So, the outcome of Saturday’s SEC Championship Game was not exactly what I had hoped for.

I love my Auburn Tigers, though, and I am proud of the season that we’ve had. I have so many great memories of watching Auburn throughout the years, and this year it was just as much fun adding to those memories. I was in school in 2010 when we won the National Championship.

That was a truly memorable season, and I loved watching and participating in turning Toomer’s Corner and all of downtown Auburn completely white with toilet paper.

I was on campus working for the school paper the day Harvey Updyke called The Paul Finebaum Show and told us that he poisoned the trees, and I talked to many horticulturists and forestry students over the years about saving the trees. When I was a kid, I loved watching Auburn with my dad and I went to dozens of games before I started as a student in the fall of 2010.

But, this year was different. This was a team that overcame a lot of adversity and some big losses. It was also a team that knocked out No. 1 two out of three weekends. There was an air and an atmosphere about this season that was different from 2010 and even more exciting than 2013.

So, I was frustrated watching the game Saturday. I hated watching our title hopes move further away with each tick of the game clock, but as I was sitting at lunch with my dad on Sunday, we discussed the game and reminisced about the season. We talked about what we did wrong and who we would want if Gus Malzahn decided to go to Arkansas — personally, I’m happy he stayed in Auburn. I think he’s been great for the program, and he’s created an expectation and excitement around the program that hasn’t been there in recent years.

I was sad to see the Tigers lose Saturday, but I’ve had a lot of fun watching them this season.

Here’s to hoping for a good football finale, and maybe an 8-team playoff someday.

IT’S OK TO HATE YOUR RIVALS

Yesterday I was talking to a friend after the top 4 teams were named in the College Football Playoff. I hear a lot of people talk about how they “cheer for the state of Alabama,” and I’ve just never understood that and never thought they were telling the truth, honestly.

Seriously, it’s OK if you root against Auburn, Georgia or Alabama for that matter. Rivalries are probably the most fun part of sports. I love the Falcons and hate the Saints. I love the Atlanta Braves and can’t stand the Mets or Phillies.

It’s one of the things I love about sports. It’s one of the things that makes competition so much fun. I will say this, though. I just hope for some good games in this year’s playoff. The title game last year, even though Bama lost, was one of the more entertaining games I’ve ever watched. The game the year before it was a great one, too. I’m glad we’re getting to watch another Alabama vs. Clemson game. I think if Bama’s healthy, then it’ll be a different outcome than last year.

I’m not ever going to cheer for Alabama or Georgia, but I do hope if you’re reading this and you’re a fan, then you’re happy and that your team plays well on New Year’s Day.

And if Bama ends up playing UGA in the championship, then I guess I’ll just watch the golf channel and stay off of social media that day.

Managing editor Bradley Roberts’ column appears Tuesdays. His email address is broberts@times-journal.com.

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