I pride myself on being a reasonable Auburn fan. With the exception of the boy I carpooled with in elementary school I've never gone out of my way to deride Alabama or Alabama fans. Unless Auburn is playing Alabama that week, they don't occupy much of my time or thoughts. This week, Alabama caught my attention.
As most of you know, the NCAA rules committee recently proposed a new rule that would make snapping the ball within the first ten seconds of the play clock a delay of game penalty. This proposed rule has been covered at length elsewhere and I can't say anything that would add to the near unanimous opposition to the rule voiced by coaches and journalists.
There is a feeling that the rule won't be adopted. Others question if the rule would have any effect because most teams don't snap the ball within ten seconds of the ball being spotted. Whether or not the rule is passed and whether or not the rule affects play, Auburn has already won.
Nick Saban, who has always questioned if the HUNH "is what we want football to be," actively lobbied the committee for the rule change. This lobbying is the first sign that Saban is shaken by Gus and has no answer for our offense, or other similar offenses (as seen in the last two Texas A&M games and the Sugar Bowl).
Nick Saban is an incredible coach. His Alabama teams recruit well will be nationally competitive for the foreseeable future. They may beat us next year and they may beat us the year after. They may beat us every year Saban remains as coach. But by trying to change the rules to spite a rival, Alabama has given up their right of manhood.
Of course, I don't believe it's likely that Alabama beats us next year or more than 50% of the future meetings against Gus. And based on Saban's recent lobbying efforts, you can be sure he's nervous about the direction the rivalry's going too. It's great to be an Auburn Tiger.