Auburn Tigers Go 13-0

Sugar Bowl: Auburn 16, Virginia Tech 13

Photo: A split title? Carnell Williams and Auburn stated their case.  Win No. 13 added some Sugar to Auburn's perfect season. But a share of No. 1? Not likely after a 16-13 victory.

No national championship, but a terrific season for the Auburn Tigers.

Update (1-4): Tigers Lobbying for National Title

Photo: The Auburn Tigers celebrate after beating Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, finishing a perfect 13-0 season

Photo: CoachTommy Tuberville led the Auburn Tigers to a perfect 13-0 season. The roar echoed through the brick walls in the basement of the Superdome without any trouble. It was coming from the Auburn locker room — the screaming, the yelling, the singing. All 104 members of the Tigers roster — plus coaches, trainers, equipment men, video guys — all singing the Auburn fight song, “War Eagle.” All singing “Hard Fighting Soldier,” the team’s gospel song. All celebrating like they had won the national championship.

On the other side of the wall, friends and family hushed one another up, placed their ears against the wall and listened into the heart of the Auburn football program. It was then that coach Tommy Tuberville spoke. “It doesn’t matter what anybody else tells you,” Tuberville told his team. “We’re national champions.” And just like that, the room erupted. The fans outside clapped. And regardless of computers and polls and coaches and sportswriters, anybody backing the Tigers felt like they were on top of the college football world.

Reality says that Tuesday night’s winner of the BCS title game between USC and Oklahoma will finish No. 1 in both the AP and the Today coaches polls. And the Tigers didn’t exactly help themselves with a sleeper of a 16-13 victory over Virginia Tech here Monday.

But inside that locker room, inside the Tiger football family, nobody seemed to care. They are national champions. They finished the season 13-0. They won the SEC championship. They beat the ACC champions in the Hokies. And three other teams ranked in the top 10. Somebody — the Football Writers Association perhaps — will crown Auburn No. 1, Tuberville believes. And when they do, he said the team will receive national championship rings. “I’ve got a subscription to Golf Digest. I’m going to call them and ask them if they’ll vote us No. 1. It means as much as the other ones. I’m telling you, when you went 13-0, you should be national champion. There’s no doubt about it. We’ve done all we can do.”

Tuberville’s argument is a strong one. Only five teams in SEC history have ever finished the regular season 12-0. Four of those went on to win the national championship. The fifth, Florida in 1995, lost to Nebraska in the title game. It isn’t like years past, in which three 12-1 teams carped over who deserved the title. The Tigers never lost. They did everything the schedule asked. They met every task their coaches put in front of them.


See also Time to End the BCS

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. David Harris says:

    Congratulations to Auburn. Beating four top 10 teams in a season is really unheard of. It’d be hard to convince the winner of tonight’s USC-Oklahoma game that they’re any less deserving, though.