Walking past Jordan-Hare Stadium and looking upon the banners that hang, fans can see the two national championships Auburn claims, shining proudly.
The one most people remember best is the 2010 season, when Auburn beat Oregon 22-19 in the BCS National Championship. That season is full of familiar names such as Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and the famous come-from-behind win over Alabama nicknamed "The Camback."
The other year listed on the banner is one that isn't as well known, maybe simply because it's not well-remembered.
It's the championship that cemented Auburn as a yearly contender in the sport of football.
The Plainsman sat down with Jimmy Reece, a member of that 1957 team that went undefeated and won the program's first national title.
Football was a different game in 1957. Running the ball was a staple, while throwing the football for 10-plus yards was a big deal. Most of Auburn's offense went through the Wing-T formation, allowing for the greatest amount of run blockers.
"I was an end, which is the same as a modern-day tight end," Reece said. "But you would have a left end, a right end and sometimes three at a time. The ends were the ones who would catch the ball because back then there weren't receivers. We mostly blocked though."
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This 1957 team wasn't built on offense, though. It was built similar to what Auburn fans of this past season were used to — a tough, defensive team that prided itself on being like a brick wall.
It allowed only five total touchdowns all year, and one was a pick-six at the end of the game.
According to Reece, Georgia Tech felt like Auburn's toughest opponent all year. Auburn came out on top of that game 3-0.
"All but one touchdown was allowed by our first-team defense," Reece said. "The rest were allowed by the second team, except for the intercepted pass which was Mississippi State. But we had basically already won that game anyway."
The teams that dominated football at that time were also quite different in 1957. Today, fans know the powerhouses of Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. While those programs were still prominent, the landscape was ruled by teams such as Georgia Tech, Duke, Iowa and Oregon State.
"You know, we used to play Clemson a lot, basically every year," Reece said of the Tigers from South Carolina, who have appeared in the College Football Playoff title game four times. "Now they are a powerhouse, but back then they were like a little sister school. A breather in our season. We never lost to Clemson. It just didn't happen."
Ralph "Shug" Jordan was Auburn's leader, and Reece described him as a "gentleman's" coach.
Standing tall above the practice field like a conductor, able to see everybody on the field at one time, if Jordan saw something he did not like, he would yell the name of the position coach to tell them what was wrong and why.
According to Reece, Jordan was a caring coach that made sure his players got their education.
Reece didn't go to college to play football; he played football to go to college.
"We didn't score a lot of points, but our opponents didn't score a lot on us, either," Reece said. "We were well-coached and we worked hard. Shug made sure we were on the right track. We didn't do anything special but we were a good team."
Reece now watches current head coach Gus Malzahn and Auburn football as a fan. But the Tigers will always hold a special place in Reece's heart, he said as he touched his 1957 national championship ring on his left hand.
"It meant a home away from home, a family away from your family," Reece said of what Auburn meant to him. "I felt at home the whole time I was at Auburn and every time I have returned... the coaches took care of the guys. If something came up you could go to a coach and they would be there for you."
Even though he may no longer suit up on Saturdays, Reece continues to make memories after all this time.
"It's all the memories after I graduated — Bo over the top, Kick Six, Prayer at Jordan-Hare," Reece said. "It's wearing Auburn and getting a 'War Eagle' no matter where you are. That is Auburn."
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