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Auburn’s Malzahn Skirts Texas Talk, But Writer Is Right – He Should Go If Offered

AUFB Louisiana Tech AuburnHow’d ya like to be Mack Brown?  The guy still has a shot to win 10 games this season — if Texas upsets Baylor and wins its bowl — but all anyone wants to talk about is who will replace him.

Brown says he’s going nowhere.  In fact, his people have responded to rumors of boosters trying to push him out by suggesting the coach would sue anyone who tries to undermine him — a novel approach, to say the least.  But AD DeLoss Dodds is walking away.  That’s one less big Brown supporter in the Longhorns’ org chart.  And rumors persist that Brown will either step down or he shoved aside soon.

So yesterday, Pete Thamel of tried to play matchmaker between Texas and Gus Malzahn before the Horns have even divorced themselves from Brown.  His message to Malzahn was simple:


“Get out of Auburn as fast as you can.

There’s an expectation that the Texas job will open in the next few weeks.  According to a source, Malzahn has told friends privately that coaching the Longhorns is his dream job.  If confronted with the choice between Auburn and Austin, it’s a no-brainer move for Malzahn to bolt.  The best job in the Big 12 is a much more stable plan than The Plains, as even a play-caller of Malazahn’s acumen isn’t likely to make adjustments to historical trends.

History tells us that Auburn coaches — no matter how successful — don’t have long and stable professional careers.  Just as Terry Bowden, who started 11-0 in 1993.  Or Tommy Tuberville, who went 13-0 in 2004 after a failed coup to hire Bobby Petrino.  Or Gene Chizik, who got fired two seasons are going 14-0 and winning the national title.”


For his part, Malzahn danced around Thamel’s report when he was asked for a response.

“The response is, I’m tickled to death to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers,” he said yesterday.  “I’m very blessed to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers.  I really appreciate the guys that gave me this opportunity and believed in me.  We are playing for the SEC championship, so it’s been a good year.”

Yes, a good year.  But you may have noticed Malzahn did not in any way, shape or form deny Thamel’s suggestion that he would be interested in the Texas job.  Perhaps Malzahn is just trying to live by Chapter One of agent Jimmy Sexton’s playbook — “Milk outside interest and reports of outside interest for better contracts and bigger buyouts.”  Sexton is indeed Malzahn’s agent.

But heading into an SEC title game that could/should open a door to the BCS Championship Game, wouldn’t most coaches want to nix this type of distraction straight away?

Whether Thamel is right about the dream job thing or not, he nails the rest of his argument for splitting from Auburn.  It’s one of the least stable jobs in the SEC as evidenced recently by Chizik’s fast-as-lightning slide from king to fool.  Tiger fans won’t like to read this, but Auburn has been on major NCAA probation more times than any other SEC football program.  And no matter how good the Tigers become, they will always play second-fiddle to Alabama.  That rivalry is too heated for one team to stay on top record-wise for long.  Which means the default position is Alabama — the SEC’s winningest all-time program (with more than a few NCAA tussles of its own) — in the #1 spot.  The state is named Alabama, not Auburn.  So when folks think football in Alabama, “Alabama” will always be top of mind.  No way around that.

Back on June 27th of this year we laid out many of the same arguments as Thamel when we suggested Malzahn would be the first of the SEC’s new coaches to get gone:


“Of the four new coaches in the league this year, it’s likely that Malzahn will get off to the best start as his roster appears to boast the most talent.  In other words, Auburn’s new coach is going to have to deal with big expectations more quickly than his fellow newbies.  Worse, he happens to be coaching in the same state as Nick Saban and that’s not a guy you want to play second fiddle to at the moment.  Then there’s Auburn’s pesky habit of finding itself in a scandal or in NCAA hot water.  Pat Dye’s tenure ended in scandal.  Tommy Bowden’s tenure ended in scandal.  Tommy Tuberville was a victim of grand expectations and Saban’s arrival.  Gene Chizik won, dealt with scandal, and then saw his program collapse.”


