The 2005 senior class accomplished as much on and off the field as almost any other class in school history. There won't be four first-rounders out of the group like last season, but 12 of the 15 seniors (Devin Aromashodu, Ben Obomanu, Cooper Wallace, Antarrious Williams, Jake Slaughter, Kevin Hobbs, Travis Williams, Chas Crofoot, T.J. Jackson, Troy Reddick, Steven Ross and Wayne Dickens) received their college diplomas before playing their final game in an Auburn uniform.
On the field, this year's seniors won as many as any other class in school history, tying the 1986-1989 teams with 39 wins. They also share a distinction with the same class--beating Alabama all four years.
T.J. Jackson is shown on his graduation day in August.
In the locker room following the bowl loss, head coach Tommy Tuberville thanked the 15 seniors for what they accomplished and told them how much they meant to the program.
"We can look back at all of the success we've had and rejoice on it," said receiver Anthony Mix, who joined Devin Aromashodu and Ben Obomanu with more than 1,000 career yards receiving yards. "It was tough and it wasn't supposed to end like this.
"It hurt deep down inside, but there's more than football for some of us. It just hurts to go out with a loss. We have a lot of things to look back and be happy about--winningest class in Auburn history, things like that."
Wayne Dickens, a player who nearly left the program early in his career, said that he'll reflect on how Auburn helped him grow mentally to become a better person.
"Number one, I learned patience," Dickens said. "It's not always going to be your time to shine. Number two, one thing you get coming to Auburn is you're going to be mentally tough when you leave here. Small things are not going to get to you.
"I pulled my hamstring early in the first (quarter) but it was my last game and I wasn't coming out," he added. "It's a reflection of the coaches and Coach Tubs. I've also learned how important education is. I got my degree--thank the Lord. The coaches have just set a precedence here at Auburn and I hope they continue to have success."
Aromashodu, just one of 10 or more seniors who will have a chance to play at the next level, had an impressive freshman season before seemingly disappearing as a sophomore. However, he bounced back as a junior and senior to finish with an impressive career and that is just one of many life lessons he learned at Auburn.
"Never give up and keeping fighting," he said. "Just like with what happened today, stuff like this can happen and you just have to keep fighting and pull through eventually.
"We've done a lot," Aromashodu added. "We're the most winning class in Auburn history and we've built a good foundation for this school. We just hope that the seniors and juniors next year continue what we started. We have a lot of lot to be proud of. We're the winningest class and we all played a big part in the 13-0 season last year."