What can you say?
Such an amazing start and then such a colossal collapse.
Beauty at times and sheer heartbreak at others.
Plays that were sustained with cramp and moments that caused fans to fall over, literally.
Just imagine; you bet 500 to 1 odds that the Auburn Tigers – after a 3-9 season the year before that featured a loss to Lousiana Monroe -- would win the national championship. And up 31-27 with nearly a minute to go, the 50,000 dollars that was yours to win were on the line.
In Mark Skiba’s case, he was in this exact scenario, watching the game in Las Vegas awaiting possibly the biggest event of his life.
Fans like these are what makes Auburn.
When the year started, and the Auburn Tigers faced -- and barely beat -- the Washington State Cougars, Auburn fans had no idea what to expect.
Of course, it was awesome seeing Malzahn’s offense being run for the Tigers again at Jordan-Hare, but the optimism just wasn’t there. And leading up to the LSU game, fans still just weren’t certain this team was legitamate.
As we all know, Auburn went down to Death Valley and lost that game; not only giving Auburn fans a better idea of what their team was like, but also instilling fight and hunger in players such as Tre Mason, Nick Marshall, and Dee Ford.
Following that game, the Auburn Tigers had a mindset that I don’t think any of us fans have ever seen before. Piling up wins against the likes of Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Auburn’s confidence was transfused and their will to win seemed miraculous.
You could tell, not only by the way in which the players expressed happiness and gratification on the field, but also by the manuerisms that Coach Gus Malzahn moved with in press conferences, practices, and games.
Waffle house visit after Waffle House visit was the schedule for Gus after every game (signifying a win), and on November 16th Auburn hoped to improve their record to an astonishing 10-1 against Georgia.
Throughout the first half, Auburn looked too powerful to lose to an injury-bitten Georgia team, but that just wasn’t the case. After Aaron Murray dove on 4th down to put Georgia ahead, Auburn had one last shot.
On 4th and 18, Nick Marshall let if fly. And Ricardo Louis finished it off.
Heading into the Iron Bowl, Auburn was 10-1 and had a chance at their 2nd SEC and BCS National Championships in 3 years.
We all know what happened next, as Auburn beat Bama on one of the most remarkable finishes college football has ever seen, and then the Tigers defeated Missouri in the SEC Championship.
Which led us to last night.
With so much speculation and anticipation leading up to the biggest game of the year, Auburn came out hot scoring on multiple running plays, thanks to Tre Mason putting us up 21-3.
Florida State fought back, and after Tre Mason’s unbelievable run to put us up 31-27, Jameis proved his Heisman with an unbelievable drive to win it.
We all know what happened, and this day and this next year (until the 2014-2015 season) will probably include thoughts of the game every single day.
What Auburn fans need to understand and think about though, is the ultimate realization that we defied all odds.
We led the NCAA in rushing, we beat Alabama, and we made it to THE game.
It was one hell of a season, don’t ever forget it.