1979 - 83 Tigers
(Authentic Reproduction)



A final suspension-era helmet alteration was made for the 1979 season as an orange facemask replaced the standard gray, which made the traditional Auburn striping stand out a bit more. Finally, the play of the team was coming together as the Tigers went 8-3 despite NCAA probation for recruiting irregularities that kept them from bowl consideration for a year. Barfield switched to the I-Formation from the Veer in order to give both Brooks and Cribbs commensurate carries. Cribbs would leave Auburn with a slew of rushing records and star for the Bills until leaving for a larger USFL contract before finishing his career with the 49'ers in a fine eight year pro career. Warren again led the "D" and again was All Conference. Despite the 8-3 record of 1979, Barfield was not offered a contract extension, in part due to his inability to defeat Alabama and what was seen as the inconsistency of the team. This hurt recruiting and the players spent '80 feeling as if they were playing for their coach's job. It didn't work despite backfield heroics by James Brooks who went on to a stellar dozen years with the Chargers and Bengals and DT Frank Warren who put in the same amount of NFL time with the Saints. Lionel "Little Train" James kept the "Running Back" in "Running Back U" as Barfield announced his forced resignation immediately after the Bama game, another loss in a desultory 5-6 year. However, Barfield's overall record was a surprising  27-27-1, modified by the two forfeits from Mississippi State. Listening to Auburn fans, one would have thought that he rarely won a game but this was the curse of having to follow in the footsteps of a legend. The search for a new coach proved that one never wants to be the man that follows "THE MAN" and Shug Jordan was surely "The Man" of Auburn football. When Pat Dye emerged as the coaching choice, it proved the adage that it is better to be the man that follows the man who followed "THE MAN" and Dye, with less pressure and time to build, used the eight-and-a-half years he spent as Bear Bryant's assistant at rival Alabama and head coaching experience at East Carolina and Wyoming to bring huge success to Auburn in the seasons to come.

If interested in any of these Auburn helmets please click on the photos below.