Auburn sports: Cam Newton continues showing once an Auburn man, always an Auburn man

Cam Newton and the Panthers beat Dallas in Week 1. In Week 2, he represented Auburn at a press conference. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton and the Panthers beat Dallas in Week 1. In Week 2, he represented Auburn at a press conference. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Some people love to hate former Auburn football quarterback Cam Newton.

We’re not talking about the Auburn football faithful. No, after Cam Newton won a Heisman Trophy, led the Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship and later had his statue added to the Heisman row outside Jordan-Hare Stadium, fans of opposing schools were adamant:

Cam would never set foot on the Auburn campus again.

He was one-and-done, got what he needed from Auburn and moved on.

Cam Newton now is in his eighth season with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011. He’s won an NFL MVP award and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl.

And yet he still finds time to show up at Auburn and represent his university whenever he can.

He returned to take classes, give pep talks to the football team, support the school and the football program and even take in a basketball game.

And Cam knows rivalries. Especially the Auburn-LSU one.

After all, he had one of his biggest games and biggest moments as Auburn quarterback against LSU on Oct. 23, 2010, inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Both teams were undefeated. Auburn was ranked No. 5, LSU was No. 6.

With the score tied 10-10 early in the third quarter, Auburn had first-and-10 at the LSU 49. Newton kept it, snuck through the line, stumbled, but kept his footing. He then cut back left, leaving one Karnell Hatcher’s ankles at the 26-yard line and then accelerated and beat All-American Patrick Peterson to the goal line.

Touchdown, Auburn.

He finished the day with 217 rushing yards and two TDs.

So for Auburn-LSU week, he did what Cam does. He showed off his school colors. He’s joined at Carolina by former Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne and the Panthers have a pair of former LSU players in Donte Jackson and Trai Turner.

Auburn baseball dugout dedication

Hal Baird is one of the most-like and respected people to come through Auburn athletics.

That’s why it was fitting that the former Auburn baseball coach — he won 634 games from 1985-2000 and took the Tigers to two College World Series’ — will forever have his name attached to the Auburn dugout at Plainsman Park.

His impact on the program is obvious and former players seized the opportunity to congratulate Baird, including the biggest former Auburn player of all-time:

But the Big Hurt wasn’t the only one. Players from all over sang their praises.

Congratulations, Coach. It’s a well-deserved honor.

No. 1 in the preseason rankings

The Auburn equestrian team won the 2017-18 NCEA national championship so naturally the Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll that came out this week.

The path to a repeat title won’t be easy, but Auburn is equipped to do it with 11 of its top 12 riders returning, according to

The schedule will be tough, too. It always is. Georgia and Texas A&M are ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively. Auburn plays both of them twice as well as No. 4 Oklahoma State.

More rankings and cover athlete

We all know the Auburn basketball team is going to be good in 2018-19. A lot of talent returns plus Bruce Pearl gets back big man Austin Wiley and versatile forward Danjel Purifoy — both were out last season while serving NCAA suspensions.

The Stadium’s Jeff Goodman placed Auburn 10th in his preseason top 25 and Street & Smith’s College Basketball Preview also has the Tigers at No. 10. And bonus: The regional cover features Auburn senior guard Bryce Brown.

Last but not least

How about the Auburn soccer team?

The Tigers are off to a 7-0-0 start, the best in program history and have risen to No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches poll. The highest Auburn has ever been ranked is eighth.

Auburn has outscored opponents 22-3 this season. The Tigers play Mississippi State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in the SEC opener. You can follow the action live here tonight.