Reading what the whimpering pups over at Dawgsports were saying last week about their rivalry with Auburn, there was little doubt that the taste was bitter indeed for them this whole off-season for a slew of reasons:
- 1) First losing season since the early Jim Donnan days
- 2) Capped by a Liberty Bowl loss to a directional school, no less
- 3) Losing to Auburn for the first time in five years
- 4) Nick Fairley
- 5) Having the aforementioned team winning the national championship and
- 6) Allegedly being slighted by same team's fans in a poll over who they wanted to see win between themselves and Boise State. Huh?
While never underestimating Georgia fans' ability to go all persnickety on you at a moment's notice for no good reason, I cannot contemplate for the life of me any inferiority complex conjured up by the Dogs any sillier than if their conference mates wish them to face-plant in a nationally-televised non-conference match. If any such woeful self-pity condition did exist amongst Georgia fans, certainly it would be because they lacked a real fight song, or going for the Auburn angle, that every single one of their legendary coaches and sports administrators probably had API written at the top of his sheepskin.
Not that I'm willing to concede their point of contention concerning Auburn fans' wishes, I believe that any credible polling of Tiger fans would probably find that most would default to conference pride and choose Georgia. But Dawgsports needed some friction and decided to base their hate on the supposed results from an Auburn pay site, the kind of place where people might feel more free to air animosities held towards others. I'd hold a recount right here, but I know you guys would purposely enact a little revenge and stuff the Boise ballot box. With the start of the season now less then eleven weeks away, maybe it's time we Auburn fans came down off the mountain and started to put into perspective the rivalries and resentment we're going to face next year.
While the intricacies of rivalry within the SEC has been discussed by us here on TET many times, when you look to the precise ranking of Auburn's conference foes, it depends on if you're talking pre or post realignment in 1992. Without getting into a rehash of who ranks where with our top rivals, it's fair that Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida and Tennessee are going to be in that group in some order. It is fact and is indisputable.
The more interesting question is how we rank the rest of the conference--perhaps teams that we don't really consider to be rivals or to be on our level but who may really have it out for us. BTW, that is the ultimate disin CFB rivalry--when one team doesn't even bother to return the hate. And although I usually don't go too negative on here, but because I got a little fired-up over the insolence of our Georgia cousins, let's rank the second tier of conference mates in order of not hate, but more or less a general dislike or perhaps some hidden enmity. In other words, put a little edge on it.
So with twelve teams being in the conference and one of them is us, and with the top rivals already decided, that's going to leave one off your top 5 list of the lesser conference rivals. Maybe we could just make a universal rule and say that Vandy will be left off, but we won't, because someone out there hates them some Vanderbilt and they've been dying to express it. Maybe a med-school turn-down was the factor? Nah, keep it on the field. For me:
1) Ole Miss, 9-26 against Auburn all time: Sorry Rebels, Faulkner didn't play football, and the Grove is outside the stadium. Your miserable record against us only pales in comparison to your even worse historic beat-down at the hands of Alabama. And I bet you think you're all uppity-up and look down on your State cousins like those in Tuscaloosa try to do to their Ag school counterparts. You probably purposely avoided playing us at sometime in the past, being that we've been in the same conferences for a hundred years and have only played 35 times. You know Auburn wasn't at fault because we could have used the wins. You were either scared or you were being snooty. Either way, your batting average sucks with the state to the right. Better luck this century.
2) South Carolina, 1-8-1: You chickens spent most of the last century doing some pretty nifty competition and conference dodging, so I don't have a lot of respect for that. Your fans do keep showing up over the years, which is impressive considering the product you've put out. You have a dismal record against your in-state rival Clemson, so you couldn't possibly put on aires when it comes to them. You haven't beaten us since early in the Roosevelt administration. Let's keep it that way every four and five years and maybe I'll come around with you.
3) Arkansas, 8-11-1: Okay, I give you little piggies begrudgingly some credit. You held your own all those years being the state of Texas's step-child back in the Southwest conference days, and you have managed to hold your own against Auburn, LSU and Alabama since joining the SEC. I really want to put up a long winning streak against you, but it never happens. That's worth some respect these days. It helps now that Petrino is with you. Believe you me, sooie!
4) Vanderbilt, 20-20-1: See? Somebody does hold a grudge against Vandy. For the life of me, I can't figure out why every team in the SEC has clobbered you over the decades but we still can't manage a winning record. Actually, I know why. You guys weren't so bad the first half of the last century and that's when most of our games were played. We didn't even play between 1955 and 1978. And savior that win in 2008. It'll be another 50 years before you get another!
5) Miss State, 23-59-2: Our Ag school cousins. If there's one team besides Vandy, Kentucky,and Mississippi that Auburn fans automatically chalk up a victory for when glancing at the upcoming schedule, it's the Cowbells. And although you do have moments of glory playing in the SEC west, they are generally few and far in between. We can occasionally handle getting Croomed, but don't make a habit of it. You guys probably dislike us a lot more than we do you. As a matter of fact, I'm banking on it!