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franklin county times

Tiger, Tide fans eager for draft

Thursday night NFL fans will crowd around their television sets to watch the first round of the draft and see which of this year’s top prospects will be suiting up for their favorite teams next season.

Southeastern Conference fans — especially the fans of Auburn and Alabama — will be watching for a different reason. They want bragging rights.

It is no secret that the SEC has been a pipeline to the NFL for several seasons, but this year’s draft seems to be loaded with even more SEC prospects than usual. I guess that is what winning five national championships in a row will do for a conference.

NFL.com’s Steve Wyche, Pat Kirwan, Bucky Brooks and Brian Baldinger have mock drafts posted on the Web site and their Top 10 picks are full of SEC players. In fact, all four analysts have six SEC players being taken during the first 10 selections.

Alabama and Auburn are both projected to send a pair of players during the first 10 selections, and it is possible one of the schools could have a pair of Top 5 picks.

You can bet Friday morning Alabama and Auburn fans will be having heated discussions about what the previous night’s results reflect about the two dominant football programs in the state.

I can’t wait to hear the conversations, especially on sports talk radio.

The rivalry between Alabama and Auburn has been heated for years, but recent success by both programs has escalated the rivalry. It is tough to imagine a rivalry with more hatred and bickering.

How will Crimson Tide fans feel if Auburn’s Cam Newton is taken with the first pick and Nick Fairley is taken soon after? One analyst thinks Fairley could go as high as fourth.

How will Auburn fans feel if Newton drops out of the Top five and Fairley falls out of the Top 10 while Alabama’s Marcell Dareus and Julio Jones are taken in the Top 10?

Right now all four analysts are projecting Newton going first and Dareus going second. What will it sound like Friday if those picks are reversed?

I can’t wait until Thursday night to see how it unfolds and find out what the latest bragging rights/complaints are in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry.