The injustice still stings, man. And Auburn fans will never forget it.
The 2004 team.
They went unbeaten. They ran the table in the SEC. They didn’t get the chance to play for college football’s national championship.
I won’t bore you again with the details of how Oklahoma didn’t deserve the chance to play U.S.C. for it all that year (or, for that matter, U.S.C.’s claim that winning the weak Pac-10 gives them a free pass to play for it all…I mean, maybe the game of the year should’ve been AU vs. OU)…or that Auburn’s #1 ranked defense easily would’ve given USC a better game than the Swiss cheese OU threw out there against the Trojans.
But, as time goes on…more and more people are waking up to what Auburn fans knew all along:
That Auburn 2004 team was ranked as the best SEC team of the 10-year BCS era by ESPN.com. Ahead of LSU’s 2003 team (that somehow, people remember USC winning the national championship that year but the BCS champion was LSU) and ahead of the 1998 Tennessee team that won the national championship.
As far as what we knew back then that people are coming around to, a quote from Chris Low, their article writer:
“I vividly remember that Auburn team,” Low said. “I covered a lot of their games that year. Auburn was my pick (as best team for the list) from the get-go. Their defense only gave up 134 points (in the regular season), which is the lowest in the BCS era, and that defense was so fast. All anyone has to do is look at the numbers.”
“Plus, they had the two best running backs in the league in the same backfield (Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown), a quarterback (Jason Campbell) that was a first-round pick in the (NFL) draft and a cornerback (Carlos Rogers) who was a first-round pick too. Another thing that stood out to me about that team is when they were left out (of the national title game) they still took care of business by going down and winning the (Sugar) bowl game. That would have been an easy game to lose.”
For AU fans, that team & season never gets old.
And we never will get over getting screwed.