Or what offensive signals, if any, Auburn heard. Scott Field, the 11th biggest stadium in the 12-team SEC, held a record 43,917 fans on Saturday, and it's one of the toughest venues in the conference, thanks to the cowbells that Bulldogs fans ring at every opportunity. Those same cowbells were banned by the SEC in 1973, but news must travel slowly to northeast Mississippi. "They confiscate a bunch of cowbells," says SEC associate commissioner Jim McCullough, "but people sit on the highway and sell them out of their trucks. If you search people for them, you get sued." Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill says, "Our students and our fans know the game. They know how to help."
With Auburn's defeat, five of the six teams in the SEC West have one loss. Yet there's no question who the division favorite is. The Bulldogs, whose only setback is a 23-19 loss to South Carolina, are already looking beyond the league championship game. "With all the top 10 teams that have lost," says cornerback Fred Smoot, "we're not out of the national championship race."