That’s not to say Auburn is a bad job.  It’s actually one of the top six in the SEC all-time.  But there are a lot of obstacles and a lot of high expectations.  Malzahn topped Saban and won the West Division this season — a tremendous job — but he needed a tipped Hail Mary and a Saban gaffe in the Iron Bowl to do it.  And who do you think will wind up with the higher-rated recruiting class in February regardless?  Who will continue to get the lion’s share of the pub in the Heart of Dixie?  Auburn won a national title in 2010 and then had to spend the next three seasons hearing “Saban this” and “Bama that.”

Whether Texas is Malzahn’s dream job or not, there’s no denying it’s better to be at the #1 “name” school in a state — sorry, A&M fans — in a 10-team league than to be at the #2 school in a state and playing in a 14-team league with a conference championship game.  An easier path to BCS titles?  Texas has it.

Malzahn has been quick to jump at better opportunities on his path to the head coach’s office at Auburn.  The Tiger job is his sixth since 2001.  Would he be willing to do another one-year stint at a school — as he did at Arkansas State — and then bounce?  If so, Texas would be a great big, wealthy, traditionally-strong landing spot.

Update: Auburn signs Malzahn to contract extension.



Here is why all the texas talk is hogwash.  Look at the BCS standings coaching in the sec gives you a one game advantage over all other conf. No one is bemoaning Okie st to jump into the title game.  Next year they would be fighting to make the final four.  Any sec coach that goes to texas gives up that nice little cushion that has helped our conf win 7 straight titles.


John, it looks like you struck a nerve with the Aubies.  Which isn't surprising as the typical(not all) Auburn fan is completely delusional about the nature of their program.  John writes a completely logical piece about where the Auburn job stands in the grand scheme of things and the knee jerk reaction from Aubs is to compare their troubles to that of Alabama's.  I have to say, it entertains me.

Anyway, Malzahn would be foolish to turn down the Texas job if he's indeed offered.  Deep down, the Aubs know that and it drives them crazy.

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris

Correction, I forgot about Bill Curry.  Bama has actually had more HC turnover since the Bear than Auburn.  6 head coaches (7 if you count Price).  Auburn 5.   Even more to the point.  John, while you can point out a few dramatic events with Jetgate or the way Bowden left Auburn is really just as stable (perhaps even more). Are you forgetting Dubose scandal with sexual harassment?  What about the Curry death threats and brick through the window?  Don't forget the whole Price fiasco.

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris

John, the other thing I will push back on is your insinuation that Auburn somehow got a cheap win over Bama due to a botched call by Saban.  If the field goal was not returned or never even kicked then we would have gone to OT.  Using your logic would you claim that a Bama win if the field goal had been good cheap as well because it had an extremely low probability of success?  Given Bama's problems in the kicking game that night coupled with Auburn's ramping up running game (note the last touchdown drive) we were likely to win anyway in OT.  The other point is that Bama had the ball at the end with a chance to win their Senior QB at the controls.  They had to try the desperate kick because they were unable to move the ball further down the field that's on them not us.  

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris

John, you need to dig and little deeper and think a little harder than Thamel.  I am surprised that you would seemingly agree with a lot of his points. 

A lot of the assertions that Thamel makes have been repeated by others (and him) particularly during the Cam Newton situation and I guess like a lot of propaganda if it's repeated enough it becomes true. 

Sure Chizik got canned after he lost control of the program and went 3-9.  But that alone does not mean Auburn is an exceptionally unstable place.  If we look at history we will see that Auburn has had 5 head coaches since the early 1980s (I am using the early '80s as this coincides with the post Bear era- if we went back further and included the Shug Jordan era Auburn would be very stable compared to almost any other SEC school).  Since Bear Bryant retired Bama has had 5 coaches as well (actually 6 if you count Price).  UGA has had 4 (I am counting Dooley in this case as he coached well into the mid/late '80s) and Florida has had 5 as well.  LSU, Arkansas and the other SEC schools have probably had as much if not more turn over during that time period.  So, with a little history of coaching tenure at other places considered I think we match up quite well.  This is particularly true as it relates to Thamel's article when you consider our so-called dominant in-state rival over that time has been no more stable. And, really, do you think if a Bama HC with Chizik's overall record and who went 3-9 and 0-9 in the SEC they would keep their job?

