Tuberville would be turning in his grave. If he had one, that is.

I don’t know what the deal is lately with the college football bloggers at the Orlando Sentinel, but today we’ve got somebody there whose argument for preseason polls is that they’re important – and his proof of that is the 2004 Auburn Tigers.

I kid you not.

… without a preseason poll, college football can suffer consequences — dire consequences.

Remember Auburn in 2004?

Sorry, Tigers fans, I know, but it’s the best example of how preseason polls are important.

Tommy Tuberville’s Auburn team started the season ranked 17th in the preseason poll and finished undefeated — along with Oklahoma and USC — only to have the Big Blue computers at the BCS put the Sooners and Trojans in the title game.

In other words, we need a preseason poll to make sure that once in a while otherwise deserving teams get screwed over in their hunt for the MNC.

My head hurts.


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

24 responses to “Tuberville would be turning in his grave. If he had one, that is.

  1. Mike In Valdosta



  2. Dawg93

    Holy cow, is there any chance the guy was being sarcastic? I guess not. While their Sugar Bowl win over VT that year was hardly a thing of beauty, I think Auburn would’ve certainly given USC a better game than OU did.


  3. pat

    wow, that truly was one of the stupidest things i’ve ever read; he completely disproved his point. I think something like the Mumme poll is exactly what college football needs, not a playoff. Too bad there is no way to make changes with regard to the NCAA.


  4. Mike In Valdosta

    just because I am bored…

    Nothing against the Mumme poll, but if it is the way to go, shouldn’t we then scrap the basketball tourney, the college world series, and every other NCAA championship inlieu of a popularity contest, or should I say a season long pageant?

    In gymanstics they do using judging, but the judges are REQUIRED to witness the competition on which they vote. Who among us, let alone coaches or sports writers, takes the time to watch each and every game every weekend?

    I understand this is not the site to be talking playoff, but for Mythical… If the Dawgs win it all would we be happy if “Mythical” was on the trophy? It will never be any better than mythical until it is decided on the field by players without regard to the media or uninvolved coaches, or ADs for that matter.


    • pat

      Without turning to some playoff/or not debate…I think that the recent scheduling discussions have made it more apparent that there are lots of practical issues raised by a playoff system. I think the biggest tradegy of the current system has just been touched on, and that is the lack of meetings between top rated teams out of conference. As our world’s economy is becomming “flat”, so is the college football world. There is no reason why top programs, (UGA, USC, OU, OSU, VT etc…..) should not be playing each other. I think a regular season that would feature more of these matchups would entice even the strongest playoff supporters.


    • If the Dawgs win it all would we be happy if “Mythical” was on the trophy?

      I was pretty damned happy on January 1, 1981, if you want to know. Don’t know why I’d be any less ecstatic these days.


      • Mike In Valdosta

        Perhaps that was not the best way to make my point, but at the same time, we were not using the term “MNC” back then if memory serves.

        Perhaps a better argument, and more germaine to your post, would be Southern Cal, Texas or Oklahoma, go undefeated as Big12 and Pac10 champs, we go undefeated as SEC champs, but UF, UA and LSU have multiple loss seasons and the SEC is seen as down. We start the year ranked behind everyone and are left out of the pageant finals.

        Many of our Nation were in an uproar 2 years ago for being left out when we were not even conference champs.

        While I disagree with CMR on moving the WLOCP, I totally agree with his stance on the post season.


  5. CFR

    USC would have crushed Auburn. Being left out was the best thing ever for that program, which embraces that little brother/second fiddle attitude. Throwing their own pity party and hating on the forces against them makes them feel good, more than the actual success.

    Look at the Red Sox now after two titles, they’re successful but its not really what that fan base is about, something’s been lost in having the championships.


    • USC would have crushed Auburn. Being left out was the best thing ever for that program, which embraces that little brother/second fiddle attitude. Throwing their own pity party and hating on the forces against them makes them feel good, more than the actual success.

      I absolutely, totally agree.

      People act like Oklahoma was some schlub team that year. Not so. The fact is that USC with a month to prepare was that much better than anyone else in college football that season.

      But Tubby did get to throw a very nice national championship party.


      • Oklahoma gets treated like that in hindsight because all anyone remembers is that Bob Stoops transitioned from “Big Game Bob” to “Lay an Egg in the BCS Bob”. I think there was still a lot of anti-Oklahoma sentiment because of what happened in 2003 which is what a lot of people hold against that 2004 team.

        Fact is, there is no one that could have withstood that USC team with a month of preparation. Auburn fans can tell me until they’re blue in the face that they would have put up a better fight, but what does that accomplish? If Auburn goes to that game and loses, then that 2004 team doesn’t get its national champion rings for Jason Campbell to sell on Ebay.


      • Carruthers

        I’m sorry Senator, not to say I pull for Auburn, but I would definitely trade a shot at the championship in 2004 for 4 years without a West Title, and losing the best coach ever with that program. If any team in the nation had a shot at slowing USC’s passing attack it would’ve been Auburn with Junior Rosegreen captaining that defense. I think Auburn had a pretty decent backfield that season, too, if my memory serves correct.


        • CFR

          USC’s defense completely eviscerated that same Brown/Williams/Campbell (lol) backfield and the offense had no issues throwing the ball in Leinart’s first start against Rosegreen and that defense in 2003. And that was when the starting tailback was Hershel Dennis and not Bush/White to where Auburn could actually dictate terms a bit with its coverage looks because it could slow down USC’s run game with more basic looks although USC still ran well. Bush/White among other things, would have changed that math considerably in 2004.

