Team preview: Auburn

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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Just one year ago, Tommy Tuberville was on top of the world. His Auburn football program had seemingly turned the corner. He was winning the recruiting battles against in-state foe Alabama, which had lost Dennis Franchione to Texas A&M, replaced him with Mike Price-who was fired after a drinking binge at a Pensacola, Fla., strip club-and then replaced Price with inexperienced NFL assistant Mike Shula.

The Sporting News picked the Tigers as its preseason No. 1 team. Four Auburn running backs-Ronnie Brown, Tre Smith and Brandon Jacobs-graced the cover of the New York Times' preseason edition.

The Southern Cal rolled into town.

And that was that.