“We could play football for another 500 years and not catch up to Alabama’s tradition” – Pat Dye pic.twitter.com/PRiKggl3fd
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 13, 2017
Pat Dye may not have done his school a favor when he spoke on Finebaum. No doubt many Auburn fans will not embrace his candor. In similar fashion many college football fans, particularly Alabama football fans label Dye a foolish ‘old coot’ – not worthy of serious attention.
That is a mistake. Dye knows football, particularly SEC football. Having been an assistant at Alabama under Paul Bryant for nine years and Auburn’s head coach for 12 years, Dye is an expert. Maybe once or twice he has appeared somewhat addled chatting with Finebaum during cocktail hour. It matters not. Ignoring his pearls of wisdom is foolish.
From the Finebaum podcast, here is what Dye said:
“everybody in Alabama has a tendency to guage a program by what is going on in Tuscaloosa … I don’t look at our situation at Auburn comparing it to Alabama because you could never compare the two and we could play football for another 500 years and we couldn’t catch up with the tradition Alabama has got … it doesn’t mean we can’t beat Alabama on occasion.”
That observation is not going to sit well down on the Plains. Before the Tiger nation implodes over what surely will be viewed as heresy, a closer look at the history might be in order.
Since the SEC was formed in 1933, Alabama football has won 26 conference championships. Auburn has won eight. Across those 84 seasons, Alabama has won 13 national championships. Auburn has won two.
Let’s be generous. The 1934 and 1941 Alabama national championships are sometimes challenged as credible. For this discussion, let’s take those two away and say Alabama football deserved 11 national championships since the formation of the SEC.
At Auburn’s historical pace of winning conference and national championships, how long would it take the Tigers to match Alabama? At Alabama’s historical pace of winning championships, the answer is never.
Let’s be even more generous. Let’s assume Alabama football never wins another conference and national championship. I know, the supposition is ridiculous but bear with us.
With no additional Tide championships, Auburn could match Alabama in conference championships in 273 seasons. Matching the Tide in national championships would take Auburn 462 years. Those are real numbers based upon the parameters defined in the two preceding paragraphs.
Without the generous exceptions we calculated, Pat Dye is 100 percent correct. Auburn cannot catch up with Alabama football in 500 years.
This is cataclysmic news!