Another point is that since Bear Bryant retired (including the mighty Saban tenure) Auburn has a 17-14 winning record over Bama.  So again, I don't think the facts on the field really support the position that Auburn is somehow drastically inferior.  Anyone can pick a point in time to measure wins-losses and sure, Bama has been overall stronger during Saban's tenure but the facts are that Auburn's winning record in the SEC matches up quite well with Bama in the post Bear era.  The only notable area where we fall short during that time is in National Championship count but then again we are doing as well or better in that regard compared to just about any other SEC program.

As to big alum meddling in the program, it is true that we did have one very influential booster/trustee who was very involved and that may have resulted in the ugly way that Bowden was let go and Jetgate.  One point about that is that this person is no longer a trustee at Auburn and really has very little influence any longer.  The second and more important point is that a lot of schools from time to time have someone with outsized influence.  Think Paul Bryant Jr in Tuscaloosa does not have a ton of influence in hiring and firing decisions?  Jeremy Foley who is widely respected is not exactly known as a paragon of coaching stability- he will hire and fire at the drop of a hat.

Last on the NCAA thing I will once again mention that Auburn has not been in the NCAA doghouse for football (or any major violations) in 20 years. A lot of this serial bad actor crap dates all the way back to 2 incidents back in the 1950s when the NCAA had just been formed.  We can get into the details about the merits of those circa 1950s cases and who might have been influenced those cases (a certain famous cross state head coach) if you want.  I am not saying that Auburn has been or is always clean.  You yourself have pointed out that most programs probably have some sort of violations going on at any given time but I will refute the premise that Auburn is somehow a special case.  A lot of this smoke comes from the Cam Newton situation but the NCAA investigated and came up with nothing.  Some will read that to mean we just did not get caught others will think this means we were clean.  But the facts are that nothing was found and Auburn was exonerated.  Looking at recent history even 30 years back, Auburn has only one case.  Compare this to the Bama football program being tried and convicted in the NCAA doghouse twice since Auburn last was penalized. 

Coming full circle I will acknowledge that Alabama has a lot of advantages in recruiting, in-state support and other areas. All things being equal of course one would typically want to coach at the so-called flagship school but Thamel's proposition that the Auburn situation is so dire/bad that Malzhan should flee as soon as possible for Texas is just plain ignorant and wrong.  History has shown that a good Auburn coach can and will win regularly against Bama, win SEC championships and appear in major bowl games and the Auburn HC position has been just as stable in terms of turnover as Bama as well.  In fact, to flip the argument around, it could be argued quite accurately that the Auburn program and HC job has been historically proven the most successful non-flagship public university program in the country.  What other non so-called flagship school in the purported Ga Tech or Vanderibilt or Texas A&M position has a winning record over its supposed dominating in-state rival over a 30 year period?   In fact, considering all of the advantages Alabama has they really DO NOT dominate Auburn like most flagship schools would.


Malzahn's career has been a dash from one stepping stone to the next. Nothing the matter with that, but Auburn fans shouldn't be surprised if a moving van shows up in front of his house soon.

Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991                     Hughes (AR) HS (DC)
Hughes (AR) HS
Shiloh Christian (AR) HS
Springdale (AR) HS
Arkansas (OC/WR)
Tulsa (Co-OC/AHC/QB)
Auburn (OC/QB)
Arkansas State


You've just lost all credibility with me by agreeing with Thamel's agenda driven article. You wrote " Whether Thamel is right about the dream job thing or not, he nails the rest of his argument for splitting from Auburn.  It’s one of the least stable jobs in the SEC as evidenced recently by Chizik’s fast-as-lightning slide from king to fool." Really?  So AU fired Chizik on a whim right after he won the NC, I suppose? No.  Show me ANY SEC school that will keep a coach who loses all control of the program and goes 0-8 in the conference.  Chizik's undoing was all his own- witness Malzahn's success with basically the same players.  Did you even read Thamel's article or give it ANY objective thought?

