We're #2!!, We're #2!!,We're #2!!! Well that didn't take long, only one week in the top spot and down we go.
Despite all the naysayers, the haters, and the bedwetting crybabies yelling to the heavens that Auburn would fall victim to #1 Curse and crash back to Earth against Ole Miss, our boys and the entire coaching staff kept the guys focused and came out with an excellent game plan....on offense anyway.....to soundly defeat the Rebel Black Bears. Not that it mattered because they still fell out of the #1 slot due to Oregon taking down USC on the road. No Respect I Tells Ya!!
Now before the game, much was made of this being a trap game, that Ole Miss was much better than they were eartlier in the year, that Auburn would succumb to the pressure of being #1...blah..blah....blah. Well we saw what happened. Even though Ole Miss wore their Confederate Uni's, had the crowd stoked and got EXACTLY what they needed to pull the upset....an absolutely HUGE play to open the game with a touchdown....they squandered whatever momentum they got from that when Auburn went right back down the field and slapped them across the face by throwing a corner fade to Cam to even the score about 2-1/2 minutes later. Our injury riddled defense kept Ole Miss in the game for a while but the rout was really on after Cam caught that pass. The Tigers looked about as complete as they could be on offense, with Cam throwing darts from the pocket and McCalebb and Dyer gashing the Black Bears on the ground. They could still be playing and Auburn would still be scoring. I think everybody got the answer to the question, "Can Auburn win without a dominant performance from Cam Newton?" The answer is quite definitively yes. Just like Ole Miss, this Auburn team isn't the one that played Clemson, Miss. St and S.C. to the wire. They are much more in sync and execute at a much higher level. Key on Cam if you dare, you will pay the price from our other weapons. And if you don't key on Cam....well, you know happens there too. Oregon is scary good on offense too....but on a neutral field with a healthy defense with a month to prepare, I (surprise here) like our chances should we get the opportunity to play them. But will we get the opportunity????
Despite our record and our impressive offense play, we get no respect, as a team, from the pollsters, the media, and especially Bama fans....hell even UGA fans are talking smack and think we're gonna fold. Like I said, the vogue pick last weekend was that Ole Miss would pull the upset at home and send the Tigers home crying. A lot of people expected it and then, of course decried Ole Miss as a poor opponent that racked up 31 points on us, after we beat them. We can't win in the eyes of the critics, and thats because we DO get no respect......and to quite honest.....we don't deserve any respect. Now before you howl "Benedict Arnold", please look at this objectively and think about this from the perspective of the folks we seek validation from in the media....and that is, promoting Auburn does not sell. Despite all the bunk and clap trap those in the media spew about being objective journalists, they are nothing of the sort. When it comes to ESPN/ABC, CBS, the BCS and all newspapers, they are there to make money, plain and simple, and a college in the middle of south east Alabama just doesn't draw the demographic that is going to draw ratings and money. Sure, most of the Alabama papers outside of B'ham are going to give us a good word but the Atlanta Journal (closeset major metro paper), USA Today or any national paper is going to run us down. Remember, we're just a bunch of unwashed rednecks, down here in the South and promoting a rural southern team just doesn't fit into the liberal mindset that most of the eltiists in the media have. Now Oregon, comes fro the enlightended Northwest and should be treated differently . They deserve more exposure because they admire and revere ducks.....they don't want to hunt them like the rubes at Auburn. You may laugh but that liberal bias does come into play, especially when you are talking about Auburn which promotes traditional family values. Stanford, we are not.
