After nearly fifteen years, we have climbed out of the darkness.
Auburn basketball is a Top 25 team once again.
I’ll repeat that. Auburn basketball. Ranked. In the Top 25. The REAL Top 25. From the Associated Press!
The last poll that appeared with Auburn’s name in it came out on January 21st, 2003. The Tigers lost the next two games that week and subsequently fell out of the January 28th poll, making the morning of the 28th the last time Auburn was ranked before today. It’s been 5,460 days between appearances in the poll.
That’s astonishing. What’s more, it’s astonishing how Bruce Pearl is accomplishing this. He’s without two of his top players in Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. He’s got a looming cloud over his head due to the FBI investigations, and he’s got a staff that’s been shaken up after Chuck Person got fired right before the season.
Call it a revenge tour.
I was there three years ago for Pearl’s first foray back into Knoxville as the Vols beat the Tigers, and I watched with glee as we beat a ranked Tennessee team last week, then followed that up with another win over a ranked Arkansas team (both by double digits, mind you).
To add to this nice day, Mustapha Heron got named SEC Player of the Week after a huge performance in the Tigers’ first two conference matchups.
Now we just have to continue this streak against Ole Miss tomorrow night. War Eagle!