Despite the (Twitter) jokes we may have made in Auburn’s direction after ending the SEC’s BCS National Championship run, really we’re going to quote Jack Buck, when we say: “Excuse us while we stand up applaud”.

Auburn was a 10.5 point underdog with Vegas. No-one – apart from those bleeding blue and orange (and some members of the media) who believed in Destiny – really believed that the Tigers would have put up 31 points on Florida State, led the ‘Noles by double digits almost all the way through the game, and exhausted their giant, great defensive lines. But they did.

Auburn was a team that wasn’t even meant to succeed this season – let alone this well. Sure, we thought they’d beat Washington State, and maybe Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi State. But we didn’t visualise them beating Ole Miss. We certainly didn’t visualise beating Texas A&M and Johnny Football on the road. Or Georgia. Or Alabama and THAT MAN SABAN.

Auburn was a team who last year had a quarterback in Kiehl Frazier who was – as Clay Travis so beautifully put it – ranked below ‘Air’ in preseason QB rankings. And after his performances, that was a compliment. They got a quarterback who arrived in January after a personal set of issues (and yes, we know what they were, Georgia fans (and Brent Musberger, who couldn’t stop repeating the fact during the telecast)) in Nick Marshall, who took his team to The Promised Land.

Auburn was a team that we didn’t think that their defense would stand up with Florida State – and certainly not their secondary. But they did.

Auburn was a team who had a running back in Tre Mason that was probably ranked a long fourth in a world of Yeldon, Gurley and Hill, but blew all four of them out of the water.

And as a conference, let’s applaud ourselves. Let’s applaud how the SEC has dominated college football for years. Let’s applaud how we’ve won seven straight National Championships, via endings that have taken the breath (Auburn against Oregon), to total dominations (Florida against Ohio State, Alabama against Notre Dame) to somewhere in between. In this play-off, it could quite conceivable that we see SEC rematches in the final of the play-offs for years to come. Why? Because people, the SEC’s that freaking good.

Of course, there are things we shouldn’t applaud our conference about. There are still far too many kids ‘being kids’ (ie getting arrested). Some of our coaches make strange decisions when it comes to trying to keep a player on a team (we see you, Les Miles). We don’t even want to think about what happened in that Vanderbilt rape case. Our coaches are still oversigning, which we hate. Oh, and on the football side, we want to see the SEC schedule home-and-home non-conference games against BIG TEAMS, instead of the Opening Day Bowls in Texas and Atlanta, which are great in one respect, but let’s be honest, I’d take watching Alabama going to a crazy Oregon or Auburn going to Baylor (I’m taking the over!!!) ¬†or vice-versa ANYTIME. I’m a little bored of North Texas. And we’d like to see Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee provide us with some wins and a little more depth in the conference, too.

But you can’t have it.

And back to Auburn: Auburn fans, go paper Toomer’s Corner. Show your appreciation for Auburn. Because they deserve it.

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