In the world of SEC football, there is a constant that never fades. The success of Alabama Football is always more than the Auburn football fanbase can handle. It is as though the Aubies have a lasting curse of having to measure the Auburn program relative to Alabama football. For decades, the affliction has been described as a ‘little brother’ reaction. In reality, it is far worse than sibling rivalry.
The Auburn fanbase in general (perhaps there are some individuals who are exceptions) cannot abide any success by the Alabama Football program or any Crimson Tide players.
The latest example would be laughable, were it not another sad example of how not to relate to a rival. Recently published by Auburn Wire was a list of three reasons why Bryce Young should not win the Heisman.
The Auburn site admits that Young will win but contend he should not because,
"… there is reason to believe that Young should not be the one to win the Heisman …Young isn’t even the best player on his teamHis (Young’s) numbers are boosted by the skill position players around himKenny Pickett (Pittsburgh quarterback) did the exact same with less"
Auburn Wire and Lance Dawe are certainly entitled to voice their opinion. There are Alabama Crimson Tide fans who agree Will Anderson Jr. is the best player on the Alabama Football team. Dawe’s other two claims also have a basis in fact, but they fail to hold up to any reasonable standard of proof.
Bryce Young’s numbers being boosted by the skill players around him is true. But it is true, not just for Bryce, but for every other quarterback that is fortunate to play with other skilled players. Football is a team sport and it takes groups of players on every play to achieve success.
The Kenny Pickett argument also carries a basis of truth. But, it too is negated by factual clarification. According to ESPN’s calculation, the Alabama Crimson Tide strength of schedule (SOS) is No. 4 in the FBS. The SOS for the Pitt Panthers is No. 65.
Kenny Pickett is an outstanding quarterback, but his stats do not equal Bryce Young’s stats. Young produced his numbers against a schedule of tougher opponents than did Pickett.
Taking shots at a rival is part of rooting for a fan’s team. We Alabama fans do it frequently as well. What we don’t do is measure the Alabama Crimson Tide program by whatever a rival does or doesn’t do.