Jan. 10, 2011
By JAY REEVES, Associated Press
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- It was easy to tell who won the BCS title game Monday: Toilet paper flew high and late into the night in Auburn.
Auburn fans celebrated the Tigers' 22-19 win over Oregon in the BCS championship in their traditional way by rolling trees at Toomers Corner, located at an intersection just off campus.
"It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!" thousands of fans cheered in the street.
The win gave the state of Alabama a unique claim with back-to-back BCS championships and Heisman trophies. Auburn and Cam Newton won this year, while Alabama and Mark Ingram won last year.
It was all hard to believe for Auburn student Porsha Knight, who stood in a crowded bar on College Street with a couple hundred other fans screaming at almost every play.
"It's unreal for this to be happening," said Knight, a senior from Mobile. "Think about it: It's been 54 years since their last one."
Auburn's only previous national championship in football was in 1957, when Dwight Eisenhower was president and cars had big tail fins.
Kyle Stewart, a senior from Gulf Shores, spent most of the game standing on a lawn chair, leading cheers and screaming at the TV. He could barely talk by the end.
"This is just great. What a time," he said.
The party may have been bigger if not for a rare winter storm that forced the school to cancel classes and call off plans to show the title game on a huge video screen in the basketball arena.
Ice and snow shut down much of the state Monday, and just getting to Arizona for the game was stressful enough for some Auburn fans.
The winter storm, which dumped ice and up to a foot of snow across northern Alabama, forced officials to shut down airports in Huntsville and Birmingham, where scores of Auburn fans were among about 200 people who spent Sunday night in the terminal after flights were canceled.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport reopened about nine hours before kickoff, allowing charter flights to take off for Phoenix. It was unclear how many people weren't able to get to the game.