When it is all said and done for Auburn this year, the Tigers could play as many as seven teams ranked in the Top 25 if Florida and Auburn make it to Atlanta. That is tough, but that is life in the Southeastern Conference.
I think some people around the country realize how tough that is. It was demanding for the SEC teams that have won the BCS Championship in recent years and it will be very demanding on Auburn if the Tigers win it this year. Despite all of the tough games Gene Chizik's team has played to get to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the SEC, it still must win four more tough games to be the BCS champion.
Auburn is going to have to be at the top of its game for the rest of the schedule. It can't afford a letup. The Tigers are on the verge of making Auburn history and the job Gene Chizik, his coaching staff and this team is doing has been phenomenal.
If you look at the other top four teams in the BCS ratings this week, Oregon was expected to be ranked very high and the same was true of TCU and Boise State. In the SEC the assumption was that Alabama and Florida would be the teams competing for a spot in the BCS Championship Game this year, but that has not happened.
Auburn has steadily climbed in the national rankings all season long. If you study the schedules and teams across the country, what Auburn has done compared to the other top-ranked teams in the country is even more impressive.
There are some other teams in major conferences across the country that are exceeding preseason expectations like Oklahoma State in the Big 12 and Wisconsin in the Big 10. Both are having really impressive seasons and they have a chance to play in a BCS bowl game, but I don't think those teams have faced the challenge that Auburn and other teams in the SEC do.
From the mailbag:
I just wanted to say thanks for writing your column on autigers.com. I had the pleasure of attending Auburn in the 80's when you were on the sidelines. It was always a pleasure to hear you talk football and to hear you speak to a group of Auburn fans.
In this day and age of coaches moving on to other things, I just wanted to say thanks for remaining an Auburn man for all these years. I just read your article titled "Jacobs Deserves Praise for His Hire. I have a feeling he would direct some of that praise to you. Behind every good man, is a good teacher, and he had a good one in you.
Best Wishes and War Eagle,
I am proud of Jay for having success in athletic administration, the career he decided on after attending Auburn and playing football for us. I can say without a doubt that Jay was a great leader for us as an athlete at Auburn and that is a reflection on the job his parents did raising him before he arrived at college.
Editor's Note: This part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)