye just happened to focus on the SEC…..and still does. Now it’s one and the same…win the former and you get a chance to play for the other. Worked out nicely this year. :)

  54. Jason Says:

    Apple CEO Tim Cook got in an Iron Bowl zinger during a speech he made accepting a lifetime achievement award: http://youtu.be/dNEafGCf-kw?t=1m7s

  55. JC in FLA Says:

    I was curious and in the summer it rated AU as the 16th toughest schedule and FSU 64th on strength of schedules

  56. Tdog Says:

    Love seeing former players still All In the AU Family…especially Dansby, that guy was/is a BEAST!!!

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/12/karlos_dansby_jerraud_powers_s.html

  57. JC in FLA Says:

    I like your take on the AU/FSU game Gaines. I still can’t believe we are in the big game. Back after the UGA game, it was like…hey, we can be spoilers and play in a really good bowl game, and now look at us. I do believe FSU wants the game and will fight hard, but you can see it in our players that they know and believe they can win against any team. Confidence is a wonderful thing ! It is amazing the calm I have even when we are down, almost knowing the AU players WILL score again and an attitude of try to keep up other team !

  58. Spencer Lee Says:

    Great read from former AU Safety Rob Pate…don’t know where it first appeared so I can’t cite the source – sorry about that.

    Article by Rob Pate: Call Them Miracles, Call Them Champs

    In my title game preview, introspection was warranted. Taking a look back at where this team was one year ago and how they arrived in Atlanta was my focus. It’s a compelling story. It’s full of life lessons. It’s a movie waiting to be shot.

    As Auburn physically dominated Missouri to win the SEC Championship game, I found myself thinking, “Finally!” Not finally, we won another title. Not finally, we put ourselves in position to claim the number two spot in the BCS. Rather, it was, “Finally! Auburn will receive due credit for being physically superior, mentally tougher, more ruthless when it matters most. To watch that game and throw out terms such as: finesse, spread, smoke-and-mirrors, lucky would only parade your own football ignorance or visual shortcomings.

    After the game, Coach Bill Oliver summed it up best, “that offense, you can’t stop that thing!” Having witnessed the accuracy of his statement with my own eyes all season, I was still speechless to hear the greatest defensive coordinator living make that statement. How could it be?

    How could a guy coaching high school in Arkansas eight years ago devise an offense the best and brightest are shredded by? That question is a great one, but not the most relevant or significant. The question that intrigues me is how could a guy coaching high school in Arkansas eight ago devise a plan to revamp the mentality of group I had called quitters? How could he turn the worst Auburn team in memory, perhaps history, into my favorite Auburn team ever? How did he convince them to believe?

    How did he convince Ellis Johnson to buy in? How did he get Dameyune Craig to leave Florida State, Rodney Garner from Georgia, Tim Horton from Arkansas, Cheese Harbison from Clemson, Melvin Smith from Mississippi State? What did he say to them, what did they see in him to drop positions at elite programs to start over in Auburn?

    Auburn’s program was in shambles. We were worse than a train wreck; we were a laughingstock. We were hopeless. How can you sell that to an all-star staff? How could they sell that to their families?

    How do you walk into a meeting room and stare at a group that had just gone winless in conference play, that played without a pulse, that embarrassed the uniform they wore, and make them into conference champions in one year? I stand amazed. The job has been masterful.

    Congratulations to this team for winning us over; not with your wins over arch-rivals, but rather with your demeanor on the football field. In fact, it was your lone loss in which your character was revealed and had many conference foes claiming Auburn fans were celebrating moral victories. Observers weren’t celebrating playing LSU close; they were celebrating a team willing to fight till the bitter end. They were proud of the effort, not the result. The schematic improvement and mental toughness was undeniable. It was just a matter of time. You deserve the ring.

    What I liked?

    * Tre Mason’s endurance. It takes a superiorly conditioned man to run the football 46 times against air. To do so against what was the 14th ranked rushing defense in America (48th after the game) is simply absurd. A Heisman worthy performance indeed. He’s an ironman.

    * Coach Malzahn’s aggressiveness. The deep ball to Sammie Coates to open the Auburn scoring, the onside kick, the delay screen were all tremendous calls from a coach going after the jugular. It would have been easy to play it safe. Coach Malzahn set the tone for his team by holding nothing back.

    * Pass Rush. The defense had some obvious breakdowns and poor matchups resulting in many Missouri points. But the one constant was pressure on James Franklin. The four man rush was outstanding with the rotation of multiple bodies paying enormous dividends in the second half. The blitz packages were unique and well-timed creating urgency on the part of a quarterback that would rather not be urgent.

    * Offensive Line. You really can’t single out a particular player here. To run for 550 yards the entire line had to perform with flawless consistency. Jay
    Prosch, Brandon Fulse, and the receivers all had to do their part. As a former defender, the holes created during this game were nightmarish.

    * Auburn crowd. The crowd appeared the antithesis of neutral and that’s a testament to the Auburn faithful coming out and creating a raucous atmosphere. I’ve played in that game twice and both times the crowd was fairly split. Auburn fans pounced on the Missouri athletics department mistake of selling tickets to anyone online, a rookie mistake that created a road game atmosphere for the Missouri Tigers.

