Much of the recent focus on the issue of the fact that Auburn University is considering ”
acknowledging” that additional national championships have been won by its football program has been on the 1913, 1983, and 1993 seasons for which Auburn is recognized by the NCAA as a national champion. These three seasons, along with a link to the Official NCAA Records Book, are now found on the Athletic Department’s web site for the football program.
However, as noted in the Auburn’s Unclaimed National Championships book, Auburn’s undefeated (13-0, SEC Champions) 2004 team also has a claim to the national championship that year based on several selectors. Whether acknowledging those selectors or not, Auburn University felt strongly enough about its claim to a national championship for the 2004 season that it gave its players and coaches “national champions” rings. So, if Auburn chooses this year to more outwardly acknowledge its championship claim for the 2004 season, it won’t have done so retroactively. It did so immediately following the 2004 season some 10 years ago.
Auburn’s claim to the national championship is strengthened by the fact that the consensus champion for that season, the University of Southern California, later had its championship stripped by selectors other than the Associated Press because the NCAA determined it had won those games while knowingly playing a star player who was actually ineligible because of receipt of improper benefits.
Having already given national championship rings to the players and coaches of the 2004 team, Auburn is due to more formally recognize this national championship, raise a banner in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and include it with all the other championships it chooses to “acknowledge.”