Though the NCAA record books name the Auburn Tigers football team as national champions multiple times, the university only appears to take credit for two in the banners at Jordan-Hare Stadium: 1957 and 2007.
Per said record books, Auburn was recognized as a championship team in 1910, 1913, 1914, 1983, 1993 and 2004.
In each of those seasons, Auburn was either a national champion (1913, 1914) or won a conference title (1910, 1983, 2004). The team was undefeated under Terry Bowden in 1993, but saw no postseason action nor claimed a championship because of NCAA sanctions.
That said, one would think that the current administration would want the previous titles recognized in some way, shape or form. However, speaking to Brandon Marcello of Al.com, university AD Jay Jacobs stated that Auburn would not claim more titles after a year-long study into the matter.
“We’ve earned what we’ve earned and people can count it different ways, but we’ve earned what we’ve earned,” Jacobs said. “Those players on those teams, like me in 1983, it doesn’t matter if you hang a banner or not. I know what we did.”
It’s certainly a puzzling decision as to why Auburn would not want to recognize previous championships from the team, be it on the conference or national level. This study led to the formation of a committee that reached out to “former players, coaches and fans” about whether or not the school should claim national titles from the aforementioned seasons.
Granted, it was a different game back then, with the massive bowl system not in place, nor the College Football Playoff. National championship games were determined on a bowl rotation system, or just awarded arbitrarily, and Auburn was left on the outside looking in at times despite taking home the SEC crow.
Thus, one would think that rabid fans of such a storied program would want any and all accomplishments recognized.
But it seems as though Auburn will continue to recognize just two national championship teams: the 1957 squad led by coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan, and the 2010 team headed by coach Gene Chizik that featured star quarterback Cam Newton.
It’s an odd decision on the university’s end but after a year-long study, Jacobs and his team obviously think it’s the right decision.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports