Posted: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2013
By Chris Fuhrmeister
Auburn held its first A-Day game of the Gus Malzahn era Saturday, with 83,401 fans filling Jordan-Hare Stadium nearly to capacity. The spring game crowd was a record for the Tigers and is the current high-water mark nationally for spring game attendance this year.
A number of factors played in to the huge number: the desire to move on from 2012, curiousity to see Malzahn's spread offense and Ellis Johnson's 4-2-5 defense, and the events to send off the Toomer's Oaks. While the idea of paying $5 to show up and watch what is basically a scrimmage may seem absurd, it's easy to see why Auburn fans were eager to make the pilgrimage to the Plains. And with clear skies and a high of 66 degrees, the weather only encouraged orange and blue faithful to spend the day outdoors.
Fans began lining up outside the stadium gates roughly three hours before the action began, and the tailgating scene before the game was robust. Honestly, it felt much more like a Saturday in mid-October, as opposed to late April.
Auburn wasn't the only SEC school to hold its spring game Saturday. Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas drew crowds of 78,315, 61,076 and 51,088, respectively.
While 12 schools still have spring games to play, it's unlikely Akron, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas State, Kent State, Marshall, New Mexico, Oregon, Rutgers, UAB, UCLA or Wyoming will top the Tigers' number next Saturday.
|School (national rank through April 20)||Reported attendance||2012 record|
|Auburn (1)||83,401||3-9 (0-8)|
|Alabama (2)||78,315||13-1 (7-1)|
|Tennessee (3)||61,076||5-7 (1-7)|
|Arkansas (5)||51,088||4-8 (2-6)|
|Kentucky (6)||50,831||2-10 (0-8)|
|Texas A&M; (8)||45,212||11-2 (6-2)|
|Georgia (9)||45,113||12-2 (7-1)|
|South Carolina (11)||35,218||11-2 (6-2)|
|LSU (t-18)||28,000||10-3 (6-2)|
|Ole Miss (t-18)||28,000||7-6 (3-5)|
|Mississippi State (24)||21,000||8-5 (4-4)|
|Missouri (25)||18,384||5-7 (2-6)|
|Vanderbilt (32)||14,000||9-4 (5-3)|
|Florida (N/A)||Not reported||11-2 (7-1)|