By that criteria of "unstable" conditions Saban should never have gone to Bama.  Ask Dubose, Franchione, Shula, and Price about how "stable" their time at Bama was.  



Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris


I like the swipe about delusional Auburn fans.  People who live in glass houses.  How about Alabama's delusional official belief in 15 national championships which take credit for years before polls even existed and/or Alabama did not even go undefeated? Its not like these claimed national titles are just coming from some crazy Bama fans this is official fake history from the Alabama Athletic Department itself.  Shame on them or, are they really this dumb?  Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, 15 national titles.  If the Alabama fans were not so insecure in themselves and their state perhaps they could celebrate the numerous titles they have actually really won like other programs.

Anyway back to the issue at hand.  The Texas job is better than the Auburn job (or Alabama for that matter).  If Malzahn is offered I can't fault him for taking it so you are wrong that I have some kind of fear of this.  Saban might very well do it too except probably for his age (62). 

Once again, my point is not that the Texas job is not better its Thamel's reasoning and John's agreement that Malzahn should be extra motivated to jump because Auburn is less stable and more dicey with less chance of success than other SEC programs and in particular Auburn's relative position to Alabama as a further reason to move on.  John also mentions that Auburn folks are more likely to have unreasonable expectations and throw their coach under the bus.  Looking at wins and losses, average coach tenure, etc. this is not true and it's surprising coming from John who is usually more fact based.  Many SEC schools have suffered from unreasonable expectations including Bama, Tennessee (Fulmer), etc. etc.  At the end of the day Auburn is no better or worse.  

On this line of coaching stability relative other programs, must again correct myself.  There have been so many Alabama coaches in the last 30 years I have miscounted twice.  I overlooked Franchione as well (who bolted from Bama for Texas A&M).  This makes 7 Bama coaches (8 counting Price) vs. 5 for Auburn.  As such, if anything Auburn is more stable directly refuting one of Thamel's key points. 

The article should have simply been that the Texas job is one of the best in the country and Malzahn should take it if offered.  The rationale regarding the Auburn program is simply wrong. 

I don't expect heckler fans from the peanut gallery to care about the real truth but I would appreciate who is supposed to be a more rational and fact based site to think through these things a little further before knee jerk agreeing with a piece like Thamel's.


@the_voice Moving to obviously bigger stages as he did in high school and then from Arky State to AU is one thing along with the move from OC to HC.  Moving from a proven D-1, top 25 program in AU is another. I'm not saying that he wouldn't jump at the $$ possibly offered at Tex.  AU is simply not a stepping stone job.  We've not had a coach leave for "greener pastures" since Mike Donahue.  


Is it wrong of me that what I actually enjoy is that comments like mine get under the skin of you folks?  I'll let you decide.

In seriousness though, Thamel's point is completely logical.  It has nothing to do with how many coaches have come through Tuscaloosa or haven't and vice-versa with Auburn.  It's the nature of their stay and their departure.  Terry Bowden started off like gangbusters, but was essentially run out of town due to unmet expectations...same with Tuberville...same with Chizik.  Now a coach being fired for unmet expectations isn't anything unusual, but what matters is are the expectations realistic?  In Auburn's case, competing for championships year in and year out is an unreasonable expectation.  Why?  Because they've never done it before.

Winning 7-9 games on an annual basis with the occasional big year should be Auburn's expectation until someone comes in there and proves that something more than that can be done.  Until that time, Auburn's expectations are based on what big brother has accomplished.  15 national titles...23 SEC titles...3 national titles in the last 4 years...these are the marks of a program capable of greatness.  That's not opinion, that's a fact proven on the field.  It's perfectly reasonable for the Bama brass to be less patient with their coaches because history and circumstances have proven that excellence is imminently achievable.

