The Auburn National Championship Genome Project has been making bloglines ever since the publication of Birmingham lawyer Michael Skotnicki’s 2012 book Auburn’s Unclaimed National Champions.
The project was officially acknowledged and even smiled upon by AU’s Athletic Department just before Auburn took on Florida State for what would have possibly been eventually claimed as the Tigers’ seventh national championship.
To banner or not to be banner would “be an Auburn family decision”—one that, with all of the “why nots?” coming from Jay Jacobs, you kind of thought was already made, and that when announced would be done with a little more fanfare than, say, a few microscopic hyperlinks.
So yeah, the recent hashtag hysterics over Auburn’s website throwing itself a national championship launch party or whatever? How did that even start? There was nothing new to see, no new information.
Sure, Auburn’s institutional memory ain’t the greatest (see: everything). But that people other than sports writers and coaches have named multiple Auburn teams national champions isn’t some recently discovered secret. People have been saying “well, if we counted like Bama we’d have, like, five or six or seven or something” for as long as I can remember. Emboldened by Skotnicki’s book, a good number of Auburn fans, Jay Jacobs included, have started asking “well, why don’t we count like Bama? And Ole Miss? And Texas A&M and Minnesota and pretty much everyone else?”
Like it or not, AU’s Athletic Department has been “acknowledging” national championship honors for Auburn players that didn’t play in 1957 for at least 11 years.
Auburn’s 2003 media guide includes the Billingsley Report’s “very valid” national championship—read our interview with Billingsley here—among the honors for Auburn’s amazing 1913 team, as well as the New York Time’s No. 1 ranking of Auburn in the section on the 1983 season. The 2004 edition adds a few more national champion-ish accolades to 1983 and tacks the National Championship Foundation’s national championship onto the undefeated 1993 team.
The 2005 media guide immediately acknowledged the 2004 teams as the People’s Choice national champions.
Whatever controversy currently exists pretty much boils down to semantics and stuff. What does it mean to acknowledge something but not (yet) claim it? You can obviously acknowledge that the Academy awarded you an Oscar and simply not accept the Oscar, or accept it and simply not put it on your mantle or brag about it or whatever.
But is it even possible to acknowledge that there are such things as Oscars, and acknowledge that the Academy says that you won the Oscar, but not believe that you won the Oscar… even though Oscar Winning (something you do think is real and perfectly pleasant) is nothing more than the Academy saying that someone won the Oscar?
What say you, Eufaula Tribune?
Related: Bama wins its first national championship four years after Auburn won its first national championship.
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* Bama fan legislator introduced bill to abolish Auburn University in 1973
* Auburn wore green jerseys… for two seasons
* Gus Malzahn, 1989
* Jeff Foxworthy walking around Auburn
* Pat Dye responds to ‘loudmouth’ allegations from 1959
* Dean Foy discusses the lewdness of youth
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MIke Skotnicki says
The web site for the University of Georgia notes in a section titled National Championships, that in addition to the 2 claimed, there are 3 others they could claim. Auburn hasn’t done anything unusual, for sure.
I still don’t get what the big uproar from AU fans is about. I think we should celebrate successes.