In most states the big dollars go to the State University, with the agricultural/engineering university (Purdue, Texas A&M, Iowa State and Auburn) receiving the second most money, and then the sectional schools getting the crumbs. That is why the site of the Direct TV/ESPN bus leaving an agricultural campus just after the team beats the state school like this photo Sunday afternoon next to Auburn’s practice field is so important.
On Birmingham sports radio this week fans belittled Auburn by arguing that Tennessee was the bigger rival for Alabama, and Bear Bryant said that Alabama would never play in the “cow town” of Auburn – instead playing every year at the “neutral” site of Birmingham every year.
The agricultural school just stunned the state school, and it happened in the state that has owned the the BCS title for four straight years – and just might get a fifth as Auburn closed from 220 points behind Ohio State to 30 points behind in Sunday’s poll and could well move into first on the computers if they defeat Missouri.
It is hard to imagine that some Alabama fans will not consider three national titles in five years a success, but when the other two years include failing to stop Auburn from winning a title in 2010 and losing their title on the agricultural campus, that is a tough pill to swallow. The fact that ESPN chose the site for GameDay despite CBS also being in town to cover the actual game makes it even tougher.
Outside of the shot at the Crimson Tide getting a shot at redemption if Michigan State beats Ohio State and … DUKE beats Florida State, the Alabama nation will wait for Auburn’s return trip to Tuscaloosa.
Alabama fans calling into talk radio late Saturday night were discussing if Saturday’s loss was the worst in the history of the program, with one caller saying, “I think for some older people the worst loss was a 24-23 loss to Notre Dame in the early 1970s, but I’m 40 and for me this is the worst.” (see photo below from that game)