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History Repeating? Auburn-Clemson

What Does a Battle 755 Years-Ago Have to Do with Auburn-Clemson in 2016? Maybe SOMETHING!

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn talks to his team Wednesday. Auburn Football Scrimmage on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 in Auburn, Ala.  Todd Van Emst

History Repeating?: An Auburn fan/ "historian", attempts to predict outcomes of Auburn games by looking at seemingly unrelated historical events. A waste of time? Only if it doesn’t work.

What if I told you everything that has happened is going to continue to happen forever? What if I could predict the future by understanding that all historical events are mere retellings of other historical events? Would you believe me? If you say no, then you would be wrong.*

The Battle of Ain Jalut

In 1260, the Mongols had expanded their empire from Mongolia—easily the South Carolina of Asia—south to present-day Iraq and north well into present-day Russia. They were moving and conquering territories at a rapid pace, even the death of two emperors didn’t seem to be slowing them down. They had conquered most of Syria and were heading further southwest.

The Mongols had met some resistance from a sneaky, brave, offensive genius named Qutuz. His armies went fast and physical. So in the spring of 1260, the Mongols sent two messengers to Qutuz with a message:

From the King of Kings of the East and West, the Great Khan. To Qutuz the Mamluk, who fled to escape our swords. You should think of what happened to other countries and submit to us. You have heard how we have conquered a vast empire and have purified the earth of the disorders that tainted it. We have conquered vast areas, massacring all the people. You cannot escape from the terror of our armies...

In other words:

Qutuz was angry. Angrier than I am watching that silly man dance to Pharrell. Qutuz had the two messengers from the Mongols beheaded and put their heads on the gate of the town. He hated dancing.

The battle of Ain Jalut took place on September 3, 1260, in Galilee. Ain Jalut means "Spring of Goliath" in Arabic. The Mongols advanced first, striking early blows and doing their Mongolest. The Mamluks, led by Qutuz used their knowledge of the terrain—a home-field advantage—to their...advantage. However, the Mongols destroyed the left flank of the Mamluk army, leaving Qutuz angered and bewildered, taking his helmet off and throwing it to the ground (easily a 15-yard penalty in today’s game). With his helmet off, his troops could see his face.

He looked them in their Mamluk eyes and screamed "WA ISLAMAH!" which is probably Mamluk for "WAR EAGLE!"** Qutuz took his troops and advanced directly toward what was earlier their weak spot, driving the Mongols back. The Mamluks gained the mental and geographical advantage and defeated the undefeatable army. No one had ever beaten the Mongols in close combat before. The Battle of Ain Jalut marked the farthest southwest the Mongols ever got. They never recovered from this defeat.

This battle also marked the first successful use of "hand-cannons" in battle. The Mongols never saw it coming.


Obviously, we can see the outcome already. The marauding visitors from the north-east (of Auburn) are coming to town, and will probably win the first quarter. They have a ton of talent and haven’t been beaten in the regular season in over a year. In the second quarter, Auburn will begin doing what no one expects them to do: throwing and catching the football with success. What seems to be the weak point of this team will be the place Auburn attacks. Sean White’s hand-cannons will weaken and frighten the Clemson players like so many Mongol horses before them and Auburn will defend its homeland. Winning the mental game and using the home-field advantage, Auburn will continue its offensive explosion in the second half, holding off late attacks from Clemson.


Auburn 31 Clemson 27

Rearrange 2016 and you get 1260. The truth is out there.

*Another word for "wrong" is "rational."

**It almost definitely isn’t.