So, Southern Living just ranked Auburn the No. 3 college town in the South.
That’s behind No. 1 Athens and No. 2 Chapel Hill, N.C., and ahead of fellow SEC towns Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, Baton Rouge, Gainesville, College Station, Lexington, the Columbia in South Carolina, and Fayetteville.
The only SEC home addresses not to make the list were Nashville (great city but not a town), the Columbia in Missouri (where?) and Starkville (calling it StarkVegas apparently doesn’t help).
For all you folks who believe in Auburn and love it, I have a question for you: Does hearing that Auburn ranks No. 3 make you want to run out and roll Toomer’s Corner?
Didn’t think so.
While elected officials, chambers of commerce and boards of tourism may find themselves touting the rankings, are we really surprised to be ranked higher than the massive strip mall that is Tuscaloosa?
Of course not.
At the same time, does anybody wearing orange and blue feel the same nagging sense of despair to be ranked two notches below the home of the Georgia Bulldogs as you’ve felt after the last five football games against the Dawgs?
No, no, no, no, no.
I mean, what does Southern Living know? It thinks Norman, Okla., and Annapolis, Md., are in the South.
Sure, Athens is a great town to visit. Everybody knows that Athens should at least make the Final Four of best Southern college towns based on its music scene alone.
But there’s a certain world-weariness in Athens that you don’t find here in the Auburn-Opelika area. The crime rate is higher there, and it’s harder to get through the day when the nightlife is so great.
For folks around here, hearing that Auburn is No. 3 should be like someone saying you married the third-best spouse or are raising the third-best child.
If you believe in the town of Auburn and love it, you shouldn’t care where a magazine trying to use rankings to expand its readership base ranks it.
You already know Auburn’s No. 1.
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