Friday, March 13, 2009

Exceptions

I read an article about a week ago on SEC football, citing the performance of the conference on the national stage. It cited the two National Championships apiece by LSU and Florida and then mentioned that Auburn had a shot, but was cheated out of a chance of making it five NCs for the SEC in the last six years.

That’s the way it is for Auburn…an exception.

Our only national championship happened under probation and is considered by some to be…an exception.

We were undefeated in ’93 and had no shot. Two other SEC teams played for the Championship that year. Both had lost to Auburn during the season…an exception.

And it seems to have become the rule.

Today, we’re talking basketball…and the Big Dance

Auburn plays Florida tonight in the SEC quarterfinal. Florida has 23 wins and is struggling a bit. Auburn has 21 wins and is the hottest team in the SEC. Both teams are bubble teams, though Florida is considered to have a better shot. The thought is that Florida can get into the Dance if it beats Auburn.

For Auburn, the thought is that it may have to win the tourney to go.

No SEC team with 10 conference wins has not received an invitation to the NCAA tourney. Auburn has 10 and would be the first…an exception.

Auburn has an RPI of 65 and, if they don’t win the SEC tourney, would have the lowest at-large RPI in history (NC State was 64 when it received an at-large bid). An exception

Even if Auburn makes the SEC finals, it has to line up for them the experts think. They needed Florida to be their quarterfinal opponent. They need Tennessee to be their semifinal opponent. They need LSU as their championship opponent. Lower ranked opponents won’t help. It will make Auburn an exception.

Whatever!

A cousin of mine, Beaver, recently commented that Auburn’s team is sniffing the Dance. I responded with a related canine reference, hoping that our beloved Tigers didn’t start licking themselves.

Whatever happens, Auburn will remain what it is in sports…an exception.

And this is an exceptional team.

War Eagle!