As Ole Miss prepares to start the second half of the 2023 season, we’ve all eyeballed the final six-game leg and started to think things we can’t say out loud.
If things we can’t say out loud are to happen, it starts with Saturday’s game in Auburn. It’s a game that, by all logic and statistical measures, Ole Miss has advantages everywhere, but it’s also AT AUBURN, a boogeyman of the highest order.
However, should things that we can’t speak about happen at a place where it rarely happens, what a step it would be toward the things we can’t say out loud.
But before we get any more vague, let’s get to know Auburn University.
Nestled in Lee County, right off I-85 and state highway 280, which is actually a portal into hell, Auburn shares the name with the city in which it resides. The city is the largest in eastern Alabama, beating out such notables as its neighbor Opelika and Phenix City on the Alabama-Georgia line.
As you’ve heard every broadcaster ever say, Auburn is “The Loveliest Village on the Plains,” which is not quite a line from a poem called The Deserted Village (the actual line is “Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain,” which is more about a village of not wealthy people than destination). The poem was written in 1770 by Oliver Goldsmith, who was from Ireland.
In the 1760s, Goldsmith traveled around England, mostly visiting small towns and observing the effects of the enclosure movement, which was an attempt to make agriculture more efficient and increase land values, while casually depriving the common folk rights and access to land. That movement did not sit well with Goldsmith and inspired him to write The Deserted Village, which was likely about a village in Ireland.
The poem describes the decline of the village due to wealthy people doing things that only benefit the wealthy and is very much a social commentary. If Alabama governor Kay Ivey and the state legislature find out about this, Oliver Goldsmith is as good as BANNED in the Yellowhammer State.
Auburn University History
In 1856, the Alabama state legislature (WATCH YOUR ASS, GOLDSMITH) chartered what was then known as East Alabama Male College. It was established as a private school and affiliated with the Methodist Church (the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to be exact), with Reverend Williams J. Sasnett serving as its first president when the doors opened in 1859.
Like almost every school we’ve learned about this season, it closed during the Civil War, as everyone left to go fight. During the war, the Confederate Army used Auburn’s campus as a training ground and converted one of the buildings into a hospital.
After everyone took a massive final L in 1865, the school reopened in 1866. Under the direction of Alabama’s Reconstruction government, the school was transferred in 1872 from the Methodist Church to the state and became a land-grant institution.
This transfer occurred under the Morrill Act, which helped create agricultural and mechanical schools through the sale of federally-owned land acquired from Indian tribes via the government being super reasonable and not abusive. With the shift in direction, East Alabama Male College was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, which is equally as fun.
In 1899, thanks to the work of president William Leroy Broun, who pushed learning the classics and sciences (DIRTY LIB?), the school’s name changed to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
As time passed, the school became less agricultural, mechanical, and polytechnic, prompting the state legislature to grant it university status in 1960 and officially renamed it Auburn University. Allegedly, it was called Auburn for years prior to the official change, but that sounds exactly like what someone who wants you to think they’ve been cool since way before 1960 would say.
Rapid Fire Auburn Trivia
- As of Fall 2023, Auburn’s total enrollment was just shy of 32,000, with a little over 25,000 students being undergrads
- In 1892, “Auburn,” and definitely not the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, admitted women for the first time
- Auburn was integrated in 1964 when a man named Harold A. Franklin sued to get into graduate school, which he completed but was denied a master’s degree until 2020 (probably just a few hundred administrative errors along the way!)
- Auburn is home to Old Rotation, which is soil fertility experiment that’s been going on since 1896 and is the third-oldest such experiment in the country
- Lou Diamond Phillips and his band (!!!) once played at the Supper Club,* which is a sentence and scenario that brings me outrageous levels of entertainment
- After Harvey Updyke’s PAWWWLLLLL behavior, the trees at Toomer’s Corner were actually replaced a second time in 2016 after they were set on fire following a win over LSU
- Auburn’s on-campus recreational center features a five-story cardio tower, which sounds like the creation of a diabolical track and field coach
*Google Reviews of the Supper Club are still up, despite it closing 8 years ago. The highlights:
- “The worst bar I’ve ever been to. I was insulted several times at the door, as was my best friend. The drinks were overpriced. The cover charge was $9.50, which it is absolutely NOT worth! Do not waste your time or money.”
- “The smoke was so bad we had to leave. My eyes were on fire. :(“
- “What time is Zig playing on the 26th. And what time is Rock playing on the 27th?”
- Tim Cook - CEO of a small start-up called Apple
- Jimmy Wales - co-founder of Wikipedia and indirect contributor to most everything you’ve read so far
- Lloyd Austin - current United States Secretary of Defense (unclear if he is a part of the #BidenCrimeFamily; I reached out to Jim Jordan’s office for clarification, but they have not gotten direction from Sean Hannity yet)
- Kirsty Coventry - Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation in Zimbabwe
- Walter Merritt Riggs - the president of Clemson from 1910-24 and known as the “father of Clemson football,” which confirms Lewis Grizzard’s “Clemson is Auburn with a lake” joke is true
- Ken Mattingly - astronaut on Apollo 13 and probably has a story or a BILLION to tell
- Kimberly Page (Kimberly Lynn Bacon) - former valet for Diamond Dallas Page in WCW
For the record, I nearly screamed at my computer screen when I saw her name.
Who among us wasn’t ready to charge the gates of hell when DDP ended a match with a Diamond Cutter?
Great Moments in Auburn Athletics
Even today, the Alabama senator who lives in Florida strives to make everyone’s experience as miserable as possible because he has nothing to offer.
On a positive note, remember this LMAO?
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the 30A senator’s record in overtime against Ole Miss.
What About Auburn’s Football Team in 2023?
As noted above and yesterday, Ole Miss is the better team. Once again, leaning on friend of the program who doesn’t know he’s a friend of the program Parker Fleming, let’s look at some overall numbers.
First, on offense:
Obvious advantage to Ole Miss. Does this mean Ole Miss will win? CLOWN QUESTION, BRO.
If Ole Miss doesn’t turn it over multiple times and maintains who they are, they win. But if they don’t do those things, hello, Auburn Jesus and why yes, we now have enough loaves and fish to feed 87,000 people.