Dye-Gest: A Deserving Championship Team

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about Auburn's latest championship team and more in this edition of his Dye-Gest column.

Elizabeth Benson (above) rides for the Auburn Tigers at the equestrian national championship meet.

I am excited and happy for Greg Williams, his coaching staff and his Auburn equestrian team after they won another national championship. A lot of work and a lot of vision went into making that happen.

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I wish Auburn people had the chance to get to know some of these young people and coaches like Greg Williams who represent their university so well. There are so many bright, classy and talented young people competing for Auburn in a variety of sports and there are a whole bunch of them involved in the equestrian program.

The quality of the university and the atmosphere on campus are conducive to recruiting the right kind of kids to have success for Auburn’s sports programs. It makes me feel good to be able to see this equestrian team continue its pursuit of excellence and do it in impressive fashion to win a fourth national championship.

Greg Williams

For those of you who don’t know Coach Williams, let me assure you he is really enjoying what he does. He not only has been the team’s head coach since its start, he is the guy who was the driving force behind it getting started as a club sport and later moving to varsity status. He really willed the program into existence. He had obstacles to overcome, but he was relentless in his pursuit of having a team and that same drive has helped Auburn develop one of the best programs in the country.

I was happy to see the Auburn baseball team finally break through vs. Tennessee and win a conference series. I don’t know how many close games the Tigers have lost this year, but it is a lot of them. Maybe that debacle of game that took place on Thursday night was the bottom of the barrel for this season because the players came out with an entirely different mindset in the next two games of the series and played much, much better baseball.

Kudos to Coach Thompson and his team for coming back, fighting hard and finding a way to win two out of three vs. the Volunteers.

This baseball team can score runs. If it can just get a little edge with the pitching the second half of the SEC season the results should be better than the first half. One thing that helped the pitching in the final two games of the series was the Tigers stopped making errors, which is a big deal in college baseball or softball.

If you watch the softball team play, one thing that really stands out is that the Tigers don’t make errors to beat themselves.

If you are an Auburn fan and haven’t watched Coach Clint Myers and this year’s Auburn team in person or on TV, you are missing a treat. Their play in the last series at Arkansas was so dominating it was something you seldom see in the SEC.

Last year’s team was so much fun to watch on its run to the College World Series and this team has a lot of fun players to watch, too, like All-American third baseman Kasey Cooper. I am not expert on softball, but I can see she is a great competitor and a great athlete. What she has done playing for the Tigers is off the charts. I am glad she will have another year with the team after this season, but she is not the only outstanding player on this team. There are a lot of them and it looks like to me that the young players are coming on and hitting the ball better.

You can tell this group really enjoys playing games and they are a fun, fun bunch to watch, and it doesn’t make any difference if they are playing against one of the best teams in the country or an opponent they know they are going to beat. They just go out there and play the game to the best of their ability and the results have been impressive.

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