Tiger fans get 365 days of enjoyment

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 29, 2002

The Auburn Tigers continued a 103-year-old tradition by whipping the 9th ranked Crimson Tide in Bryant Denny Stadium 17-7. The win avenged last seasons 31-7 loss, and kept the Tigers undefeated (4-0) in Tuscaloosa. It only took our team 60 minutes to win, but we can enjoy this win for 365 days.

Dennis Franchione, the Alabama coach, has made a habit of referring to Auburn University as &uot; the team down the road.&uot; I’m serious, no one has ever heard him call us by our name. That is fine with all the Auburn fans that I have talked with, but we think he needs to be more accurate and call us &uot;the school down the road that owns Bryant Denny Stadium.&uot; It is true, we do own it. We haven’t lost there in 103 years, so maybe they will rename it Bryant Denny Stadium at Auburn Field. Not likely, but it does have a nice ring to it.

Auburn entered the game against 9th ranked Alabama as a 11-point underdogs, and with true freshman Tre Smith starting at tailback, and converted tight end Cooper Wallace filling in at fullback. Few gave us a chance to win. Despite this, the patchwork offense led by quarterback Jason Campbell, tailback Smith, and tight end Robert Johnson scored 17 first half points on the top ranked defense in the SEC. Our dominating defense took the game over from there, and limited the potent Alabama attack to only seven second half points. I was there, and it appeared to me that Auburn was a step ahead of the overrated Tide team all day.

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William Perkins, my friend and fellow columnist was one of many overconfident Bama fans last week. He said that Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville (he called him Tubby) was whining about Auburn’s injuries, and using our lack of depth as an excuse to lose to the Crimson Tide. Wrong answer, William. The injuries were not whining, they were real and that was our fourth string tailback that hung 126 yards on your top ranked defense. How is that for depth? In the future, please refer to our coach as Mr. Tuberville or coach Tuberville.

Auburn fans don’t need to visit any amusement parks this off-season, because the 2002 football season gave us plenty of ups and downs. The regular season is over and Auburn (8-4, 5-3) is currently ranked 20th and 24th in the AP poll and USA Today/Coaches poll respectively.

I know that we will play in a New Years Day Bowl, but I don’t know which one. At press time we were still being considered for the Cotton, Outback, and Citrus Bowls. Any of these is great considering our team was left for dead midway through the season. I think we turned the corner down in Gainseville when &uot;Cadillac&uot; broke his ankle. Credit our coaching staff for holding this team together, and producing a winner. Hopefully the character this team built this year will serve them well in the 2003 season.

Selma’s own Ben Obomanu and Brett Holliman had a tremendous year for the Tigers. Obomanu had 16 catches for 213 yards, and three touchdowns. Holliman played all year on special teams, and was credited with three tackles. It was sure fun rooting for our hometown boys this year.

Now that the season is coming to an end, you might be asking yourself this question. Why is football so important?

That question was answered long ago by Selma native, and former Auburn coaching great, Ralph &uot;Shug&uot; Jordan.