They didn't know it at the time, but when Auburn and Mississippi State gathered to play a game on September 13, 2008, they were about to build a monument to the ultimate in football incompetence.
First the scoring. Auburn mustered a 35-yard Wes Byrum field goal in the second quarter to take an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs closed within one when an Auburn penalty in their own end zone awarded them a safety.
And that's it.Stat-wise, Auburn dominated, rolling up 315 yards of total offense to just 116 for Mississippi State.
The two teams combined to convert just 3-of-30 first downs, all by Auburn. Mississippi State was 0-of-14 on third down, 0-of-3 on fourth down, and had just six first downs total.
Mississippi State's longest drive on the day was 22 yards. Of their 16 drives, only five had double-digit yards.
Auburn's longest drive went 47 yards, and resulted in a missed field goal.
There were 17 punts.
Hell, Mississippi State's best offensive play of the entire day was a 52-yard Blake McAdams punt pinned Auburn at their own 3-yard line, eventually leading to the penalty in the end zone which gave Mississippi State its only points of the game.
And yes, it was that bad.
Tommy Tuberville said afterwards ""And I'm an old defensive coach, so I was liking it a little bit. But I wished we would've scored a few more points."
Tuberville wished it so hard that three weeks later he fired offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, beginning an almost historic implosion of a once proud team.
It didn't get better on the other sideline, either. Sly Croom was likely already on the way out, but this game only served to confirm everything that was wrong with the Croom era: poor performances and just 13 combined wins in the four seasons except for 2007, when he went 8-5. After the 2008 season, which began with a 22-14 loss to Louisiana Tech and ended with a 45-0 loss to Ole Miss, Croom put Bulldog fans out of the misery by resigning.
A pox on both your houses.