We don't always know when a season has met the turning point, so it's not clear right now whether Auburn's win against Clemson in an overtime game Saturday night will change the Tigers' season. (The SEC Tigers, that is.) We know it was a great football game; it was physical, it had plenty of intrigue and it ended with a surprise. But important? Well, that might have to wait a while.
If nothing else, there was more than enough for any fan of the exciting game. Auburn scored 21 points in the third quarter to take a lead after a 17-3 halftime margin in Clemson's favor. Cameron Newton looked positively mortal, but his 271 yards of total offense and 2 TDs more than offset his 2 INTs in the end.
Luck also played a role, with the illegal snap call on Clemson nullifying what would have been the game-tying field goal in overtime. Of course, luck plays a role in most great seasons, so that doesn't mean that the Tigers won't be a factor this year.
It does appear that Auburn's defense will at least be decent; they've now held two BCS-league teams to a total of 38 points, which is not headline-grabbing but also not the same as the Tigers defense we saw last year. The storyline before the season was, if Gene Chizik can get a defense to go with that offense ... So, does he now have the defense to go with that offense?
On a day when Arkansas gave us plenty of reasons to believe they could and couldn't be the team that would defeat Alabama, Auburn reminded us not to forget that there's another team aiming to be the SEC West champion this year. The one thing Saturday did prove, apparently, is that the race for the division could be just as fun as the overtime game on the Plains.