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Cam Newton Graces Sports Illustrated Cover

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton shares the Nov. 15 cover of Sports Illustrated with Andy Dalton of TCU and LaMichael James of Oregon. Newton is the first Auburn football player to take top honors on the weekly issue since Bo Jackson shared the cover with Iowa’s Chuck Long and Plymouth (N.H.) State’s Joe Dudek nearly 25 years ago (December 2, 1985).
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Auburn Hopes To Hold On To #1 Ranking

By now everyone knows that life hasn’t been cushy at the top of the polls the last few weeks.

Saturday, October 9th:  South Carolina 35, #1 Alabama 21
Saturday, October 16th:  Wisconsin 31, #1 Ohio State 18
Saturday, October 23rd:  Missouri 36, #1 Oklahoma 27

Now Auburn is on top of the polls.  Well, sorta.

You see, the Tigers are #1 in the current BCS standings.  It’s Oregon that is #1 in AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ polls.  Which could be good news for Auburn.

If there’s a #1 jinx then it’s Oregon that stands to topple on Saturday when the Ducks play at Southern Cal.  (For the record, we don’t believe in jinxes.  Knock on wood.)

Still, Auburn’s players are aware of the burden that goes along with wearing the #1 crown in any set of rankings. 

“We’re trying to downplay the #1 thing, but it’s on everyone’s mind,” tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen told The Birmingham News.  “It’s just one of those things we realize the #1 team has gone down, and it’s on our mind just for the fact we’re not going to let it happen to us.”

“It doesn’t matter after Week Eight if we’re #1,” Cameron Newton said.  “There’s only one week that it really matters and that’s at the end of the year.”

Still, head coach Gene Chizik knows that his Tigers will face some fired up opponents because of their high ranking.  “I don’t think there’s any question.  Everybody reads it, everybody sees it and everybody hears it.  We fully expect to get everybody’s best shot.”

Auburn’s current #1 stature in the BCS standings marks the first time the Tigers have sat atop a major poll (though the BCS standings really aren’t a poll) since 1985.  In that season, Bo Jackson and crew survived on top for just two weeks before being upset at Tennessee.

Saturday, Auburn travels to Ole Miss.

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