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Countdown to Kickoff: 79 Days

Back to the 1990s for today’s entry!

As we continue with the Countdown to Kickoff, we’ve rolled past the 80-day mark (where is the time going??) and it takes us smack dab into the middle of the Terry Bowden years.

Bowden of course began his Auburn career in 1993, reeled off 20 straight victories in his first two seasons, and was a heck of a gameday coach and offensive mind. His bugaboo came in the recruiting game and the management portion of things, and so the end of his career suffered. Auburn missed out on some good talent while others around the SEC stocked up, but one guy that was super smooth and super talented that ended up coming to play for the Tigers ended up being wide receiver Robert Baker.

Most people will remember Baker’s touchdown against Georgia in 1996 that preceded the Uga snapping turtle impression, but he was a talented receiver in Bowden’s offense. He was also a talented guy in the open field in general, as he showed off against South Carolina earlier in 1996.

Auburn would win the game 28-24, the first meeting between the two in 63 years. The Tigers haven’t fallen to the Gamecocks since 1933, and are unbeaten in eight meetings when both have been members of the SEC.

As for Robert Baker, his post-Auburn life has been a roller coaster to say the least. He was arrested in 1998 for dealing drugs, got an early release, made the Miami Dolphins roster from 1999-2003, spent a few months in NFL Europe, went to the Canadian Football League for another three years, and retired to become a rapper by the name of Shake Severs (NSFW language at the link), before getting back into trouble in 2013.

We’ll always have that punt return against the Gamecocks, though. 79 days until kickoff. War Eagle!