As the lone Auburn alum in the Ravens locker room, left guard Ben Grubbs wore a big smile today, a day after his Tigers earned the BCS National Championship with a 22-19 victory over Oregon.
Grubbs, who spent four years at Auburn prior to being taken by the Ravens in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, experienced an undefeated season with the Tigers in 2004, but did not get to take part in a title game as Auburn finished third in the BCS rankings that year and had to settle for a Sugar Bowl appearance.
That experience made this year's championship that much sweeter for the four-year NFL vet.
"I'm just happy for the boys," Grubbs said. "The earned it, they deserved it. Hopefully, they'll enjoy this for another year.
"I didn't have any doubt [they'd get the win]. I've seen them boys play, I've seen them practice. I know what they bring to the table, and that's speed, toughness and determination. When you have all those combinations, you really can't go up against that."
Grubbs was asked if he'd made any wagers with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata or tight end Ed Dickson - both of whom went to Oregon.
"Hey, it's nice, man," Grubbs said, as he pulled large wad of cash from his pocket. "(Stuff's) nice!"
He didn't force either Oregon product to wear any Auburn gear today, so the bet, in the words of Randy Moss, involved "straight cash, homie!".
Meanwhile, Dickson actually made the trip all the way out to Arizona to watch the game in person, which made the loss that much more painful. He got back in to Baltimore around 9 a.m.
"I left in the fourth quarter to get back in time for things we needed to do," Dickson said. "We're still in season here with the Ravens. It was good to go back and see my alumni, see my school. It was a tough one. Credit goes out to Auburn. They played better.
"I was kinda glad that I got out of there, because the cameras probably would have been in my face, and I would have shed a tear. I just felt for those guys because they worked hard this year. They didn't know how it felt to lose a game until the last one, and they lost in that fashion, in that matter."
Dickson got heckled by a bunch of teammates throughout the day, but said that for the most part, Grubbs took it easy on him
"Ben's actually pretty good, it's the other guys," Dickson said. "Donte' Stallworth, from the SEC. I told him, 'Man, we beat up on your school (Tennessee) earlier this year, so you can't even say nothing.' It was a game everybody was waiting for, and they gave them their money's worth, so to speak."