What speaks volumes is the fact that Auburn's expectations are based on the accomplishments of Bama rather than their own history or vision.  What does that tell you?  Alabama is the superior program, always has been, and probably always will be.  Whether the Auburn folks want to admit it or not, their entire athletic philosophy revolves around that fact.  You know as well as I do that the real goal at Auburn is to be better than Bama on an annual basis.  If championships come along with it then that's just gravy, but the only intolerable situation is one where Auburn is taking a back seat to Bama.

And let's not forget that every coaching change at Bama over the last 30 years has not been your run of the mill guy getting fired after bad performances.  Mike Price never coached a game and got himself into hot water, that had nothing to do with the program.  In fact, it's a tribute to the program that they fired Price rather than covering up his behavior.  Certainly Bama was setting themselves up for nothing but heartache in firing a brand new coach in the middle of May.  Subsequently, hiring Shula in such a unique situation was always a temporary solution.  He was never qualified for the job, but Bama was forced to make a difficult decision.  After all that, Bama lands the best coach in the country and builds another dynasty.  Auburn wins a title around the same time and the program collapses shortly thereafter.  That my friend is instability.

Meanwhile, Ray Perkins left for a job in the NFL.  How is that a sign of instability?  Stallings won a national title before retiring.  Instability there?  DuBose...I'll give you that one.  Franchione...I don't know how to explain that one.  He didn't leave for a better job.  He left because the AD was not giving him the facilities upgrades that he wanted and honestly needed.  Instability?  I'll call that a push.  Curry on the other hand was essentially run out of town as is the M.O. at Auburn.  The difference of course is that that happened 20 plus years's not a recurring theme.

In short, my thesis is this:  Bama presents opportunities for qualified coaches that few other programs in America can.  Texas is an equal, but not a superior program.  Auburn is an above average program, albeit run by a good ole boy network that is stuck with an insecure mindset that drives them to compare the program to Alabama at every turn.



@Farris @the_voice  Compared to Texas, yes, Auburn is a stepping stone job.  If Malzahn is offered that job then he should take it.  Remember when Chizik left for the same position at Texas that he had at Auburn.  There's no difference.


@John at MrSEC @Holtbru From googling the name John Pennington,I am pretty sure the author of this article is a nothing more than a Tennessee homer. He probably should call himself Mr.Tennessee instead of Mr. SEC, but then nobody outside his own fan base would take him seriously

It also laughable that a Tennessee fan would be taking these kind of jabs at Auburn, because we have certainly won a lot more games and championships during the 21st century than they have. Tennessee has also had their own share of scandal over the last 25 or 30 years. Phil Fulmer stabbing Johnny Majors in the back, the whole Linda Benzel Myers situation, and there is  obviously a reason people have named the trophy for having  the most criminals arrested the Fulmer Cup

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris


As to the "polls" that give Alabama some of these titles you mention most of them were done in the last 30 years by backwards analyzing the decades old seasons not by people who were actually around at the time the games were played.  .  Please point out one year in which Alabama finished #1 in the AP or coaches poll in which Bama does not take credit. 

Thanks for swiping me about the 2004 season championship.  You do know that the BS "poll" that awards Bama the 1941 national championship was done by an Alabama alum don't you (decades after the season ended)?  Most people agree that the coaches poll and the AP poll are the widely accepted, nationally recognized polls.  Surely you don't expect an educated person to look a "poll" conducted by an Alabama fan 40 or so years after the end of the 1941 season to be legit do you?   Particularly when the coaches and sportswriters who were alive at the time following the sport voted Bama #20, right?  But since evidently you do think this approach is legit, then I am starting my own poll, I will given it an official sounding name and publish that Auburn has won the 2004, 1972, 1919, and let's go ahead and take the 2013 national championship.   You don't think I am credible?  Why not?  The Alabama Athletic Department took its own fan's word for 1941 over the objection of the AP and UPI.

