2003 Auburn Tigers football team
|2003 Auburn Tigers football|
Music City Bowl champion
|2003 record||8–5 (5–3 SEC)|
|Head coach||Tommy Tuberville (5th year)|
|Offensive coordinator||Hugh Nall (1st year)|
|Defensive coordinator||Gene Chizik (2nd year)|
|Home stadium||Jordan–Hare Stadium
|2003 SEC football standings|
|#7 Georgia xy||6||–||2||11||–||3|
|#15 Tennessee x||6||–||2||10||–||3|
|#24 Florida x||6||–||2||8||–||5|
|#2 LSU xy$#||7||–||1||13||–||1|
|#13 Ole Miss x||7||–||1||10||–||3|
|Championship: LSU 34, Georgia 13|
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, #18 by Entropy, and #19 consensus ranking by CollegeTop25.com.
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.
|August 30||2:30 PM||No. 8 USC*||No. 6||Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL||CBS||L 0–23||86,063|
|September 6||2:30 PM||at Georgia Tech*||No. 17||Bobby Dodd Stadium • Atlanta, GA||ABC||L 3–17||55,000|
|September 13||11:30 AM||at Vanderbilt||Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN||JPS||W 45–7||37,703|
|September 27||4:00 PM||Western Kentucky*||Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL||PPV||W 48–3||85,046|
|October 4||6:45 PM||No. 7 Tennessee||Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL||ESPN||W 28–21||86,063|
|October 11||11:30 AM||at No. 7 Arkansas||Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium • Fayetteville, AR||JPS||W 10–3||74,026|
|October 18||1:30 PM||Mississippi State||No. 19||Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL||PPV||W 45–13||86,063|
|October 25||6:45 PM||at No. 9 LSU||No. 17||Tiger Stadium • Baton 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||No. 20 Ole Miss||Jordan–Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL||CBS||L 20–24||86,063|
|November 15||2:30 PM||at No. 7 Georgia||Sanford Stadium • Athens, 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 Coliseum • Nashville, TN (Music City Bowl)||ESPN||W 28–14||55,109|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time.|