Tiger Senior Looking To Make Auburn History

Travis Williams talks about the Capital One Bowl match-up with Wisconsin.

Auburn, Ala.-—Auburn senior linebacker Travis Williams knew the chances were slim for the Tigers to get into a BCS game heading into the college football weekend, but that didn't stop him from wishing it would happen.

When the official word came that the Tigers would be heading to Orlando to face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl, Williams says it was not the news he had hoped for, however, he says that having the chance to play against a quality opponent in a bowl game makes it exciting for him and the team.

"There was a lot of hope," Williams says. "It would have been a great match-up playing against a Notre Dame or an Ohio State, but I'm just thankful for being in a bowl period. Any bowl is good. It's better than the toilet bowl.

"There's a lot of teams that have to fight for six wins just to get into a bowl. We had the opportunity to wait and see if it was BCS or not. We're thankful for the situation and going to Florida and playing a great team like Wisconsin."

Williams returns an interception earlier this season.

As one of 15 seniors on this year's Auburn team, Williams is hoping to end his career on a high note with a win over the Badgers on Jan. 2. The victory would likely put the Tigers in the top five in the country to end the season and would be the second-straight year for Auburn to finish that high. Williams says that makes it a very important game.

"It speaks a lot about our program and the strides we are taking," Williams says. "We're one of the elite programs in the country. That would make a big statement (to finish in the top five two seasons in a row). We would finally earn some respect. That's our main goal, to earn some respect around the country."

Respect would come from another victory despite the fact that many so-called experts are already hailing this as the biggest mismatch of the bowl season. Williams says that this team doesn't listen to what those guys have to say very often because in his mind they're not the most reliable of voices.

"I don't listen to that," Williams says. "Those guys are wrong most of the time. We're playing a talented team. They have a talented running back and a pretty good offensive line. We've got to be ready."

Being ready means keeping sharp while taking three weeks off after the Iron Bowl before resuming practices for the bowl game. Williams says that is something the team has done in the past and it's up the one thing to make sure the Tigers are ready to play when they arrive in Orlando.

"Leadership," Williams says. "It's the same thing that kept us going all year, senior leadership and the coaches staying on us. Going down to Florida everybody thinks it's relaxing, but we know how to take care of business. We know how to turn it on and off. That comes from guys that graduated before us showing us how to do that."

When Williams and his teammates take the field at noon central time to face Wisconsin they will be looking to make Auburn football history. Just three times in history has Auburn defeated Alabama four-straight seasons and this senior class has already done that. No class in Auburn history has ever gone 4-0 in bowl games. With victories over Penn State, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech the last three seasons the Tigers have a chance to do just that with another win over the Badgers. Williams says that would be a special way to finish his AU career.

"It is big," Williams says. "There's not too many teams that can say that. I guess there are just a couple of teams around the country that have done that. The main thing is just try to continue to have the program rolling into next year. I'll be gone and Tommy and A.T. (Antarrious Williams) will be gone, but it's still Auburn. You still care about Auburn. I still get calls from guys that have played. You just have to care about the program and go out and play for the program."


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