The Alabama Crimson Tide hates the Auburn Tigers with an intensity that is indescribable. The feeling is mutual Bama fans hate anything Auburn. They hate Bo Jackson. They hate Pat Sullivan. They hate Pat Dye. And they really hate Cam Newton. Any Bama fan will tell you that without a doubt Auburn paid Newton to come play there in 2010. They will swear that someone at the NCAA was paid off to look the other way or there was one hell of a great coverup and the NCAA couldn’t prove it. Either way Alabama fans refer to him as “Scam Newton.”
Whether or not it is true, Alabama fans should thank Cam. What? Are you insane? One of Bama’s more deranged fans was so driven by Cam hate that he poisoned a bunch of 130 year old oak trees on Auburn’s campus that the students toilet papered to celebrate Auburn wins, including Cam’s come back from behind win over Alabama. How in the world does Alabama owe Cam a damned thing? It’s really quite simple.
You see, once upon a time, Cam Newton was the quarterback-in-waiting behind a guy you may remember, Tim Tebow at the University of Florida. Florida was on the verge of becoming a college football dynasty in 2009. They had won two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy in the past three seasons. In 2008, they beat an up-and-coming Alabama under second year coach, Nick Saban. Then they went on to beat #1 Oklahoma for the National Championship. Following that season, Tebow announced at the Championship Celebration at The Swamp that he would return for his senior year. This (and other factors we won’t go into) prompted Newton to leave for a junior college rather than ride the pine behind Tebow for another season.
In 2009, Tebow and his Gators went 12-0 and once again met Saban and the Tide in Atlanta. Just like the previous year, the #2 team (in the SEC anyway) knocked off #1, only this time it was Alabama going on to play for the national championship. After the game came the shocking announcement that Florida coach Urban Meyer was leaving the program, citing a heart attack he suffered hours after the game. Whether or not this actually happened is another story.
But, what we do know is that without Newton waiting to take over the offense, the Gators were in dire straits. With Cam, who knows? One more National Championship? Maybe even two more if he decides to come back for anther year? Let’s assume he comes in for one season. Florida likely wins another title. It would be Meyer’s third championship in a five year stretch. Does Meyer leave then? Probably not.
If Urban Meyer had won another title with Newton, and the train just kept rolling from there, who knows how many he’d have by now. Does Saban keep getting every guy he wants, which by the way includes Derrick Henry, a kid from Florida who has been shown often as a child wearing Florida Gators tee shirts on TV lately? Kids like Henry go to Alabama to win national championships. If Meyer stays at UF and wins a third in five years, how many of those guys go to Gainesville instead?
What if Meyer could have scored some of the guys he got to go to Ohio State such as Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones, or Joey Bosa? If Urban had those guys at Florida this season, would they be playing Clemson on Monday for a fifth or maybe sixth National Championship since 2006? It’s not that far fetched.
Cam Newton leaving Florida set in motion a chain of events that has resulted in Alabama becoming a dynasty and Florida becoming a dumpster fire they are just now beginning to climb back from. Credit Saban and the Tide for taking advantage of their good fortune rolling with it (pun intended). So while you celebrate yet another National Championship, thank God and an Auburn fan for Cam Newton becoming an Aubie for a season.