SENATOR WADE BRYANT STALLINGS: (bangs gavel) If the Committee will please come to order, today's first item is Senator Whatley's resolution urging "Auburn University to officially claim nine national championships in football." I understand Senator Whatley is here today at the Committee's invitation to provide testimony on the legislation?
SENATOR TOM WHATLEY: I am, and thank you for having me.
SENATOR OZZIE BRYANT NAMATH: Senator, I think I speak for the entire Committee when I say I'd like to hear some additional detail on the seasons you think Auburn should be staking a championship claim to.
WHATLEY: Certain, Senator Namath. Beginning with 1910, a season where Auburn finished 6-1, the lone loss coming to Texas on the roa-
SENATOR PERKINS BRYANT JOHNS: So the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide that year?
WHATLEY: Well, no, Senator. The Iron Bowl had about a forty year break after 1907.
JOHNS: Ok, then what was Alabama's record in 1910?
WHATLEY: (shuffles papers) Let me see...looks like they went 4-4.
JOHNS: So you'd like Auburn to get credit for a national title despite playing fewer games than Bama? I'm not sure that sends the right message about competition, Senator Whatley. What if LSU decides to play a three game schedule just so they can go undefeated and claim a championship? Isn't that what your legislation would do? I move that we award the 1910 title to Alabama in recognition of their fearless eight game season.
STALLINGS: All in favor?
COMMITTEE: Roll Tide.
SENATOR CORNELIUS BRYANT NEIGHBORS: Let's move on to 1913 and 1914. Back to back championships are a tall order, Senator.
WHATLEY: They are, but when you consider that Auburn went 8-0 and 8-0-1, I think it's hard to argue that those teams didn't merit at least a share of the championship.
NEIGHBORS: Impressive indeed. Tell me, Senator, what was Auburn's margin of victory over Birmingham-Southern?
WHATLEY: (more shuffling of papers) Um, it doesn't appear that they played each other in either of those seasons.
NEIGHBORS. Interesting. Because the Tide beat Birmingham 81-0 and 54-0. Senator, I'm frankly appalled that you think Auburn should be claiming titles for seasons in which they can't even argue to have won the state of Alabama. If you're so impressed by defeating Georgia and Georgia Tech, sir, I suggest you go represent those constituents. Motion to award the '13 and '14 titles to Alabama as proud representatives of the Yellowhammer State.
STALLINGS: All in fav-
COMMITTEE: ROLL TIDE.
SENATOR SYLVESTER BRYANT THOMAS: Please, Senator Whatley, continue.
WHATLEY: (sighing) Auburn followed up its recognized title in 1957 with a 9-0-1 record in 1958, but due to th-
THOMAS: And they came within a touchdown of losing to Coach Bear Bryant in his first year at Alabama. If he'd gone through a couple recruiting classes already, he'd surely have beaten Auburn. Motion to award the 1958 title to Bama in honor of Bea-
COMMITEE: ROLL TIDE ROLL TIDE ROLL TIDE
WHATLEY: Gentlemen, if you'll excuse my language, this is complete bullshit. Auburn fans have watched Alabama claim older national titles post hoc on the flimsiest of arguments, and this legislature has never opposed them. So why is my resolution getting so much pushback? If Auburn can boost its historical resume in the manner I'm proposing, that's good for the entire state and the rivalry with Alabama.
STALLINGS: Is that all, Senator Whatley?
WHATLEY: I suppose so, Mister Chairman.
STALLINGS: At least an Auburn quitter's better than an Auburn cheater. (bangs gavel) The resolution FAILS! The next order of business is a bill which would allow Coach Saban to borrow money from state banks at a negative interest rate and without a credit score check.