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Auburn Players Take Weekend Off

By Jay Coulter

Talk about the calm before the storm... There is hardly anything happening on the Plains this week. The team practiced for about 90 minutes on Thursday and will take the weekend off before reconvening on Sunday.  Most of the players are planning on going home and having Thanksgiving with their families.

Many have questioned why the Alabama game was moved back a week after being played the week prior since 1993.  

Auburn and Alabama officials both agreed to move the game back after the creation of the SEC Championship game. The thought behind the move was to give both schools an extra week to prepare for the championship should they be the Western Division champion.

A few years ago, other conference schools complained it was an unfair advantage and voted 11-1 to force the Iron Bowl to be played a week later to eliminate any advantage. Auburn was the lone no vote. Why Alabama voted to move it is anyone’s guess. Why they do most things is anyone’s guess.

So there you have it.  You will remember the 1992 game was played on Thanksgiving Day in Legion Field. The night before, Pat Dye resigned during a called press conference in Birmingham. I was at the event and it’s something I’ll never forget.

The next day, Auburn lost to the eventual national champions 17-0. I remember the players coming out on the field, walking with their helmets held high in the air. That group hung tough for four quarters and let Alabama know they were in a game.

I guess by now, you’ve seen the 2008 schedule that was released earlier this week. Talk about brutal – at least a lot of the tough ones are at Jordan-Hare. The home schedule includes games with Louisiana-Monroe (Aug. 30); LSU (Sept. 20); Tennessee (Sept. 27); Arkansas (Oct. 11); Southern Miss (Oct. 18); UT Martin (Nov. 8); Georgia (Nov. 15).

That leaves road games with West Virginia (Sept. 6); Miss State (Sept. 13); Vanderbilt (Oct. 4); Ole Miss (Nov.1); Alabama (Nov. 29).

While difficult as hell, this schedule will hopefully be more manageable than this year’s.  

I don’t like to look ahead too far, but mark the 2010 season down. This Auburn team will be loaded with experienced seniors and have a favorable home schedule. Expect them to be ranked high in the preseason and have a legitimate shot at the national title.

With no Auburn game this weekend, you’ll have a chance to watch plenty of other games. Here’s a look at the television schedule. All times are Central:

Ohio State at Michigan – 11:00 a.m. – ABC
Missouri at Kansas State – 11:30 a.m. – Fox Sports Network
Kentucky at Georgia – 11:30 a.m. – Lincoln Financial
Duke at Notre Dame (What a joke) – 1:30 p.m. – NBC
LSU at Ole Miss – 2:30 p.m. – CBS
Miami at Virginia Tech – 2:30 p.m. – ABC (Split Feed)
Penn State at Michigan State – 2:30 p.m. – ABC (Split Feed)
NC State at Wake Forest – 3:00 p.m. – ESPN U.
West Virginia at Cincinnati – 6:45 p.m. – ESPN
Boston College at Clemson – 6:45 p.m. – ESPN 2
Oklahoma at Texas Tech – 7:00 p.m. – ABC
Louisville at South Florida – 7:00 p.m. – ESPN U.