Auburn Family

AUBURN vs. CLEMSON: The Tale of Two Tigers


The Auburn-Clemson football game is this Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m. Many Tiger fans will fill Jordan Hare Stadium - both Auburn and Clemson Tigers.


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Auburn and Clemson have the same mascot, similar colors, a land-grant heritage and many more commonalities based on their history and traditions.

Former long-time Athletics Director, David Housel, mentioned that Lewis Grizzard, an American writer and humorist, said “Clemson is Auburn with a lake, and Auburn is Clemson without a lake.” Even their respective signature campus buildings are strikingly similar. Designed by the same architect, Clemson's Tillman Hall has many qualities comparable to that of Auburn’s Samford Hall.

Housel agrees with Grizzard’s proposal that the two schools are similar and said, “Both schools come from the same background with a land-grant heritage, a love for football and are located in small towns.”

The two schools were founded on the same fields of studies, namely agriculture and engineering. Likewise, their small town atmosphere fostered similar traditions, spirit and hospitality, according to Dr. Joseph A. Kicklighter, professor of history at Auburn for 35 years.

Auburn President Jay Gogue worked at Clemson for nine years and said, “They have very common roots as institutions; they have very strong traditions at both institutions (and) both schools have produced a tremendous number of outstanding graduates.”

The original missions of the two schools are the same, according to Gogue. Laid out by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, the four missions of both schools are to:

• Reduce the number of people in agriculture by increasing efficiency
• Introduce new fields of studies such as mechanical arts and science
• Be a provider of military personnel
• Provide a place for sons and daughters of the working class

The Dean of Enrollment Services for Auburn University, Dr. Wayne Alderman, said, “Clemson was in the Top 10 for other universities applied to by Auburn applicants.” This data was collected from a survey that was completed a couple of years ago to better understand Auburn’s competitive position with other universities.

“Clemson is, of course, quite similar to Auburn: a southern land-grant university with similar programs, many of which are highly ranked," according to Alderman. "Given that, many students would consider both schools.”

The two teams also had the same famous football coach at the turn of the 20th century, John Heisman. Collegiate football's most prestigious award is the Heisman Trophy. Heisman coached at Auburn for five years before taking over at Clemson for four seasons. These traditions are still strong – Gene Chizik, Auburn’s head football coach, began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Clemson.

The twin Tigers last met in the 2007 Chic-fil-A Bowl with the Orange and Blue pulling out an overtime victory. Will Auburn make it 13 consecutive victories? Will Clemson find a way to beat Auburn for the first time since 1951? Kickoff is slated for 6:06 p.m. on ESPN-HD.

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Comment by Amanda Pinto on September 18, 2010 at 12:56pm
Great story! Really enjoyed reading this and you definitely did your research! I had this class last spring before I graduated and I'm very impressed! Keep it up :-)
Comment by Kenneth Jacob Wilder on September 17, 2010 at 8:34am
Great story Betsy!

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