Auburn is a team of destiny.
It’s clichéd statement used to explain a team’s improbable run to a championship, but there is no other way to describe how Auburn now finds itself in the SEC title game, one step away from playing for a BCS national championship.
For the second consecutive game, Auburn had a miracle play in the final seconds of the game to snatch victory. Two weeks ago, it was a deflected Hail Mary for the game-winning touchdown. On Saturday, against rival Alabama, it was a 100-yard return (109 unofficially) by Chris Davis of a missed 56-yard field goal as time expired.
And it wasn’t even a play Auburn wanted.
Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon stepped out of bounds as time expired, but a review of the clock showed one-second remaining, giving Alabama a chance for either a Hail Mary or a long field goal.
Of course, Auburn protested and fans booed, but it was the plan of the football gods to once again smile on the Tigers and give them an opportunity for victory. When the kick came up short, Davis had a open lane up the sideline. All he had to do was outrace some offensive linemen and he was in the clear. It couldn’t have been a more perfect situation for Auburn.
So now, the team that had already orchestrated the most incredible one-year turnaround in SEC history has a chance to complete one of the most amazing turnarounds in college football history.
Remember, this is a team that went 3-9 a year ago and fired coach Gene Chizik. It’s fair to say that even with a 10-1 record heading into Saturday’s Iron Bowl, the Tigers weren’t getting nearly the respect they deserved. But the Tigers more than held their own against the two-time defending national champions and when the BCS standings are released on Sunday, there’s little doubt the Tigers will either slide into that coveted No. 2 spot or be right on the verge of a national title game berth needing just a win in the SEC championship to push them forward.
And the team that faces Auburn in either game won’t just be facing the Tigers, but also some unknown force that is making this a dream season for Auburn.
- - - - - - -