"No doubt," Rosegreen said. "We beat four of the Top 10 teams in the country. We went undefeated in the SEC and then we won the SEC Championship. That should speak for itself. We'll play them anytime, anyplace, anywhere. If they really wanted to do it, after they played their game we could play them the following week. For the national championship anybody would get ready if you're a football player and you have anything about yourself. We would be ready to play them."
Instead the Tigers will likely be on the outside looking in at either the Trojans or Sooners claiming the BCS Championship trophy. All Auburn could do was take care of business with a victory over a tough Virginia Tech team, which they did Monday night in the Sugar Bowl with a 16-13 win. The defense led the way, holding the Hokies to under 100 yards rushing for just the second time this season. Rosegreen said that was a key for the Tigers coming in.
"In the SEC Championship they ran the ball pretty good on us," Rosegreen said. "They pretty much dominated with the run. We wanted to come out and change how everybody thought about our defense. We hear people saying ‘you can run on Auburn's defense' and that's not true. It was just one bad play in one bad game. We just wanted to bounce back."
The driving force behind Virginia Tech's running game is quarterback Bryan Randall. The team's third leading rusher, he was held to just 45 yards on the night, but managed to lead the Hokies on a night when Auburn completely stymied them up front. Rosegreen said that watching an earlier bowl game just reinforced what the Tigers already thought about their matchup.
"We knew coming into the game that we couldn't let Randall beat us because Vince Young beat Michigan with his legs," Rosegreen said. "We wanted to just contain him. We wanted someone else to beat us. We weren't going to let Randall beat us. That was our gameplan. We watched the game with Michigan against Texas and knew Randall could do similar things to Young. We just wanted to contain him and read him and break on the ball. That's what we did."
Although the Tigers came away with the win, it wasn't as easy as it should have been thanks in large part to an offense that was ultra-conservative in the second half. Instead of putting the game away, Auburn allowed the Hokies to hang around until finally hitting a couple of big plays late. Rosegreen said that despite the give and take between the offense and defense, in the end it's all about winning.
"We don't worry about what our offense does because we've got our offense's back no matter what," Rosegreen said. "They can put us on the one-yard line. We just feel like we're great enough to stop anybody."
Rosegreen is one of 18 seniors that played his last football game in an Auburn uniform Monday night. The class has been a major reason why the 2004 Tigers will long be remembered as fan favorites among the Auburn family. It's not just because this team went 2004, but Rosegreen said it's because of the makeup of the team and a fighting spirit that just wouldn't die.
"We've got a lot of heart," Rosegreen said. "We've got a lot of want-to. We've got a lot of integrity. I think we'll never, in this world, find another team better than us because we do a lot of things together. We pray for other teams when a man gets hurt. We'll pray for him just because that's what kind of character we have. We just knew at the end of the tunnel it was going to be a good season for us. That's why we just kept going and were able to go 13-0."