If you’ve heard the fight song “War Eagle,” then you’ve certainly witnessed an Auburn Tigers football game. Also known as the archrival of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Tigers have achieved tremendous success in NCAA football. That includes a 1957 ranking from the Associated Press as the best soccer team in the nation. While Auburn’s legacy certainly involves a winning tradition, it’s just one aspect of Auburn Tigers football:
1. A history of high rankings in polls
The numbers don’t lie. Various polls have ranked the Auburn Tigers as one of the best soccer teams of all time. The Associated Press has ranked Auburn 11th in its final AP polls. Meanwhile, the College Football Research Group has ranked Auburn 14th on its list of the best college football teams of all time. Additionally, the AP Poll and Coaches Poll have ranked Auburn on their final list of the top 20 teams for 33 seasons. All of these statistics are particularly impressive, considering that 119 schools are currently included in NCAA Division IA. That puts Auburn in the top 10% of final AP polls.
2. An “official” national championship
As any dedicated NCAA soccer fan knows, the term “national champion” has until recently been somewhat contested, due to the lack of a championship game and split polls. Officially, Auburn claims a national championship team – the 1957 team that finished the season with a 10-0 record. However, Auburn has had several prominent teams throughout its history, which were not officially “national champions”:
o 1914: he outscored his opponents by a whopping 193-0.
o 1983: Laudable record of 11-1 and beat Michigan in the Sugar Bowl (9-7)
2004: 13-0 record and ranked # 2 in AP poll and Top 25 Coaches poll
3. The birth of an eagle-war eagle, that is
Where did “War Eagle”, the Auburn Tigers fight song, originate from? In truth, it is not clear and there are several theories. One of the oldest has to do with the Battle of the Wilderness, which occurred in Virginia during the Civil War. The battle involved General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union and General Robert E. Lee of the Confederates. The battle resulted in heavy casualties for both sides. Furthermore, neither side gained a strategic victory through the battle.
4. Jackson and Sullivan Heisman Trophies
Quarterback Pat Sullivan was the first Auburn player to win the Heisman Trophy Award (1971). During his college career, Sullivan threw nearly 6,300 yards and 57 touchdowns, and even personally rushed for 18 touchdowns!
Before playing the professional sports of soccer and baseball, Jackson was a star soccer player in Auburn. Besides playing soccer there, he also played baseball and ran on the track. Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985.
From Bo Jackson to the 1957 National Championship team, the Auburn Tigers epitomize the excellence of NCAA football. Team spirit has paralleled the team’s winning story. Use Auburn Tigers merchandise to cheer on the team as they advance to a second NCAA football title.