Can Auburn get up to play UCF in the Peach Bowl after being just one win—over a team we’d already whipped—away from the Committee Plus One?
We like to blame coaches when this kind of thing goes badly, but that question is one only the players themselves can answer.
If the coaches could sway them, however, maybe Malzahn should say what Coach Jordan said one time:
If you can win the Peach Bowl, you can win any of ’em. Because the peach seed is like a really hard nut; and if you can crack it, then this [pulling the cane from his mouth and gesturing to Carl Stephens] is just like cleanin’ a fish.
Now, I don’t know for sure that Coach Jordan said that, since I made it up laying in bed this morning, and Jordan never coached in the Peach Bowl.
Still, it holds true nowadays because of where the Peach is played.
Remember when Jerry World was new? It was a big deal. People called it a temple. Auburn still hasn’t played in it.
But, the new thing now is Mercedes-Benz, and we have played there—not because espn put us in a made-for-TV game, but because we earned the chance to play for a championship.
Now we’ve got two more games there. (Auburn opens the 2018 season at Mercedes-Benz against Washington.) So we’ve got a chance to make winning in college football’s premier venue old hat.
Next year’s Plus One “semifinal” games are the Cotton and Orange Bowls. Maybe we’ll finally get to check AT&T Cowboys Stadium in Arlington off our list, and then keep moving west to Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco—a place where the record attendance was for Wrestlemania.
We’ll be ready to come off the top rope with our distinctly Southern signature move—the Peach Nutcracker.