I guess I am a good bit older than you realize.  I well remember Bama playing Ga Tech and I know they were a strong program particularly back in the 1940s-50s and 60s. Of course you should full well know that your point is moot as is relates to Auburn because Auburn has played Tech more than Bama ever has.  In fact before the series ended, the Auburn -Ga Tech series was the longest series in the south not Auburn-UGA.  

This whole strength of schedule issue has been well researched if you don't believe me.  Not sure if links will work in this comment section but as a quick example here is a link to College Football Data Warehouse.  The have analyzed all the major programs since the beginning and adjusted the W-L history for strength of schedule.  On the adjusted basis, Auburn ranks 3rd in all time win history and Alabama 5th.  This strength of schedule history has been researched by other sites as well if you want to dig around.  All of the analysis I have seen indicates that overall Auburn has played one of the toughest schedules in the history of the sport.  By the way you might want to study the Alabama football media guide.  Bama has played Kentucky a ton.  I think about 50 times.

I also know that before the early 1990s Florida did not have that great of a football history but I would still argue playing the flagship school in the State of Florida every year for decades was certainly harder than Bama playing Miss State every year.  Considering for decades the SEC only played a 5 game conference schedule, Bama playing Miss State every year while Auburn played UGA makes a huge difference.

Of the 23 SEC titles Bama has won most were earned under the old 5 game SEC schedule.  Back in those days if Alabama played Miss State, KY, Vandy, Tenn & Auburn they were pretty much guaranteed 3 of the 5 SEC wins right out of the box.  At least once, maybe more (not sure) Alabama won the SEC because it played more SEC games that the other schools.  I guess the Bear was smart to schedule an extra SEC game or so because it automatically made it easier to win the SEC.


Joe my boy,

Just because the AP poll didn't vote Bama #1 in certain years doesn't mean that no one else did.  Again, who is to say that one national poll is better than another?  

And when you say Auburn could do the same thing and claim 9 titles?  Please.  Not claiming a title for years like '93 when your team was ineligible for postseason isn't a matter of being classy.  It's a matter of realizing how much of a laughing stock the program would be for doing so.  Same thing with that "People's Championship" nonsense from '04.  If the AP poll had awarded a split title in '04, for example, then there's nothing wrong with claiming it, but that's not what happened. Like I said, there are years in which Bama was voted #1 by certain polls yet UA refuses to claim those.  Do a little research.

I forgot to mention earlier this issue about SEC championships.  Your breakdown of how Bama won their titles is, of course, based on hearsay.  Yes, Bama played a lot against MSU and Vandy over the years.  We, however, have NEVER played Kentucky very much.  Which message board did you get that gem from?  Also, it's true that we've never played Florida very much, but(maybe you're too young to remember) Florida was no powerhouse until Spurrier showed up in 1990.  I don't see how "avoiding" them in most years invalidates conference titles.  Also, you have no idea what you're talking about when you say we "avoided" Georgia.  Bama played Georgia most every year until the 1980s came around.  We haven't played them regularly since, but that's mostly to do with the new East/West lineup.  It's the same reason Auburn doesn't play Florida very often anymore.  I also might add that we played Georgia Tech a lot in the old days and maybe you didn't know this either, but GT was pretty good in the old days before they left the conference.  That's why it took AU until 2010 to surpass GT in the SEC title department despite the fact GT hadn't been a part of the conference for nearly 50 years.  I suppose though that's because Auburn played Georgia and Florida so much...just a tougher schedule every year, right?  Sure.

I might also mention that conference titles could be split until the advent of the conference championship game in '92.  Bama won titles in years in which other schools also won them.  Why?  Because there wasn't a setup for determining a true champion.  There were only 6 conference games back in the old days so please don't give me this nonsense about soft schedules.  Auburn had just as easy a road historically.

And why does Bama only have a 7 game lead over Auburn?  I never said Auburn had a sucky program.  They've obviously won a fair bit over the years.  Guess what though, that still qualifies you for #2 in the state.

