By Darrell Puckett
The season of dreams has finally come to an end for Auburn, but it was well worth the wait. No one believed that AU was capable of achieving success, such as the SEC championship and BCS title game birth. The SEC’s lead opinion-maker, Paul Finebaum, didn’t even have the Tigers finishing higher than fifth in a tough west division. Being born and raised in Alabama, I hear the chatter among Auburn and Bama fans every day. This achievement of higher success for Auburn has killed the spirits of Alabama fans and brought fuel to a rivalry.
We all know that Auburn finished 3-9 overall and winless in SEC play last season. Everyone from their grandmother and beyond predestined the Tigers to win seven or eight games in ‘13, but no one saw a 12-2 record. The point of emphasis is that only AU coaches and players believed. Only in sports can such a miraculous thing happen.
It’s funny. Looking back to when Auburn brought in junior college transfer Nick Marshall, I thought that Auburn was in trouble. I even said after last season that Tre Mason was the weakest 1,000 yard rusher ever. It’s safe to say that I’m a fool for making such arrogant statements.
Being a huge Auburn fan who studies statistics daily, I’ve realized one thing from this past season. There’s one area that a stat sheet doesn’t supply, heart. It’s the one thing that can’t be explained or written down as fact. That’s the reason why expert analysts can’t foresee a guaranteed winner by just throwing out stats. Heart is what drives upsets and can make college football history.
Looking at the 2013 Auburn football in review, there are many different areas to talk about, but no more important than how heart and determination can fuel the unbelievable. Many will look back and be upset that Auburn didn’t win a BCS National Championship and how the Tigers broke a 7-game SEC win streak, but that’s not ethical. The Auburn fan base should be humble and excited that head coach Gus Malzahn brought back their university’s pride.
The United States was built off an idea of hard-work, perseverance, stability, ethics and pride. This Auburn football team has brought the same idea to future teams in its mission for excellence. The next two months will shape each schools future with national signing approaching, so keep an eye out for recruiting battles and huge commitment flipping.
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