Darren Bates (25) and Josh Bynes celebrate after an interception
The early results for Auburn's 2010 Season have been filled with exciting plays, a hard hitting defense and a resilient team attitude.
Two come from behind victories, an SEC road win and two tune up games have resulted in the Tiger's being 5-0 heading into their version of the SEC Gauntlet.
A season that began with optimism and the unknown of Cam Newton's ability to create and distribute the ball effectively, soon evolved into widespread fanfare hysteria.
Now, collectively we speak of Heisman potential, a division and conference championship.
Even the unthinkable has been mentioned...National Championship!
Well Tiger fans let's not get too far ahead of ourselves but an SEC Championship is attainable with the following Priorities of Work!
Cam Newton looks down field against South Carolina
Staying healthy for the Auburn Tigers begins with proper execution of the gameplan, utilization of the team's depth and taking care of business against lesser opponents.
Already the Tigers have lost starting right tackle A.J. Greene to a season-ending injury. Keeping Cameron Newton healthy is imperative and although one player doesn't make a team, his video game like attributes are a gift to the Tiger nation.
For the dream season to continue the Tigers must keep Cam Newton behind center and protect him at all costs. As well as keep starters on both sides of the ball healthy and rested for the remainder of the season.
Darvin Adams picks up a first down against South Carolina
The current critics of the Auburn Tigers is that they are a one-man team on offense and this is an accident waiting to happen with the amount of talent from sideline to sideline.
Weapons stretch from Terrel Zachary through former QB Kodi Burns to freshman sensation Michael Dyer, Darvin Adams and Onterio McCalleb.
From the mind of Gus Malzhan comes the most aggressive attack in the entire conference. Not to mention a slew of talented running backs and wide receivers to facilitate his play calling.
The diversity comes from the unit that actually wins all the games, "The Big Nasties" Auburn's talented power blocking O-Line.
This season the Auburn defense needs to tighten up in the secondary but multiple forced fumbles and interceptions have given this defense an air of "big game" bravado.
With key turnovers in the South Carolina game late in the fourth, the defense sealed a hard-fought, come-from-behind win.
According to my brother who is an Alabama alum, "Auburn has by far the hardest hitting defense this year."
Trust me, he is no college football expert, but when it comes to giving credit to Auburn, those statements are few and far between.
Some players just come out of nowhere and contribute without the least bit of prognostication. Auburn starting tight end is Philip Luetzenkirschen; and in the previous two games he has seven catches, two of those for touchdowns.
Another Auburn future star is defensive lineman Corey Lemmonier, who in the past two games has registered two sacks. His skill is supporting the coaching staff's two deep front line.
With unexpected contributions to the defensive game plan from young and previously untested players the Tigers move forward into the SEC and National Spotlight.
It's a player like Emory Blake who was expected to contribute but not in the tough nosed touchdown running ways in which he has supported his teams game plan.
Players like these three and many others on the roster need to make plays and relieve some pressure from the starters.
Clemson QB Kyle Parker whithers in pain
Like I mentioned earlier this defense comes to play and will hit you right in the mouth. Its all about breaking down your opponent and forcing key players into making stupid decisions.
Those bone-jarring hits force fumbles, and rattled teeth make receivers take their eye off the ball.
Quarterbacks that grimace in pain coming off the field, walking to the sideline will think twice before they take on the likes of Darren Bates and Zac Etheridge the next series.
Hard nosed defense and laying the wood on opposing quarterbacks all but sealed Auburn's victory over South Carolina.
In the SEC, you have to win on the road. All championship teams find a way to overcome the home teams crowd and continue to execute.
Auburn proved there mettle in Starkville during week two by pulling off a tough win against a cowbell obsessed stadium.
It only gets tougher from here with games at Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Alabama to end the regular season.
This is Coach Gene Chizik's time to show he deserves the job and that his recruiting has paid off. Last season Coach Chizik was out coached by Mark Richt and Nick Saban in matchups that Auburn had a legitimate opportunity in pulling off the victory.
He looked lost and a bit confused on the sidelines in Athens and panicked with a lead in the fourth quarter against the eventual National Champions.
This year he faces losing streaks of significant magnitude. Arkansas, LSU, UGA and Alabama all have sizable win streaks that need to be addressed by Auburn victories. Only time will tell.
Coach Chizik must not get caught resting on a lead and go for the kill every chance he gets.
Jordan Hare at night is a magical place and the fan base must prove that in some important SEC showdowns this year against rivals Arkansas, LSU and UGA.
The Auburn fans have the ability to level the playing field when a higher ranked opponent visits the Plains.
Come on Tiger fans, can I get a "War Damn Eagle?"
In College Football you can have all the players, the best coaches, the best attitude but without a little luck along the way sooner or later you will fail.
It's the nature of the game and "Murphy's Law" has ended many seasons and started the spiral phase.
It pays off to be Lucky and Lucky works for me.