Shane: The Elephant Stomp

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Bragging Rights Shirt: Auburn got their seventh loss

By Shane from Centerpoint
Tommy Tuberville got off the bus flashing seven. He entered Bryant-Denny stadium with that trademark smirk pasted on his face and left without eighteen bowl practices, with a staff upheaval in the very near future, and some broken-hearted Auburn Tigers. He came on the field strutting like a rooster and left looking like a train had just come out of the tunnel and flattened him. Could somebody please send Tubby a copy of that great Christmas classic, “I’ll be home for Christmas”.

Early in the season, some national pundit said that the previous six Auburn victories woke a sleeping giant. That giant happens to be an elephant. Everybody knows that tigers have no business inside a ringed structure with big, healthy elephants. The battle should be no contest – it wasn’t Saturday night when Saban decided to show Tubby what old school slobber-knocking can do to a soft team. His men pounded Tubby’s troops into submission, turning a supposed battle royal into a scrimmage against the scout team.

How embarrassing must it be for the Auburn family to watch the Alabama second team defense mangle their offense in the fourth quarter and take the ball away one last time? How angry does it make the power brokers to watch the second team quarterback scorch your best defender for a last seven to put the dagger in your team’s heart?

Let’s tell it like it is. Those big, fast Bama players, who are well-conditioned and strong, have plenty of talent and depth, a great running game, and a championship-caliber defense all combined to overwhelm your smaller, less talented group of Tigers.

Besides, I don’t think that extra touchdown was an attempt to score style points for the voters. It was more of a case of the second team executing plays to perfection. Saban actually was gracious enough to call the dogs off. Don’t you think that shows more class than playing the starters during a rout?

If the men who pay Tuberville let him slide for allowing this type of total domination to occur, what will that say? That Tommy can keep his job because of the economics of the situation, or because they are foolish enough to think he has any mojo left after that season-ending spanking in front of a national TV audience?

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After the game Saban leaned comfortably on the podium, with his happy wife Terry standing close, preaching the same football gospel he has from the beginning, looking confident and content. He had just finished taking control of the State and showing his adversary a perfect example of the meaning of being taken to the woodshed. Or, perhaps being a victim of “The Elephant Stomp”.

Across the stadium, Tuberville sat babbling some meaningless dribble about resurrection and how worthy he is to remain on top of a crumbling empire that started to fall apart when he panicked by changing his offensive system to counter Saban in recruiting.

To a large extent Tubby is a victim of his own success. He is the man who chose to use the Alabama game as a focal point for his survival, while at the same time, taunting his cross-state rival with gimmicks and childish gestures.

Several weeks ago, while speaking on talk radio, former Auburn coach Pat Dye, spoke of a train coming. If he knew it, the Auburn family knew it. Therefore, Tuberville had plenty of time to prepare. Realistically, in the end, there was nothing he could do to stop it.

Alabama fans walked out of that stadium after the game looking toward Florida, with Auburn’s streak and their “manhood” in hand. The sad truth for Auburn is that they probably just threw it in the trash. Don’t take this wrong, but there are bigger and better things than beating a lousy 5-7 team.

About the only purpose whipping Auburn served Bama this year was to be a tune up game for the championship. The Tide surely didn’t get any BCS help by beating such a weak team. Actually, it is kind of sad to see the Tigers reduced to being merely a stepping-stone to the SEC crown.

Meanwhile, Tuberville left Tuscaloosa with an invisible noose around his neck. He has to know that, with the extreme difference in the quality of players he saw on the field Saturday night, his career at Auburn will very possibly come to an end next year on Pat Dye Field. One more thing – Nick Saban and his red elephants may be on the other end of that hanging rope.