Second Degree Au-Burn: Remembering Cam Newton’s Iron Bowl

We may have witnessed perhaps the greatest ending to a college football game ever when Auburn’s Chris Davis returned a missed field goal 100 yards (actually 109, if the NCAA recognized yards in the end zone) with no time remaining for the dramatic finish over top-ranked Alabama.  It was an outcome many wished for, but couldn't’t fathom the thought of it ever happening.  Not only this play, but this game will live in college football lore forever.  Its significance measured so high on the greatness scale, the New York Post took it as far as to call it the greatest ending in sports history.  And while that may be a bit presumptuous, let's take a look at something a little closer to home; the same two teams, albeit a switch in venue.

In 2010, soon-to-be Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led his #2 ranked Auburn Tigers into Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the #11 Crimson Tide.  Amidst scrutiny and a cloud hanging over his head due to the controversial allegations that his father had accepted sums of money during his recruitment, Newton was able to block out the noise and deliver a performance that served as a signature moment of his stellar season.

Auburn fell behind 24-0 in the first half.  It looked as if someone had turned off the lights to the theatrical play that is Cam Newton, and the “perceived” overachieving Tigers looked like ending their national title hopes. But it wasn't over yet. Newton rallied his team, throwing three touchdowns and running for another, to defeat 'Bama 28-27 to put a cap on the biggest comeback in school history.

So while we celebrate the incredible victory and jaw-dropping play that ended an already classic game, remember that just three short years ago there was another quintessential performance that ranks pretty high on the list as well.  Is the 2010 Iron Bowl better than 2013?  Of course, right now many will say absolutely not, but after everything calms down and all of the chips are on the table to analyze, it may be a lot closer than you think.