Melton judges this Auburn team something special

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold Melton graduated from Auburn in 1988, and occasionally helps his alma mater with (academic) recruiting. He will watch the Tigers battle Oregon in the BCS title game Monday.

When I was a student at Auburn, I didn’t realize how spoiled I was to have Bo Jackson as a running back. He made everything, even an 80-yard run, look easy. I started in 1984, and he won the Heisman Trophy in 1985.

I went to the 1988 Sugar Bowl [against] Syracuse, and Auburn tied. That was not fulfilling.

At University of Georgia Law School, I went to see Auburn play at Tennessee. I drove there in the rain, watched us get beaten in the rain and drove the long ride back in the rain. I was miserable. After that, I decided to never let a football game ruin my day. I enjoy it, but it doesn’t determine my existence.

In my life, Auburn football is a great escape. We all have jobs that are put to certain types of strains and stress. Sports are a way of bringing people together and relieving stress over something that in the big scheme of things doesn’t matter.

This season has been complete fun, especially since it was unexpected. I knew we had a good program with an opportunity to do something special this season, but I didn’t anticipate us being undefeated and having a shot at bringing home the national trophy.

Cam Newton’s individual play is earth-changing. What he’s done I didn’t think was physically possible: to be 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, a player who can throw, run over or around somebody, and who can make all the right decisions. He’s made big plays when we needed them and has changed the idea of what can be expected.

As far as the NCAA investigation, it does sound as if something happened. I hope the NCAA got all it needed to get, and that it’s determined the level of sanctions is accurate. Cam Newton has overcome a lot personally, and I wish him well as he heads into a bright future. I hope I’ll cheer him on Sundays.

The last time Auburn was in the national championship was 1957, so it’s a once in a 50-year experience. We’ve always come up short to Alabama in terms of national championships. We beat them this year, but we’d like to match them for national titles.

Monday night, I intentionally plan to watch by myself. My son, who is 9, might stay up and watch with me. I don’t want a big party. I don’t want any distractions. I want to take it in.

-- Reported by Michelle Hiskey