How do you put into words what Auburn fans have been treated to over the past three months? When early September rolled around, this state was covered in Crimson. You couldn't turn on ESPN without seeing Alabama All-Access or some feature on Mark Ingram during SportsCenter.
Many questioned whether Auburn had fallen too far behind this time. The Tide was picked to win it all again. Auburn was picked fourth in the Western Division of the SEC.
Some of the best gifts in life come out of the blue. This 2010 Auburn football season has been a gift straight from the heavens for all of us.
There have been many great Auburn teams over the past half century; this one will likely go down as my favorite. The storylines on this year's edition are endless. Sure there's Cam Newton. He will forever be the headliner for this group. We can talk all day about him; and many times, we do just that.
But what about Gene Chizik? He arrived with a 5-19 record and a fanbase as divided as any in modern college football history. Today he stands at 19-5 at Auburn, and two games away from playing for a national championship. When he says, "keep chopping wood," he lives it.
Then there's Kodi Burns. It seems like a generation since he replaced Brandon Cox at quarterback for the New Mexico State game in 2007. This kid has witnessed the good and bad of Auburn football like few others.
He doesn't grab many catches or headlines as a starting wide receiver, but he throws blocks like few wideouts in the conference. Now that's a story.
Speaking of adversity, how great is it to see this offensive line overcome the adversity of 2008 to now being considered one of the best in the nation and among the best to ever wear orange and blue. Newton is special, but this offensive line is what'll get him the Heisman Trophy.
How often does a player pass Bo Jackson to become the all-time freshman rushing leader and it's nothing more than a side story? That's the life of running back Michael Dyer.
He's been compared to South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore all season. Both are great, but Dyer is a little more special. Maybe it's that blue jersey. Don't be surprised if he ends up as Auburn's fourth Heisman Trophy winner.
I'll ask it again. Has there ever been a school to produce a Heisman, Outland and Lombardi winner all in the same season? I'm not sure, but I'll take even money on it happening at Auburn this year.
Nick Fairley has been nearly as much fun to watch as Newton. Even when he doesn't make a stop behind the line of scrimmage, he's responsible for the tackle. If you recorded Saturday's win over Georgia, go back and just watch Fairley. The chaos he creates is a thing of beauty.
So here we sit.
Auburn is less than two weeks from playing in the biggest Iron Bowl in school history. It has a chance to finish the job started by the 1983, 1993 and 2004 teams.
What a cast of unlikely characters.
Few pundits gave this team any shot of going undefeated for 11 weeks without a break. Throw in the events of the past week, and you have to just shake your head when some suggest Boise State should be in the mix for the championship.
Seriously? Auburn wins games without a defensive secondary. Name any team that's ever done that?
Winning in Tuscaloosa will be Auburn's toughest test to date. Once again, they'll be the underdogs. The Alabama media will write them off. They'll work hard to uncover more Newton allegations.
The results will likely be the same. Cam will keep smiling and Auburn will keep winning. That's what happens with the best gifts in life. They just keep giving. Deliver three more times and I can die a happy man.
Enjoy the off-week.