When I saw Bleacher Report’s SEC All-Conference College Football Team of the 21st Century headline, I immediately rushed down to the quarterback slide expecting to see Auburn football legend and 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton as the QB.
When I saw Tim Tebow instead, I figured that how much of a cultural icon he became–coupled with his longevity at the college level–factored into the decision.
Reading Kerry Miller list Joe Burrow and Johnny Manziel ahead of him was pretty shocking, but I kept reading.
And reading…and reading…
And eventually, I realized that there was not a single member of the Auburn football program in the past 21 years that were selected, something that was revealed in the piece’s opening paragraph:
It should come as no surprise that Alabama has the most representation on the SEC’s All-Century team. The Crimson Tide ended up with nine of the 26 roster spots, and it easily could have been closer to 19. Florida had the second-most with four players. LSU and Arkansas each earned three spots. Georgia, Kentucky and Texas A&M each got two. And South Carolina had one—Jadeveon Clowney.
You could make a case for several different Tigers to be on this list. Derrick Brown and Nick Fairley helped build a reputation of defensive dominance and intensity on the Plains and both won SEC Defensive Player of the Year while at Auburn.
Ultimately, Newton was the best potential representative, but his collegiate career truly did not have the prolonged elite level of play that Tebow had at Florida. Newton topped out at 50 touchdowns in his lone season as a starter in the SEC (remember, he backed Tebow up at Florida) while #15 hit the 50-mark twice, with 55 in 2007 through the air and in the rushing game.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but so is the fact that Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and South Carolina all lack a national championship this century for their fanbases.