I admit it, I hate Auburn. I hate their stupid fans. I hate their town. I hate their stupid colors. I hate how they can’t make up their mind what their mascot is so they named an eagle “Tiger”. I hate Tommy Tubberville so much I think he is the antichrist. I hate everything about them. I hope the earth one day just swallows them whole.
There is not a team in any sport I hate more than Auburn football. My deep loathing for them is irrational and fervent. In fact, my hatred of Auburn runs so deep it makes me (almost) want to cheer for Alabama because any fanbase that hates Auburn as much as I do can’t be all bad.
What makes this rivalry great is that it is not a media construct. It is not based on years of tradition or anything. It’s simply based on the fact we’ve played a lot of really good games in the last twenty years, and it often has a huge impact on the SEC West race. It’s a hatred built upon actual football. In honor of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Earthquake Game, here’s my list of the most memorable Auburn-LSU games of the last 20 years. I swear I’m doing this entirely from memory without verifying any details, save the final score and the date. There's been so many great games, I didn't even include the Day the Barn Burned.
8. 12/1/01 – LSU 27, AUBURN 14
The game was moved because of 9/11 and it was essentially a one game playoff for the West title. Auburn’s players came out and stomped on the Eye of the Tiger, which enraged an already pissed off LSU crowd, still seething from the Cigar Game two years before. LSU started by recovering an onsides kick, and the rout was on (which looking at the score, is closer than I remember). I smoked a victory cigar after the game in Tubby’s honor. Duval, Auburn’s kicker, got in a fight with the band. It was pretty much the game that cemented everyone’s hatred of one another.
7. 10/22/05 – LSU 20, AUBURN 17 (OT)
Auburn’s kicker misses five field goals, conjuring memories of Duval’s misses in 2001. LSU gets a clutch field goal to force OT. Kenny Irons guarantees a 200 yard game and delivers. Auburn loses anyway.
6. 9/20/97 – AUBURN 31, LSU 28
The Cecil Collins game. Cecil Collins rushed for about three thousand yards in the game, but with the game on the line on fourth and short, Dinardo decides to pass. It’s incomplete, LSU loses. I get really, really drunk afterwards watching the replay on ESPN about a billion times. I have no idea to this day how we managed to lose this game.
5. 10/20/07 – LSU 30, AUBURN 24
A game we’ve beaten to death over Miles’ late call to throw to the end zone on the last play rather than a kick a field goal. He would have been able to kick the FG anyway, but let’s not let that get in the way of a good story. Also memorable for the ridiculous cheap shot (which went unflagged) on Glen Dorsey’s knees.
4a. 9/18/04 – AUBURN 10, LSU 9
4b. 9/16/06 – AUBURN 7, LSU 3
The last two trips to Auburn are linked in my mind, as both were low-scoring, hard-hitting affairs which turned on a controversial call which went Auburn’s way. In 2004, Auburn got a second chance to kick the extra point on a call that wouldn’t be explained until the next day, which hurt, but we could at least blame ourselves for the late TD allowed. But 2006 is the only game I have ever walked out of thinking we simply got robbed. There were about five questionable calls in that game and they all went Auburn’s way. I hate crying about the officials, but if we get screwed again in Auburn, I want somebody dead.
3. 10/8/88 – LSU 7, AUBURN 6
The Earthquake Game. Hodson to Fuller. Seismograph. Teams share the SEC title. The loss destroys Auburn’s national title hopes. You know the rest.
2. 9/17/94 – AUBURN 30, LSU 26
The Interception Game. If you see Lynn Amedee, our offensive co-ordinator who kept calling those pass plays and then let Howard take the blame in defeat, please kick him in the nuts for me. Thanks.
1. 9/16/95 – LSU 12, AUBURN 6
The Bring Back the Magic Game. Some Auburn fans call it the Whistle Game because Nix thought he heard a whistle before he was sacked in the end zone for a safety. It was so loud in that stadium, I don’t know how he could have heard anything. While the Dinardo Era was sort of a false spring, I do think this win is one of the most important in LSU history. It was the return of the white jerseys. LSU beat a top ten team at home. It was a crazy crowd, and it ended the years of futility under Hallman. While Dinardo didn’t climb the mountain, this is the game that set the stage for the resurgence of LSU and everything that came after it. Without this win, I don’t think we win two national titles. This was the game that started the Golden Era of LSU Football which we now enjoy. God bless you, Troy Twillie.