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris


Of course I knew the polls started in the 1930s.  I think most objective folks would agree that the AP and/or UPI Poll (Coaches Poll) named the national champion before the BCS era.  Interesting that you bring up the first year of the AP poll in 1934.  In that year Alabama finished 2nd in the poll yet the University of Alabama claims a national championship for that year and goes happily about selling "Got 15?" shirts, coffee mugs, etc and encouraging the false belief in a history of championships that never really happened.  What BS.  Even worse of course is 1941 as you mentioned.  In 1941 Alabama finished 9-2 and #20 in the AP poll yet again, Bama claims a national title.   This is absolutely crazy.  Alabama has 10 legit titles which is plenty.  You know it and I know it.  Of course there are a lot of uninformed people out there like Pete Thamel and the casual fan who assume these claims are true.  So on that basis I guess the propaganda campaign works.  Better to look good than to be good, right?

As I mentioned other schools including Auburn could play this goofy game if it wanted.  Using the Alabama type approach Auburn can claim about 9 titles itself but the Auburn Athletic department is too classy to take credit for titles that were not bestowed by nationally recognized sources.  The main reason I keep ranting about this is because the University of Alabama promotes these ridiculous claims.  If it were just fans that would be fine but when the Athletic Department of an institution of higher learning itself actively promotes falsehoods like this you have to question the respectability of the institution itself.


I'm not going to get drawn into a argument about which national titles Bama claims and which ones are valid.  Anyone who wants to do a little research can dig and find out why Bama claims the titles that they do and why they are perfectly reasonable to claim.  The only exception might be 1941, but there are years in which Bama has gone undefeated and been voted #1 even though Bama doesn't claim those.  It all events out.

The reality is that it's ridiculous to say that claiming titles before a certain poll was established make the title invalid.  It's as ridiculous as claiming that titles won before the BCS era don't count.  The NCAA doesn't recognize champions so who really has the right to decide?

The AP poll was actually established in you didn't know that did you?  I also bet you didn't know that Bama only claims 3 titles before that time?  You probably believe whatever hearsay you find on an Auburn message board when it comes to these sorts of things.  That's ok though, I don't expect better.

And actually, the vast majority of Michigan's titles came before WWII.  Then, of course, there is every single other program that won a title from that era...Notre Dame, Minnesota, Army, Navy, Stanford.  They all claim their titles.  In fact, I dare you to do a little research and find a program from that era that doesn't claim their title.  Just because it happened a long time ago and they didn't do things the way we do them now doesn't mean it was invalid.

As far as the overall quality of UA versus AU, believer what you will.

I'll conclude by saying I enjoyed discussing with an Aubie that didn't immediately refer to me as trailer trash because I'm a Bama fan.  We should do it more often.

Roll Tide.


@AllTideUp You can spin it anyway you want, but bammer has still had more coaches than Auburn since the Bear died. Auburn is also going for their 7th SEC championship since he died. Only Florida has more conference titles during that time with 8

If you address the the other points the author brought up like scandals, that is one area bammer probably does lead in since the Bear died.  bammer does lead in probations during that time 3-1 and then you have other scandals like Mike DuBose and Mike Price both being caught red handed sleeping with other women beside their wives

Joe Frank Harris
Joe Frank Harris


AllTide you sound like an educated intelligent person but you lose a lot of credibility referencing 15 national titles.  Surely you know what the great unwashed Bama masses do not that Alabama actually has 10 national titles.  That's a ton and plenty to be proud of but Alabama should grow up and stop claiming titles for seasons before polls even existed.  I am not aware of any other football school who plays this BS game and there are plenty of others who could and would put Bama to shame in the process such as Notre Dame.  On the same basis, Auburn could add several titles to its 2 as well.  Its just amazing the level of institutional insecurity that must drive the University of Alabama to promote this.  Is it an over reaction to all the bad press the state got during the 1950s and 60s (Bama Alum George Wallace, Bull Connor, etc.) or the state's ranking in income levels and poverty?

