Two years removed from a BCS championship and perfect record, Auburn is still in the national limelight when the discussion of home-field advantage is discussed. Published Wednesday morning, Scout.com placed the Tigers’ Jordan-Hare Stadium at 10th on its list of hardest stadiums to win in.
Auburn faithful may have a hard time grasping the Tigers not being ranked higher on the list, and with a 14-1 record at home the past two seasons, they may have a point. But, what is it about Jordan-Hare Stadium that makes it so hard for road opponents to leave with a victory?
Whether a day or night game, things start early on the Plains. Tailgating is done religiously as most non-conference teams discover when playing the Tigers. While things typically remain relatively quiet from fans, it is truly the calm before the storm. Hours before games, fans begin heading to the stadium with one large group of loyalists already prepared for the game.
Entering the stadium two or three hours before kickoff, the student section grows louder and louder as games approach. A mixture of adrenaline, excitement, hate and alcohol–of course–provides Auburn’s students the juice to provide one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. This logic was proven in 2009 when Auburn played West Virginia, which was known as “The Rain Game,” when the students remained it their seats despite a monsoon-type rain storm.
With players like Cam Newton and Michael Dyer running a high-powered offense in 2010, it’s no wonder fans became “All In” to Coach Gene Chizik‘s plan. With SEC and national championship flags waving above the scoreboard, it’s not surprising Jordan-Hare was just as loud during an average season last year.
From the time Nova, Auburn’s War Eagle, circles the stadium before kickoff to when a victory is celebrated at Toomer’s Corner, Tiger fans are loud and still provide southern hospitality. It’s not a mix seen often nor everywhere, but it is done correctly on the Plains, which has provided away fans showing praise despite their team falling on the field.
Reported this morning that Toomer’s Oaks will still be available to be rolled in the fall, Auburn faithful will still have its postgame rally point tradition to continue. With a loud crowd and great traditions, the only questions that remain are on the football field.