"What if..." Auburn had actually won while wearing the infamous orange jerseys? We all know the story. Auburn wore orange jerseys against Georgia much to the surprise of everyone. Sadly, Georgia ended up stomping Auburn. Except that's not the whole story. Many people think that Auburn only wore those orange tops once, maybe twice. But according to Auburn alum Patrick Campbell through a UniWatch article, Auburn actually wore orange jerseys at least five times. Two of those games were in the 50s, and Auburn lost both of those games (1951- Georgia, 46-14; 1955 - Tulane, 27-13). Let's just throw those games out for the time being, as they were in the era in which the uniforms aren't documented very well. The next (documented) time Auburn broke out the orange tops was the Nov. 18, 1978, game versus Georgia. That game ended in a 22-all tie. That game also gave us our first color photos of the orange tops.
Auburn wore the orange tops the following year on Nov. 10, versus Mississippi State where the Orange Tigers got their first win. One of the best photos of those jerseys came from that game. November 8, 1980 versus Southern Miss resulted in a 31-0 blowout victory for Auburn. Those "bad luck" orange jerseys now have a two-win streak. What do you guys think about them now? Well, hold on one more second. The very next week, on Nov. 15, Auburn faced Georgia in what we know as the Orange Jersey Debacle. Georgia won the game 31-21, and the orange jerseys have yet to be seen again. Here's a great picture from that game:
|Orange everywhere: facemask, jersey, belts. Shortened helmet stripe, Weagle pride stickers. Wow!|
After we total all the scores, the orange jerseys have compiled an over record of 2-3-1. Not bad actually.
Back to the original question: What if Auburn had actually won wearing the orange jerseys? Well, looks like we've already answered that question. Auburn did win, twice. But let's change the question a little bit. What if Auburn had won in the orange jerseys more. Or should we make is "versus Georgia?" All in all, Georgia killed the orange tops. But what if Auburn hadn't been blown out in 1980? What if Auburn made it close? Or even won? Well, I don't have tape for that game, so I don't know specifically how it all went down. I don't know what play should or should not have been made in order to win. But for the sake of argument, let's say Auburn did indeed win that game. If you noticed, the four times Auburn wore the orange tops were at the end of the season, three of which were the last home game. If Auburn had actually won, don't you think we might have seen them again the next year? Or even the years following? Or at least until they had been blown out (unless they had actually seen success with them in that time)? Would Auburn have taken them to Birmingham for the Iron Bowl soon? It was only nine years later that Alabama would come to Auburn for the first time. What are the chances we would've seen orange jerseys in one of those games?
Personally, I think if that one game had gone differently, we'd still be seeing orange jerseys. Yes, it's possible that they would have suffered the same fate, but who knows. Barfield wouldn't have been fired after that loss (no one's complaining right?) and the orange jersey easily could have written their own history. Honestly, I don't think the orange tops make for a great look. The striping is awful and backwards. The main stripe should be blue, no doubt about it.
And the odd part of it all, if anyone were to know about wearing alternate jerseys with a traditional uniform set to begin with, would be Georgia. Georgia has had such an up and down history with their black tops, and Auburn fans unfortunately remember the 2007 Black Out (as do Gary and Verne) very well. Even when fans claimed the black jerseys to be "bad luck," Georgia seems to break them out for a big game and wins (remember the 2008 Sugar Bowl versus Hawaii?).
Who knows, we could probably had seen an Orange-on-Black Deep South's Greatest Rivalry game. On the other hand, never mind. That would look awful...
So, what do you think would happen if Auburn actually beat Georgia in 1980? How would that affect our uniform history?
Hope you guys enjoyed this piece. I hope to do a few more like this in the coming weeks; I already have a few ideas. Feel free to send over some ideas you may get if you wish.