The Auburn spirit was certainly alive at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday afternoon. About 78,000 fans in orange and blue nearly filled the stadium for the BCS National Championship celebration.
Stadium officials had to open the upper deck to seat the unexpected number of fans who attended. Auburn students were allowed to watch the ceremony on Pat Dye Field.
Auburn's win over Oregon played on the jumbotron before the ceremony began and the game's final score of 22-19 lit the scoreboards.
The coaches and players entered through the stadium tunnel in typical game-day fashion. All of the players were announced individually, and the seniors were announced last.
Auburn University Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs led the ceremony. Speakers included Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Auburn University President Jay Gogue and Auburn Mayor Bill Ham.
Several awards were presented to the coaches and players, including offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's Frank Broyles Award, Nick Fairley's Lombardi Award and Cam Newton's Heisman Trophy.
Newton approached the podium, then stepped to the side to strike the Heisman pose. The crowd erupted into a roar of applause for Newton.
"I am blessed to have been a part of a special group of men," said Newton. "Men who lay everything on the line every time we put on the uniform."
Newton contributed his success to the support of his family, coaches and fans during the difficult times he faced throughout the season.
"I am thankful to have been led by the best coaches in the country," he said.
Other awards included the Associated Press Trophy, the MacArthur National Championship Trophy and of course, the BCS Coaches' Trophy.
"There is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing so many people who have waited so long for this celebration," said coach Gene Chizik.
Senior players Lee Ziemba and Kodi Burns also spoke. Burns joked to Malzahn and said, "Coach, where's my trophy?"
This is Auburn's first national title since 1957. Lloyd Nicks, Auburn's quarterback during their 1957 national championship win, spoke at the ceremony.
"You believe in your coaches and you believe in each other," said Nicks "With a crowd like this, you gotta believe in Auburn and Auburn fans."
Nicks was the one to carry out the 45-pound BCS Coaches' Trophy to the podium. Luckily, he did not drop the $30,000 Waterford Crystal football.
After waiting for 53 years, Jordan-Hare Stadium now bears the 2010 national champions flag.
"You are the best fans in the United States of America," said Chizik
After the ceremony, fans headed to the reverse Tiger Walk to watch the team leave the stadium and then to roll Toomer’s Corner.