          USC would have been a nightmare matchup for Auburn.

          Again, getting snubbed in the title game and seeing Oklahoma get waxed was a dream scenario for Auburn. They didn’t actually have to step forward and take the inevitable beating to kill the dream while still getting to whine and point as if things might’ve been different.


          • Carruthers

            I will agree with you that USC beat up on those running backs pretty good in 2003, but it wasn’t the same defense in 2004. The Trojans’ average rushing yards allowed per game in 2003 was 60.2, compared to 79.4 in 2004. Both are great numbers, but one is a bit higher than the other. Then you look at Auburn’s offensive line, the coaches of the SEC saw a difference in talent on the line between the two years. In 2003 Auburn had no big uglies voted to either the 1st or 2nd team offensive line, while in 2004 Marcus O’neil was voted to the 1st team, and Danny Lindsay was voted to the 2nd team all-conference team. So there is evidence to prove that Auburn should have had a better day rushing should they have played in that Orange Bowl compared to the opening season meeting against the Trojans.
            Let’s assume that the 2003 opening day Auburn secondary is comprable to the 2004 postseason Auburn secondary, since both contain Carlos Rogers and Junior Rosegreen (it is hard for me to relate these two when Will Herring and David Irons of 2004 were vastly superior to Donnay Young and Lamel Ages of 2003). Then we look to Matt Leinart’s stats; 192 yards, 1 touchdown against Auburn, and 332 yards, 5 touchdowns against Oklahoma. I would take the Secondary of Auburn over the Sooner Secondary in this one.
            It’s hard for me to disagree with you on the subject of USC’s rushing attack, and the disparity between Bush/White and Dennis. In both 2003 and 2004 the USC pass offense per game doubled the rush offense per game, and I’ve always believed the USC offense puts much more emphasis on the pass than the rush.
            And as much as I hate Jason Campbell, there is a clear division between his 03 and 04 seasons. He improved in every rushing and passing category, including Passer Rating (132.6 to 172.9), Completion (61.8 to 69.6) and TD to Int (10/8 to 20/7).
            I think the point I’m trying to come away with is if Auburn had played in the Orange Bowl, even though USC would’ve been a big favorite (probably in part because of the game the year before), and even though the Trojans probably would have won, I’m not sure I would ever turn down a shot at the national championship, because you never know what’s going to happen in a game of that caliber. Of course hind sight is 20/20 and it’s easy for me to say Oklahoma shouldn’t have been in that game, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that ‘USC would have crushed Auburn.’ I may have understand your point of “Being left out was the best thing ever for that program” if they had won an SEC championship or even an outright SEC East crown since then. But the fact is they have won no championships, but have lost a Capital One Bowl, played in a Cotton Bowl, played in a Chick-fil-a Bowl, had a losing record, and fired their greatest coach ever. I would never trade a shot at the national championship for one ten-win-or-more season in the next four years.


    • ArchDawg

      I agree. Auburn would have gotten waxed in that game. That Oklahoma team raced through its schedule as well, impressively, and was no slouch.


  6. AERose

    To be fair, the preseason polls didn’t screw a deserving team out of the National Championship Game, the fact that only two teams could go to the NCG screwed a deserving team. The preseason polls just made sure it was Auburn getting the short end of the stick.


    • The same problem would be in play if there were a plus one instead. We’d just be looking at number five getting screwed instead of number three.

      This really wasn’t a playoff comment on my part. If it were, I’d be arguing that it supports my point that an objective playoff format is preferable to a subjective one.


      • kckd

        I’d be willing to bet that we wouldn’t have five teams with the same record and the same argument nearly as many times as we’ve had three.

        You continually dodge this one. If five can’t argue they should be no. 1 or no. 2, then screw them.

        We’ve only had one year where you could say that was even debatable to my knowledge since I’ve been following college football and that was 2007.


      • AERose

        Oh, I wasn’t boosting the playoffs either, I was just pointing out that somebody was bound to get screwed that year. I’m a Cal fan, all we care about is the damn Rose Bowl.


        • Cal fan, hunh? I’m glad you wandered over here. If you stick around in the fall, perhaps you might be interested in participating in the Mumme Poll. I’d love to add some voters from outside the southeast.


  7. kckd

    LMAO, can anyone explain to me how a team was not gonna get screwed over that year if we had started the polls earlier.

    If OU goes to the Sugar Bowl and beats Vtech in a competitive game, they’d still be raising hell just the way Auburn did.

    Somehow you continue to think that not having that preseason poll would somehow let us know OU would get their clocks cleaned by USC that year without seeing the matchup.

    There would still be three undefeated teams that year, and no matter when you want to start the poll, hell do it at the very end of the regular season even, we’d still have three teams with no losses.


  8. Bobby Fenton

    It should be noted that the comment in that blog was made by Matt Hayes, which explains everything. That guy says more stupid things on a weekly basis than anyone going today. He’s quite remarkable, really.


  9. shane#1

    You guys that know Auburn would have had no chance against USC must make a lot of money betting football. I have never been sure which team would win untill after the game has been played. I am a Dawg fan, not an Auburn fan, but I remember undefeated Alabama rolling into the Auburn game assured of victory by their coach. They had been told that the “Cow College” had no chance, in fact, their coach had announced victory to the world! Auburn scored the upset, and, if I remember correctly, they blocked four punts in the game. BTW, it wasn’t Shula or some other unlamented departed coach that let his mouth overload his ass, it was the great Bear Bryant! Let’s have a playoff and let the guys win it all on the field!