Well, the 2010 college football season came to an end Monday as Wes Byrum kicked the game winning field goal as time expired and Auburn defeated Oregon 22-19. A truly magical season for the Tigers as they followed Alabama's unbeaten season with their own national championship led by the Heisman winner. What the future will bring for a program that has spent more time on probation than every school outside of SMU and Arizona State should be very interesting.
Looking at Auburn football and their troubled past is even more interesting than their 2010 Cam Newton saga-filled season. What is intriguing is when they have gone on probation for violating NCAA rules.
1) 1957-1958 - Assistant coaches caught paying recruits that resulted in several years of no bowl games and other penalties. Not coincidentally, 1957 is the other year besides 2010 that Auburn "claims" a National Championship.
2) 1979 - One year after Alabama wins the National title, Auburn is once again caught giving improper benefits to players and is slapped with more sanctions including no TV or bowl games for 2 years.
3) 1993 - Again, one year after Alabama wins the National title, the Pat Dye tapes come out and more proof is once again found by the NCAA that Auburn is paying players. Auburn goes on to finish unbeaten in 1993 but does not get a chance to win the National title due to their probation.
4) 2010 - Again, one year after Alabama wins the National title, paying players and improper actions are again being reported. What comes of this is yet to be seen (the NCAA is still interviewing builders and boosters and the FBI is still investigating).
Hopefully, the Auburn title in 2010 is legitimate. It would be a disgrace to college football and the SEC if Auburn acted as it has so often in their troubled past. Other programs in the SEC have had troubles as well, but not so much in the last 20 years.
Lets just hope SMU and ASU remain the only schools to go on probation 8 times and the trend of violations immediately following Bama titles ends in 2011...