2003 Auburn Tigers football team

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2003 Auburn Tigers football
AuburnTigers.svg
Music City Bowl Champions
Music City Bowl, W 28–14 vs. Wisconsin
Conference Southeastern Conference Western Division
2003 record 8–5 (5–3 SEC)
Head coach Tommy Tuberville
Offensive coordinator Hugh Nall
Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik
Home stadium Jordan–Hare Stadium
(Capacity: 86,063)
Seasons
« 2002 2004 »
2003 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Eastern Division
#7 Georgia xy   6 2         11 3  
#15 Tennessee x   6 2         10 3  
#24 Florida x   6 2         8 5  
South Carolina   2 6         5 7  
Kentucky   1 7         4 8  
Vanderbilt   1 7         2 10  
Western Division
#2 LSU xy   7 1         13 1  
#13 Ole Miss x   7 1         10 3  
Auburn   5 3         8 5  
Arkansas   4 4         9 4  
Alabama   2 6         4 9  
Mississippi State   1 7         2 10  
Championship: LSU 34, Georgia 13
† – BCS representative as champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2003 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. Auburn began the season with high expectations, but stumbled out of the gate before finishing the season with a disappointing 8–5 record, including a 5–3 record in the SEC, good for third place in the conference’s Western Division. The Tigers, coached by Tommy Tuberville, began the season ranked #6 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll, but opened with consecutive losses to Southern California and Georgia Tech, dropping out of both polls.

The Tigers won their next four games, but remained unranked in either poll until the week after pulling a 10–3 upset win over Arkansas in Fayetteville on October 11, when they re-entered the AP Poll at #19 and the Coaches' Poll at #25. Following a victory over Mississippi State the following week, the Tigers climbed to #17 and #21 in the two polls, but after a 31–7 loss to eventual national champion LSU on October 25, the Tigers did not appear in either poll for the remainder of the season. However, several computer rating systems did include Auburn in their final rankings. The Tigers were ranked #17 by the BCS participating system of The New York Times,[1] #18 by Entropy,[2] and #19 consensus ranking by CollegeTop25.com.[3]

After consecutive losses to Ole Miss, led by Eli Manning, and Georgia, the Tigers concluded a disappointing regular season by defeating arch rival Alabama, 28–23. In the postseason, Auburn knocked off Wisconsin 28–14 in the Music City Bowl, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The disappointment of the season led university president William Walker, athletic director David Housel, and other trustees to take a plane owned by trustee Bobby Lowder to meet in secret with Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino about replacing Tuberville. This occurred prior to the Alabama game, but newspapers in Montgomery and Louisville discovered the flight and broke the news. The visit caused controversy and Tuberville was ultimately retained.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 30 2:30 PM #8 USC* #6 Jordan–Hare StadiumAuburn, AL CBS L 0–23   86,063
September 6 2:30 PM at Georgia Tech* #17 Bobby Dodd StadiumAtlanta, GA ABC L 3–17   55,000
September 13 11:30 AM at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt StadiumNashville, TN JPS W 45–7   37,703
September 27 4:00 PM Western Kentucky* Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL W 48–3   85,046
October 4 6:45 PM #7 Tennessee Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL ESPN W 28–21   86,063
October 11 11:30 AM at #7 Arkansas Donald W. Reynolds Razorback StadiumFayetteville, AR JPS W 10–3   74,026
October 18 1:30 PM Mississippi State #19 Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL W 45–13   86,063
October 25 6:45 PM at #9 LSU #17 Tiger StadiumBaton Rouge, LA (Tiger Bowl) ESPN L 7–31   92,085
November 1 1:30 PM Louisiana–Monroe* Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL W 73–7   81,061
November 8 2:30 PM #20 Mississippi Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL CBS L 20–24   86,063
November 15 2:30 PM at #7 Georgia Sanford StadiumAthens, GA (Deep South's Oldest Rivalry) CBS L 7–26   92,058
November 22 6:45 PM Alabama Jordan-Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL (Iron Bowl) ESPN W 28–23   86,063
December 31 11:00 AM vs. Wisconsin* The ColiseumNashville, TN (Music City Bowl) ESPN W 28–14   55,109
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time.

Captains[edit]

Position Player
LB Karlos Dansby
WR Jeris McIntyre
LB Dontarrious Thomas

References[edit]