Lee Corso’s 1972 letter to Shug; wanted Louisville to play the Amazins

Surely not even Lee Corso would have been able to alter God’s plan for the 1972 Auburn Tigers, but had he had his way, he would have given it his best shot (“Not so fast, my Lord!”).

Corso wrote Shug Jordan in April 1972 hoping to schedule a season-opening game between Auburn and Louisville. The Cardinals would come cheap and they’d be happy to move one of their game around, and both teams could start practice early, and hey, it’d probably be a gas.

“We have an exciting team returning in 1972,” Corso wrote, “and although we are not the same caliber of the championship teams in the SEC, I am sure it will be an exciting contest.”

It probably would have been. Corso led the Missouri Valley Conference Co- Champion Cardinals to a 9-1-0 record, Louisville’s best up to that point and Corso’s best as a head coach.  And the Amazins will all tell you—the team they struggled with the most outside of LSU, who handed them their one loss (but who they still felt like they should have beaten), wasn’t Tennessee or Georgia Tech or Georgia or even Bama—it was lowly Chattanooga, a 14-7, win in the second game of the season.

Read the letter, and Shug’s response, below. Click to enlarge.


It didn’t happen in 1972, but the letter likely lead to Auburn scheduling Louisville for its season opener two years later. Auburn beat the Cardinals 16-3 in a half-empty Legion Field.

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