The networks and the major papers are also selling to the major media markets, which means a bias towards East Coast,West Coast, Upper Midwest and Texas markets. California, Texas, Chicago area and Northeast teams are going to get the majority of the publicity when they field a decent team. Remember all the love Rutgers got a few years ago? Being a New Jersey team and having a great year, the media really wanted to play that up to get those major market New York/New Jersey ratings. And if they will do it for Rutgers you know, they love it when Southern Cal and Texas are in the championship mix. Whoaa you say, what about Bama and Oklahoma then???!! They aren't major market teams!! How and why do they always get good press?? Again, these teams along with other traditional powers like Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Southern Cal, have NATIONAL fan bases, bandwagon jumpers with no real strong affiliation to the school but root for the team due the fact they have won championships and have a storied history. For example, if the Bear never darkened the door of the Univerisity of Alabama and had instead taken his NCAA corruption cadre to Arkansas and won all those chanmpionships there, Bama would be just another good SEC team that was looking for national respect. Arkansas would be Bama, not the other way around. Thanks to the Bear you can go to New York and see a kid wearing an Alabama hat. You go outside the states that border Alabama, you won't find many folks sporting any Auburn gear. People don't know about Auburn on a national basis and we aren't THE team of a major media market, like UGA is for Atlanta, therefore the media and the folks who pull the strings at the BCS don't want Auburn anywhere near the championship game. Why? Auburn does not assure them of the big time national ratings Bama,Ohio St or Oklahoma would. Love the team or hate the team, they just want you to have a reason to watch. The biggest thing going for Auburn that might tip the scales in our favor is the specatcular play of Cam Newton...that they can sell but they haven't been selling Cam until recently so he's still not the ratings getter they would want. That would of course change if Cam goes nuts on Bama and the in the SEC title game.
What about Boise and TCU you say??? Why are they getting lumped into the equation? Well TCU is near Dallas which is a huge media market, which is one reason TCU will get a push but Boise and TCU get the benefit of The David vs Goliath syndrome. Fans who have no affiliation will root for them in a championship game against any big time conference school. There is absolutely no rational arguement that can be made that Boise or TCU should get a sniff of the National Championship game, but the media keeps promoting them anyway because it keeps the die hard fan whose team has been eliminated from National Championship consideration, engaged as he roots for the underdog to take out the goliaths of the SEC, Big Ten or PAC 10. I know that if Auburn can't go I would love to see TCU kill Oregon. But I actually tuned into that abomination they call footaball in Idaho last Tuesday to check out the Broncos and I just don't get it. Any other top major conference school in the top 10 would beat them 8 out of ten times. I have never been impressed with Boise, even in the Fiesta win against Oklahoma, because you know Oklahoma didn't want to be playing them, and that makes a huge difference when you have a month to prepare for the game. All that being said, the BCS is absolutely terrified of a Boise/ TCU matchup, which would wouldn't draw flies on TV. You can bet every dollar you own that will NEVER happen, regardless of the records of the major conference teams in the top 10. Only one David is allowed in the championship game. If it would lead to a playoff though, I would love to see it happen just so it would implode the BCS, which it would.
Getting back to Auburn, there is no conspiracy at play here. The bottom line is we are going to have to win a championship before we get any respect from those outside of Alabama and the Auburn family. Even long time Auburn fans have a huge confidence problem even though this team is NOTHING like any team that has come before it. This team can score in bunches and is exciting to watch....its exactly what the TV folks love...and would love more....if Auburn was closer to Atlanta. If we can win the BCS like we have most of our games recently we will develop a huge following, especially if Cam comes back for his Senior year. Chizik will be the IT coach that took a program in shambles to the promised land. Guz Malzahn will be new evil genius that can turn any offense into a juggernaught. Michael Dyer (if Cam leaves) will be the early Heisman favorite in 2011. You see, like Patton said, America LOVES a winner! And thats really the way it should be. If you're the #1 team, you should play like it, you shouldn't be afraid of the pressure. Winners thrive on pressure, they want the limelight, they need it!! When Auburn embraces that and revels in their celebrity, the media will embrace them too and hold them up....wrongly at times....as examples to be admired. It just comes with the territory.
That all being said, I could care less about who respects us and who doesn't, if we keep winning they won't have a choice.