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Auburn doesn't claim new national titles, just points out what the NCAA recognizes

We're confused.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

EDITOR'S NOTE: We wrote this whole dang post on Auburn claiming three more national championships, and then the school said that it isn't claiming the titles, just making note that the NCAA recognizes the 1993, 1983 and 1913 teams as national champions. Thoughts on that: it's trying to have the cake and eat it, too. We don't want to be like Alabama and retroactively claim national titles, but we do want you to know that some official organizations recognize those teams. It would be better to either claim them or ignore them, but whatever. There's no point in getting too worked up over all this.

The following post has been edited to reflect all of Friday's developments, but the general sentiment remains the same, so we're pretty much going with what we had. Not too long from now, we'll be taking about new championship teams anyway.



Actually, it's not that exciting. Auburn has, in fact, claimed pointed out that the NCAA recognizes three more national title seasons: 1993, 1983 and 1913. When you woke up this morning, the Tigers had two championships, and now they have five still have two, but some say they have more. "The NCAA recognizes Auburn as National Champions in 2010, 1993, 1983, 1957 and 1913," says the football tradition page on the school's official website.

A brief synopsis of each new additionally NCAA-sanctioned championship season, per the athletic department:


The 1993 Auburn Tigers compiled an 11-0 record under first-year head coach Terry Bowden. Auburn was the only team in 1993 to finish the season undefeated. Highlights included a last-second field goal in a 38-35 win against No. 4 Florida and a 22-14 comeback win against No. 11 Alabama in the Iron Bowl.


Pat Dye led the 1983 Auburn Tigers to an 11-1 record, an SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl win against Michigan. Auburn played the toughest schedule in the nation in 1983 against eight eventual bowl teams. The Tigers beat four teams ranked in the AP Top 10 including No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Maryland and No. 8 Michigan. Auburn also beat No. 19 Alabama in Birmingham in the annual Iron Bowl.


Auburn completed a perfect 8-0 season in 1913 under head coach Mike Donahue, outscoring opponents by a whopping 222-13. The Tigers reeled off six consecutive shutouts of Mercer, Florida, Mississippi State, Clemson, LSU and Georgia Tech before yielding points against Vanderbilt and Georgia.

Only the first two games of the season were played in Auburn, the final six were on the road. Auburn claimed the SIAA Championship and six players -- Kirk Newell, Frank Harris, John E. Pitts, Jim Thigpen, F.W. Lockwood and Henry Robinson -- were named members of the All-Southern team.

What does it all mean?

Right now, and for a while, not much. If you're reading this, you've probably been watching Auburn football for at least a few years -- likely much longer -- and you'll continue watching Auburn football for many more years to come. No living person remembers the 1913 season. If you're old enough, you do recall the 1993 and/or 1983 campaigns. You know how they went down, and this news isn't going to cause retroactive jubilation. No matter what, you've been operating under the assumption that Auburn had won two national championships, and it will feel a little funny to now say the Tigers have won five. Plenty of fans from other schools will point and laugh, and there will skirmishes on Twitter and in comment sections.

But claiming 1993, '83 and '13 isn't for the Auburn fans of today; it's for the Auburn fans of the future, the next generation. Anyone born tomorrow who grows up bleeding orange and blue will always know their favorite college football team as a program that won five national championships before their birth. And for that fan, the three additional titles will be added ammunition for future debates on whatever social media platform or higher form of communication is prevalent in 2035.

For any opposing fans snickering, and for any Auburn fans putting too much stock into three more claimed titles recognized by the NCAA, remember this: Gus Malzahn and co. have the program rolling. In the not-too-distant future, we'll be talking about more national championships claimed on the field.