By Jay Coulter
Last week, Andrew Cuomo, the liberal attorney general from New York, accused Auburn along with 38 other schools, of pushing students to a particular student loan company in exchange for some undisclosed kickbacks. He promised a full investigation. The general response from most Auburn fans was simply, "bite me."
The story hardly received a yawn on the Plains. The most puzzling thing to Auburn people was why the Tigers had been singled out in the wire story when schools such as UCLA, Oregon, Louisville and Rutgers hardly got a mention despite being named in the investigation.
The story got a lot more play at other schools around the SEC. My fellow SBN blogger Kyle King, who runs the excellent Georgia blog, Dawg Sports.com had a field day with the story. I’ve quickly learned that Kyle possesses a hate for Auburn that I could only have for that school in Tuscaloosa.
Kyle used the report as a diving off point to bash Auburn. The fact that he sides with a New York liberal like Cuomo should make him question his reasoning. However, after giving it some thought, I have to admit that I’d go as far as to side with Hillary Clinton if I thought it would hurt the Dawgs. So Kyle, in the words of the great Chris Rock, "I’m not saying what you did was right, but I can understand."
Passion like Kyle’s is what makes the Auburn-Georgia rivalry great. Do I hate Georgia? Sure I do to a degree, but it’s a little different for Auburn fans. After beating Bama for the fifth time in a row last year, I and a group of friends were talking after the game and all agreed that we’d take a blowout to Georgia every year if it guaranteed a win over the Tide the next week.
Even in years when we’ve beaten Georgia (that would be two out of the last three for those at home scoring) I’ve often worried that we were using all the gas in the tank and wouldn’t have anything left for the Iron Bowl. My guess is Georgia doesn’t have that worry with Tech. They’ve owned that series for so long, that it’s more of a rivalry on paper than in reality. It’s quickly becoming that way in the Iron Bowl.
The Auburn-Georgia rivalry seems to be more fun and have more pageantry than the Iron Bowl. The Bama game is one that you want over as soon as possible. You don’t enjoy it as much as you endure it. Regardless of your record, if you lose the season is lost. If you don’t believe me, ask Bill Curry about the 1989 season. A 10-1 record and a loss to Auburn sent him into exile to Kentucky.
As Kyle points out in his story, the Auburn-Georgia game is like family. The programs two most prominent coaches of the last half of the 20th century graduated from the others school. Mark Richt is a class individual. So is Tommy Tuberville. Say what you want about either of them, but they do things right.
Both have caught heat about the way they run their programs. Richt is catching some this summer for all his off field problems. But at the end of the day, neither has gotten a serious look by the NCAA. They stand for all that’s right with college athletics.
So yes, I do hate Georgia. But I also respect them. I also enjoy seeing the Auburn people who work there now do well – as long as it’s not at the expense of Auburn.
As for Alabama, I hate them with all my being. If I didn’t, I couldn’t be in the family. But I do enjoy talking football with their fans. That’s what makes college football great.