More than anything, last Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium was a statement about Gene Chizik. Forget the record crowd, the big time recruits visiting and the size of the helmet decals. What happened at halftime of A-Day said more about Chizik than the action on the field.
As was the case at many schools across the country, Auburn introduced its All-Decade Team during halftime festivities. To draw a fraction of the old players back to campus for such an event is no easy task. In Auburn's case, most all of them made the trip. The ones who didn't were in NFL Mini Camps.
Many of them were drawn back to campus because of Auburn. But judging from the reception the former players gave Chizik on the field, it had more to do with him and the buzz he's created across the South. Suddenly, everyone wants to be part of the program again and that includes athletes like Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown and Karlos Dansby.
Many of the men standing on the field Saturday, stood behind Chizik back in December 2008 when few others did. They knew something we didn't. Saturday was an opportunity to come back and bask in the glow of something that's getting bigger every day.
Chizik deserves the credit. Football is fun again.
Speaking of all-decade teams, you all have made your choices for the Track'em Tigers All-Decade Team. Nearly 6,500 votes were cast. The team looks decidedly like the 2004 Undefeated Season in many places. Without further ado, here's your Track'em Tigers All-Decade Team:
Quarterback - Jason Campbell
Running backs - Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown
Wide Receivers - Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu
Tight-end - Cooper Wallace
Offensive Tackles - Marcus McNeil, Kendall Simmons
Offensive Guards - Ben Grubbs, Tim Duckworth
Center - Ben Nowland
Defensive Ends - Quentin Groves, Antonio Coleman
Defensive Tackles - Sen‘Derrick Marks, Demarco McNeil
Linebackers - Karlos Dansby, Dontarrious Thomas, Travis Williams
Cornerbacks - Carlos Rogers, Jerraud Powers
Safeties - Junior Rosegreen, Will Herring
Kicker - Damon Duval
Punter - Kody Bliss
Return Specialist - Tim Carter