Back on Saturday, Oct. 19, the Auburn Tigers traveled to College Station, TX where they defeated Texas A&M 45-41. A&M was ranked No. 7 in the country at that time.
That game brought the Auburn Tigers’ record to a surprising 6-1 record. Especially after the dismal season that Auburn had in 2012 when they were 3-9.
After the Tigers’ upset over the Aggies the question became, “well how good is Auburn really?” and, “will they be able to stay undefeated and beat Alabama at the end of the season?”
These were fair questions that at the time seemed to stomp out all of Auburn’s hopes. Who would have ever expected Auburn to have the season that they had?
Auburn somehow ran the rest of their schedule and came into the Iron Bowl with an amazing 10-1 record. But still, even at that point — there is no way they could beat the mighty Crimson Tide of Alabama.
But it happened. Somehow the Tigers found a way to beat their rivals and bring their record to an astounding 11-1, placing Auburn in the SEC Championship game this weekend against Missouri in Atlanta while Alabama has to sit at home and watch their chances of competing for a third straight National Championship virtually disappear.
Not to mention that the Iron Bowl itself was one of the best football games I have seen in a while. It seems like every week there is another amazing game on that steals the show, but the Iron Bowl had enough drama and excitement to give a neutral fan a heart attack.
By now everyone is aware of how it ended, with Alabama attempting a 57-yard field goal that was short and returned by Auburn’s Chris Davis for a 100-yard touchdown return. Easily one of the craziest endings to a football game anyone will ever see. And for the second straight game Auburn did the unthinkable, pulling one last trick out of the hat, if you will.
Two weeks ago Auburn defeated their other rival — Georgia — with a game winning touchdown that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest plays in Auburn history. And now you have Davis’s return that trumps that. Two straight games with two unbelievable finishes that Auburn somehow won, a pair of games that no team will likely ever see again — simply amazing.
Yet there are some who have been throwing it out as “luck” and that Auburn is just the “luckiest team ever.” I love these ignorant comments because they come from people who have very little knowledge of football, or sports in general for that matter.
There has been plenty of luck on the football field in Auburn’s last two games, sure. But the reality is that they have also won those games fairly without blemish. Every team has luck on their side at some point; it just so happens that Auburn had two of the most amazing games in school history back-to-back.
And on a side note, I wouldn’t even cosider the Iron Bowl to be lucky for Auburn. The Tigers hung with the best team in the country and beat them, what more do you want? Luck is simply a part of the game (just as field goals are, Alabama). It’s time to stop blaming everything on luck and really admire what Auburn has done this season, they are a great team who has earned their right to play for an SEC Championship. After Auburn beat Texas A&M it was mostly wishful thinking about them somehow winning out, defeating Alabama, and replacing Tide in the SEC Championship game. But somehow they made it happen.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.