Do I Still Hate Auburn?

Over the last 15 years, Auburn-LSU has developed into one of the craziest, most competitive, and downright nasty rivalries in the country.  It doesn't have the history of other series.  In fact, LSU and Auburn have only played 43 times, meaning that the schools only played each other 26 times before the SEC expansion.  From 1943-1968, the two Tigers met exactly zero times, despite playing in the same conference.  The rivalry doesn't have mystique or mutual respect or a cool nickname.

I just plain friggin' hate Auburn. 

I hate them completely, totally, and absolutely.  I hate them more than Ole Miss, more than Florida, more than Bama.  If Satan played for eternal possession of my soul against Auburn, I'd have to think about who to root for.  

This rivalry has grown organically and the way rivalries should grow.  Not by having the powers that be force the rivalry down our throats and invent some stupid trophy no one cares about (cough) (LSU-Arkansas) (cough).  This rivalry has grown by great games with some genuinely weird occurrences.  LSU's record against Auburn over the last decade and a half?  8-7.  And outside of a brief stretch from 1999-2003, the games have been really close.  And the rivalry was kept alive by the Cigar Game and the 2001 game re-scheduled due to 9/11. 

The hatred has been kept alive not just by close and/or controversial games (I will admit the only game I truly feel like my team was robbed by the officials in any sport is the 2006 Auburn game, and the call in 2004 still sticks in my craw).  But it's also been kept alive by meaningful games.  The winner normally had a shot at the SEC title and the loser was left playing for the Peach Bowl.  It was also kept alive by the fact Tommy Tuberville was a gigantic prick, who made hating Auburn so easy and so fun.

Which means this rivalry is at a bit of a crossroads.  It's not exactly something passed from father to son.  My parents are wholly indifferent to Auburn.  My mom pathologically hates Tennessee because of the 1959 game, but I'm rather indifferent towards the Vols.  It's just a generational thing.  I happened to be at LSU when they played a lot of tense games against Auburn and the hatred naturally developed.

But now Auburn's head coach is Gene Chizik.  Now, I think he was a pretty horrible hire given his track record at Iowa St, but I don't hate the guy.  I think Malzahn is one of the best offensive minds in the game, but I actually like him.  Which makes hating Auburn just a little bit harder. 

And now the Plainsmen War Eagle Tigers stumble into Baton Rouge, riding a two game losing streak after a hot start.  LSU hasn't exactly set the world on fire with its play.  So it's a big game for both teams, but I'm really having problems generating the unadulterated hate I can normally drum up for Auburn.  It's a big game because of what it means in the context of the season, but not because it means beating Auburn.  If that makes any sense. 

Hopefully, we'll have another close, hard-fought, screwy game that both sides can still complain about for years to come.  But if LSU wins, it will be their third straight win against Auburn, and the last time anyone won three straight years was back when Auburn did it in 1992-1994.  and that feels like an several epochs ago. 

Hell with it.  F$%@ Auburn.

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