Following the 2010 NCAA football season, head coach Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers were crowned the BCS National Champions, capping off a year that frankly no one saw coming. Chizik, eventual-Heisman winning QB Cam Newton, and the rest of the Tigers squad captivated the nation. Now, it seems that it may have all been a sham. Recent allegations brought against the university may seriously damage the memory of that entire campaign.
But, how does it affect the current streak of dominance that the Tigers’ conference, the SEC, is currently on? How will whatever comes of this affect the legacy of the SEC’s current reign of seven consecutive national championships?
My Answer: Not as much as people may think.
The SEC reign will eventually come to an end, and it’ll certainly be one that’s talked about decades down the road. Even before tonight’s revelation, I was never convinced to begin with that the 2010 Auburn season would be the first topic brought up in conversations 30-years down the road to begin with.
In 2006, the SEC reign of terror began when Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators went out to Tempe, Arizona and thoroughly embarrassed the Ohio State Buckeyes. Two years later, Meyer and his squad would collect their second title in three years. Aside from two national championships, Meyer’s little mini-dynasty also produced one of the most polarizing figures in the entire world, Tim Tebow. 30 years from now, is there a better chance our grandchildren will talk about Tim Tebow or the 2010 Auburn national title?
And then, there’s Auburn’s friends in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are currently the torch bearers of the SEC when it comes to national dominance. The Tigers’ arch-rival recently collected their second consecutive crystal ball, and third in the last four years dating back to 2009. While Alabama may not have produced a player with the kind of pop culture impact that Florida did with Tebow, Nick Saban is still NICK SABAN. The man has collected a total of four national championships in his storied career. Again, I ask, what will be remembered first 30 years from now when the topic of the SEC title streak is brought up?
Auburn is essentially sandwiched between the Florida and Alabama legacies, with a little 2007 Les Miles and the LSU Tigers mixed in as the spicy mustard.
Clearly, should all of these allegations be found to be true, the Auburn football program will be a major topic of discussion for a period of time. Given all the potential violations that were brought to light tonight, the NCAA will more than likely drop a stern hammer on the Tigers, crippling the program for some time. And, this will be done rightfully so.
But in my opinion, whatever is to come of this will not taint nor strain the legacy of what the SEC is doing right now. All of the other pieces of the puzzle are simply too big for this Auburn situation to overshadow.
Now, if you want to debate whether the Auburn Tigers or Les Miles doing the Harlem Shake will be remembered better in the long run, then be my guest. I can’t even call that one.