Of course the dirty little secret influencing many of the SEC titles and even claimed national championships is that historically Alabama has not played a tough schedule featuring decades of games against Vandy, Miss State and Kentucky while avoiding (historically) Florida and Georgia.   We can delve into this much deeper if you want but this weak schedule history explains the curious inconsistency in that Bama is able to claim a billion wins and championships but has only a measly 7 game lead all time over little brother Auburn.  How can this be? The factual answer is strength of schedule. Do you realize that Bama's #1 most played opponent in history is Miss State not Tennessee or LSU or even Auburn?  Compare that to Auburn's #1 most played opponent in UGA since 1892 and leads the series.  I wonder what Bama's historical record would look like if they had played a schedule along the lines of Auburn or UGA played?  Hmmm.  But I must be desperate and digging deep to point this reality out sort of like Bama makes up 5 more national championships.

I find it laughable that a Bama follower would talk about the good ole boys running and controlling Auburn when Bama is and has been under the thumb of a small group of influential folks for decades (Paul Bryant, Jr).   Its really no different but you can think it is.

Perkins left for the NFL but also to get away from the expectations.  He was Bear's chosen successor but could not keep the fans happy.  He knew to leave before it got ugly.  Curry the same.  Even Stallings eventually buckled.

Anyway I did not start these posts to get into a purely Bama-Auburn discussion.  Thamel's points were broader than that and I think I have done a good job to set the record straight.  Sure, Alabama has and probably always will have the superior history in terms of championships (SEC and otherwise) but Thamel is wrong.  Bama never has and probably never will dominate Auburn the way it wishes it could or even thinks it has.  If it did the record of the Auburn-Bama series would look more like UGA-Ga Tech or Texas-Texas A&M or Ole Miss-Miss State but it does not. Despite the conventional wisdom the Auburn HC job has been more stable not less stable over the past 30 years than Bama.  Sure Auburn has had more firings instead of resignations but I am not sure that proves anything.  Curry for example would have been fired if he did not resign.

Interesting your points about Auburn always measuring itself by Alabama.  I think that is always somewhat true.  But it's true for Bama as well when the shoe is on the other foot.  When Pat Dye was winning 4 in a row and I think 6 of 10 the Bama nation was almost suicidal and went through 2 coaches until eventually finding Stallings.  Similar under Tuberville's 6 wins.  Was it desperate Auburn or Bama who sent its AD to camp out in Miami for days to literally humiliate himself to beg Saban to take a job and pay him more than any other coach?  Let's get real.  Auburn directly had a hand in Mal's desperation because Tuberville was on at the time 5 game win streak against the Tide (eventually 6 games). 

Amazingly the Saban/Bama empire is only 4-3 against that dumpster fire that is Auburn who have gone through 3 coaches during this time. Surely they should dominate more as they are the dominate program, right?.  What's the problem? 

Finally, so its OK for Bama to chew through 7 coaches in 30 years for mostly not living up to expectations but its not OK for Auburn to go through 5 coaches in the same time period because our expectations are unrealistic?  Got it.  Right.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@joe21 @John at MrSEC @Holtbru


I live in Knoxville and do a TV show in Knoxville.  I've also lived in Columbus (OH), Charlotte (NC) and as well as in Kentucky.  I can assure you, Tennessee fans don't view me as a "homer."  Like Tony Barnhart, Chris Low and Edward Aschoff, I have to live somewhere while covering the SEC.  The moon is unavailable.

I suggest you search some of the Tennessee stories on this site before calling me a homer.

Also, let me make one thing perfectly clear -- I get hate mail 365 days a year from fans of all 14 SEC schools.  If they all lost on a given Saturday, trust me, I'd have reason to chuckle.

You're reading the most objective SEC site on the web.  There are no fan writers here. 

For the "jabs" I take at Auburn, where were you when I was defending Auburn during the Cam Newton affair?  When that was playing out -- and there was no evidence of AU buying the player -- I had a few million Alabama fans sure as can be that I was an Auburn guy.

So don't read one article and go jumping to conclusions.  It only makes you look stupid, childish, or both.



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