“Unfortunately we didn’t beat them while I was at Auburn.”
That’s Doug Barfield talking to me about his lack of success against Bama as a head coach when we hung out at Panera Bread a year or so ago. Yes, cost him his job. Yep, that’s what everyone thinks about. That’s what Wikipedia focuses on:
“Barfield lost all five games as head coach at Auburn against in-state rival Alabama.”
What Wikipedia doesn’t mention is that Doug Barfield never lost against Alabama… as a player… at Southern Miss.
“I went to Southern Miss. I was going to come to Auburn. I came and worked out. Anyhow, (assistant coach) Buck Bradberry, he was like ‘we’d like to have you, but we don’t have a scholarship.’ It was one of those things. They said ‘you could be a walk on.’ I was thinking about that, then they called me from Southern Miss and I worked out and signed a scholarship that day.”
Did you like it?
“Yeah, it’s a great school. It’s a well-kept secret. For a long time we played one or two of the big time schools. We beat Alabama in ’53 and ’54. They were picked number one in the country and we came over to Montgomery and beat them.
“In ’53, when I was on the squad traveling, we had a lot of good players. They had a big ceremony at school when we beat them. That was big. And then we beat Georgia that year in Jackson. They had a guy named that year Zeke Bratkowski, and Wally Butts was their coach, and we beat them 14 to nothing. And that was big. We had a really good team that year. And we had some other good teams, too. We won a lot of games. Coach Vann, he was a great coach. He took castoffs and he beat a lot of folks that he really didn’t have any business beating, but he was very organized. He had an old military concept (to coaching) and I learned a lot from him and his staff there. We had a lot of junior college guys and a lot of ex-servicemen. We were pretty good.”
He forgot to mention tying the Tide when he was the starting QB in ’56.
Southern Miss quarterback Doug Barfield: 2-0-1 against Bama.
Related: Barfield’s Bar Tab.