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The Auburn Tigers football team represents Auburn University in the sport of American football. The Auburn Tigers compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Auburn officially began competing in intercollegiate football in 1892. The Tigers joined the Southeastern Conference in 1932 as one of the inaugural members of the conference and the Tigers began competing in the West Division when the conference divided in 1992. Auburn officially claims two national championships (1957, 2010), seven perfect seasons, 12 conference championships, eight divisional championships, and has made 38 bowl appearances, including eight historically major or BCS bowl berths (Sugar, Orange, BCS Championship). The Tigers have the 13th most wins in FBS history with over 700 victories and have finished ranked in the Top 25 of either the AP or Coaches polls 36 times, including 17 top ten finishes (ranked 12th nationally for AP poll top ten finishes). The Tigers have produced three Heisman Trophy winners: quarterback Pat Sullivan in 1971, running back Bo Jackson in 1985, and quarterback Cam Newton in 2010. Auburn has also produced sixty-six consensus All-American players, many all-conference team selections including All-SEC player and All-SEC academic, multiple MVPs and Rhodes Scholar athletes, and other academic honors. The College Football Hall of Fame has inducted a total of 12 individuals from Auburn, including 8 student-athletes and four head coaches: John Heisman, Mike Donahue, Ralph "Shug" Jordan, and Pat Dye. Ralph "Shug" Jordan, who coached from 1951 to 1975 and led Auburn to its first national championship in 1957, won a total of 176 games, the most by any Auburn coach. Former head coach Gene Chizik led the Tigers to their second claimed national championship and the school's first consensus national title in 2010. Auburn's home stadium is Jordan–Hare Stadium, which opened in 1939 and becomes Alabama's fifth largest city on gamedays with a capacity of 87,451. Auburn's archrival is in-state foe Alabama. The Tigers and Crimson Tide meet annually in the Iron Bowl, one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. The Tigers also maintain rivalries with SEC foes Georgia and LSU.
The Tigers are currently led by head coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn's offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2011 and during the 2010 national championship season. He returned as head coach on December 4, 2012, following the departure of Gene Chizik. The Tigers are the reigning SEC Champions after defeating Missouri 59–42 in the 2013 SEC Championship Game. Auburn will play Florida State in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, California on January 6, 2014. This will mark the second SEC title and BCS Championship appearance in four years. Auburn also has the most SEC Titles in the last ten years with three, 2004, 2010, and 2013.
The organization of Auburn's first football team is credited to George Petrie, who led the 1892 Tigers to a 3–2 record. Petrie also chose burnt orange and navy blue as the official colors for Auburn athletic teams, which was inspired by his alma mater, the University of Virginia. The first game was against the University of Georgia at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Auburn won, 10–0, in front of a crowd of 2,000, in a game that would establish the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. Auburn met in-state rival Alabama for the first time ever at Lakeview Park in Birmingham, Alabama during the 1893 season, which ended with a 32–22 victory for the Tigers.
Since its beginnings in 1892, Auburn football has accumulated 2 national championships, 11 conference championships, 8 divisional championships, seven perfect seasons, and three Heisman Trophy winners.
Auburn was led by nine different coaches over a 12-year span, including John Heisman (1895–1899), for whom the Heisman trophy is named. During five years, Heisman compiled a 12–4–2 record, before departing for Clemson in 1900. Auburn's first conference membership came in 1895, when it joined the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA). The first conference championship and undefeated season came in 1900, when the Tigers went 4–0 under coach Billy Watkins.