Monday, October 19, 2009

Good historical news for Auburn

Auburn and LSU started playing every year in 1992, when Arkansas and South Carolina joined the SEC and forced the league into divisions; Auburn and LSU were both put in the Western division. Since that date, Auburn has had three new head coaches (not counting the interim Bill Oliver games), and all three head coaches started their Auburn careers in an odd-numbered year: Bowden (1993), Tuberville (1999) and Chizik (2009). Every odd-numbered year, Auburn plays LSU in Baton Rouge. You would think that this would be a sure loss for each coach, but you'd be surprised.

1993: Auburn 34 Louisiana State 10

Auburn travels to Baton Rouge and beats LSU in Tiger Stadium for the first time since FDR was president (1939). It was Auburn's third game of the season and helped propel the Tigers to an 11-0 season. While LSU wasn't nearly the power it is today, this still marked an important victory in Terry Bowden's first season at Auburn.

1999: Auburn 41 Louisiana State 7

The cigar game. Tommy Tuberville's first Auburn squad came into this game off of back-to-back seven point wins over noted walkovers Appalachian State and Idaho. LSU was also 2-0 with a close win over San Jose State and an emphatic 52-0 stomping of North Texas. Auburn's resounding victory started an eight-game losing streak for the Purple Tigers, which led to Gerry DiNardo's dismissal as head coach. The 1999 game also gave us this:

Now, I'm not trying to predict a 50-point win in Baton Rouge this weekend. I'm just pointing out that the last two first-year head coaches Auburn has had traveled to Baton Rouge in their first season, and both found great success. Here's hoping history repeats itself on Saturday night; it certainly would help repair some of the pain caused by losing to Kentucky!

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