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College Football Rankings: The No. 1 Auburn Tigers Find a New Ally

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 27-24 overtime win over the Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin McGradySenior Writer IOctober 25, 2010

For most teams, being ranked No. 1 in the nation is a bad omen.

The media hype and exposure that comes with it has a tendency to distract teams; certainly one of the factors that helped dethrone Alabama.

The Auburn Tigers do not have the same problem.

When Alabama was first ranked No. 1 in the BCS in 2008, every media source in the state was swamped with stories proclaiming that Alabama was back.

For Auburn, there are almost as many stories about a prominent beat writer that was arrested for a DUI, as there are about the team.

Tricky headlines about Auburn are leading into stories about how great Alabama is, with more coverage on the Crimson Tide's No. 7 ranking than on Auburn being at the top of the BCS.

The local media has always been a thorn in Auburn’s side with the mostly biased and pathetic coverage of the Auburn program. This time it's doing Auburn a favor.

Alabama is preparing to play a team in two weeks that is currently better than them. Instead of the media explaining what a difficult game it will be, it has jumped ahead and taken a win in that game for granted. It's focusing on renewed national title chances for Alabama when (not if) it beats No. 1 Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Local radio shows are telling the entire state how the best defense in the SEC (LSU) is not as good as Alabama's, and that it will stop Cam Newton. This is what Auburn players are hearing the week after they beat a top-10 team.

Coach Gene Chizik could not ask for any better ally. For the next two weeks, Auburn players will have a break to become accustomed to the hype. It will come on gradually and culminate after the LSU game. There is zero chance that Alabama dominates, if it manage to win it at all.

Unfortunately after that game, the local media will turn its attention to torpedoing Auburn. Hopefully by then the team will have adjusted to its new-found position.

Almost a perfect storm, Auburn is playing a very tenacious Mississippi team in Oxford next week, and with Alabama having a week off, the media could have caused a massive disruption for this team.

It is suggesting that Gus Malzahn should be the next head coach for Colorado. The problem is that Colorado does not pay any more for its head coach than Auburn does for its coordinators. This is another laughable rumor starting in the local Alabama media. Gus Malzahn would be taking a step down by going to a Colorado program that can not afford the coach it has.

Sure, Gus Malzahn would make a great coach for the Buffaloes if they had the facilities and about a $2.5-3 million salary to get his attention. Colorado does not seem to be the right environment for a successful football program at this point.   

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