    * No panic. Several times in the first half Missouri took advantage of Auburn miscues resulting in what should have been enormous momentum swings.
    Particularly the Marshall fumble for six and the long touchdown pass from Franklin to Green-Beckham right before the half. Each time Missouri seemed to seize momentum, Auburn responded in a big way. That’s mental toughness. That’s a team operating under the direction of a coach they trust. That’s a team that’s been battle tested and fought on to prevail, overcoming dire circumstances. Nick Marshall is the catalyst. This team trusts Nick’s ability to lead and deliver.

    * Making the most of opportunities. When Tre Mason handles the ball 46 times on the ground. When Nick Marshall runs the majority of the time Tre doesn’t, attempts for everyone else are obviously limited. Making the most of each opportunity becomes paramount. Corey Grant, Cameron Artis-Payne, Ricardo Louis, and Sammie Coates all did just that. Each took advantage of their restricted chances in ways that force defenses to respect and defend the entire field. Having that luxury is what makes this offense explosive and nearly indefensible.

    However history records this 2013 Auburn football team, the words used will be an injustice. You can’t properly state the level of improvement from week to week. You can’t adequately summarize the revival from 2012 to 2013. The restoration job done by this coaching staff will never fully and sufficiently be explained nor understood. The confidence and domination seen on weekly basis cannot be captured with the written word. You had to witness it. You had to see it with your own eyes. You had to experience this team being disrespected, dishonored, overlooked week after week only to find ways to win football games-occasionally when winning seemed improbable.

    You had to see the look in Nick Marshall’s eyes when the switch came on. You had to see the defense become an impenetrable barrier during fourth quarters. You had to see a team that quit one year ago, outlast every team it played for four quarters, even the team it lost to. You had to see all the players we had verbally abused and belittled, all the young men that quite frankly looked hopeless, passionless, finished football players become battle hardened, grisly veterans leading an improbable run toward a championship.

    You had to see it. Because none of us predicted it. None of us had the foresight to envision this Auburn team capable of becoming this Auburn team.

    I will use this team’s story in my life. I will use it to speak to my children about overcoming adversity, insurmountable obstacles. I will teach them to value
    hard work and show them the fruits that labor bestows. When you go to college, you go to receive an education. You go to grow up. You go to gain life lessons.

    Inexplicably, this group of college kids, this team have done the teaching this year. They embody the characteristics of relentlessness, drive, devotion, and unity. They’ll be a team talked about by Auburn people for all time because their story is legendary.

    Call them the miracles. Call them the legends. Call them CHAMPIONS.

  59. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    Spence,

    I saw it… just ask Mark.

    I called a very successful year, while sitting in a Mexican restaurant in Owens Crossroad

  60. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    And, I think I also said that I was most concerned about LSU… Thought we might lose one… two at most.

    But, I will say that I didn’t expect an NC shot expecting two undefeateds in it.

    War Eagle guys, bowl mania starts this weekend!

  61. Spencer Lee Says:

    Hats off to you Thomas….I had us winning 8 (with one of those being the bowl game). Had no idea we would have a playmaker of the caliber of Nick Marshall. I consider him to be the difference in 3 or 4 games…..or at least a major difference maker in them (MSU, TX A&M, UGA, and uat).

  62. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    I don’t deserve too much credit, but thanks!

    I just had a good feel about the cohesion this team was building… the kind of cohesion and no-quit I expect from our teams.

    The excitement continues to build!!!

  63. Tdog Says:

    So I was checking our team page and giggled when I saw “Next Game: Pasadena”

    What’s funny, SI has a “Way too Early Heisman 2014″ story and we have TWO guys on it, Tre (if he stays) and Nick. Boom goes the Dynamite!

    Spence, I was with you, 8 games with the bowl win. I’m so happy to be wrong!

  64. mark Says:

    Yep. Not only did Thomas give me those extremely optimistic predictions, he broke down most every position and explained why the pieces were there in 2012, we just needed a QB and a few other upgrades and we’d be set. By the end of lunch, I believed.

    The last time Thomas and I got together for lunch was before the 2010 season – he had some pretty good predictions that year too. We might need to eat lunch together more often.

  65. Spencer Lee Says:

    Tony Barbee called……he wants Mark and Thomas to meet weekly to talk AU hoops (and it has to be positive chatter…..none of this “realism” stuff)

  66. Gaines Harrell Says:

    If Mark and Thomas will eat lunch once a year, I will gladly pay for it! Take advantage and find a Ruth’s Chris!!!

    MCT, I don’t know why I typed Roberto Louis instead of Ricardo Louis. Just be glad I didn’t type Pierre-Louis!

    So, anyone going to Auburn to watch the BCSCG? I am pretty sure Spence and Walt will be there, unless of course they luckily score tickets or win the lottery… I am meeting some friends who are coming down from Atlanta for the game. Don’t know where just yet, but if there is an Auburner contingent, maybe we could meet for a reciting of the Fight Song and Creed! War Damn Eagle!

  67. Thomas (formerly the Huntsville one, now the Charleston, West Virginia one) Says:

    If Barbee could get the jet to Yeager airport and promise a return trip, I would be all in!

    Basketball one thing we have to get going again. Maybe with Mizzou in the SEC, we can extend our recruiting reach. I definitely need to watch more hoops this year. Fortunately, I will have more time since I will be on out-patient psych through June.

    Then, we gotta get the baseball team running on all cylinders… and take LSU down.

    4 more days until bowl season… War Eagle!
    Heck, I might even be able to make the A-Day Game!!!

    I definitely am game for a routine lunch with Mark, and any other Auburner folks.

    I know it has been a while since Spence and I dined. I believe the time was Steak and Shake in 2010 as well. Far, far too long.