I’ve reached a conclusion recently. Good sportswriters help us feel the drama in re-living big games. Great ones help us feel drama when there’s none there to begin with.
I bring this up as our next opponent, Tennessee Tech, is a team I know absolutely nothing about. Therefore, I’ve had to do research.
They are from the Ohio Valley Conference, an FCS conference. For those of you unfamiliar with the new designations, Auburn is an FBS school, meaning that it plays to go to bowl games at the end of the year (hence the B in FBS). An FCS conference means that there is a Championship playoff.
The Ohio Valley Conference has 10 schools with names you would recognize as bracket busters, such as Murray State and SE Missouri State, from the NCAA tournament. It also has Samford as well as certain directional schools such as Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Illinois. Also notable is Tennessee-Martin, which is rumored to be our opening day opponent next year before traveling to Morgantown to play West Virginia.
The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech are 4-5 this year with its most notable win being a 45-21 victory over Cumberland. I do not mean this because Cumberland is especially good. I mean this because Cumberland is in the college football history books for the most lopsided loss in college football history. In 1916, Cumberland lost 222-0 to Georgia Tech.
In truth, Cumberland did not have a real football team. From what I have read, they discontinued football the previous season, but played the game in order to fulfill a contractual obligation. Ga. Tech was upset over Cumberland allegedly having used professional baseball players in game against GT the previous season and required Cumberland to either bring a football team or pay the buyout fee of $3,000. (For comparison, between 1910 – 1920, people bought pre-fab houses via mail order. A pre-fab house cost about $1,000 - $1,500.)
So, Cumberland showed up, supposedly with a fraternity football team, and lost. Because of the issue surrounding the baseball game, the GT football coach purposely ran up the score. The coach’s name: John Heisman. (You knew there had to be an Auburn connection in this story somewhere.)
So what does this have to do with anything? I started talking about Tennessee Tech and shifted to a game played over 90 years ago. And that’s the point. In the first quarter, we will be talking about the game. In the second quarter, we will likely be talking about everything but the game. Auburn has already openly announced that the scrubs will see most of the action with Kodi Burns and likely another QB getting nearly all of the snaps. This is being done to rest up the team for Georgia and Alabama. Also, Quentin Groves is being shifted to LB and this will be a glorified practice for him at his new position.
War Damn Eagle!