Back in 2004, Auburn was so hungry to commemorate its uncrowned, 14-0 season that it ordered up "National Champions" rings even when it wasn't the national champion according to the BCS or anyone else. So in response to the Tigers' actual national championship last year, it's no surprise that they decided to go all out on the jewelry:
Yes, according to the Twitter feed of wide receiver Emory Blake, that is not one but two "National Champions" rings to accompany the SEC championship ring, one of which includes what appears to be the Lombardi Trophy instead of the AFCA Coaches' Trophy that actually sits in the trophy case, but let's not split hairs here: That is some heavyweight swag that no doubt cost the university a very pretty penny in tough economic times. (Though, per NCAA rule, "no single award" for a national championship may exceed $415, or $325 for a conference championship. The rule also specifies that "each permissible awarding agency may provide only a single award for each championship to each student-athlete," which means Auburn is awarding both the BCS title and the Associated Press title with separate rings.) Over/Under on one of the rings' first appearance on eBay: Early to mid-October.
And no, smartass, there are no asterisks.
One place the university took care to get the trophy right down to smallest dimple: On the set of recruiting billboards just put up in Atlanta, Montgomery and the heart of Crimson Tide country, Birmingham, intrastate trollin' of the highest order. Don't get mad, Bammers: Get even. (Seriously, road rage is unhealthy to yourself and everyone in your immediate vicinity.)
- national championship