AUBURN, AL, January 12. THE second-ranked Auburn men's swimming and diving team will play host to rival Texas in a match-up of the owners of eight of the last nine NCAA titles on Thursday night at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
The meet is set to start at 6 p.m. CT. Admission is free and the first 200 fans through the doors will receive a David Marsh bobble head doll, the school was proud to announce.
The bobble head commemorates Marsh's accomplishments at Auburn over the past 15 years, which includes seven NCAA titles and his being named the NCAA Coach of the Year eight times.
Fans that are not one of the first 200 to Thursday's meet will have an opportunity to receive a doll at the Florida dual meet on Friday, Jan. 21.
The Tigers, who have won back-to-back NCAA titles and four in the last eight years, enter the meet riding a winning streak of straight 29 dual meets while the No. 7 Longhorns are just 1-2 this year having already fallen to top-ranked Southern Cal and third-ranked Florida.
Auburn, which has already downed No. 12 Kentucky, No. 16 Georgia and No. 25 Alabama this season, will be swimming at home for just the second time this season in a dual meet.
Leading the Longhorns for the 26th year is 2004 United States Olympic Coach Eddie Reese. Reese is no stranger to the longtime followers of the Auburn program as he guided the Tigers from 1973 until 1978, taking the Tigers from a non-scoring NCAA squad in '73 to a second-place finisher in '78, their highest up to that point, compiling a 32-9 dual meet record during that time.
Texas, which won NCAA titles most recently in 1996, 2000, 2001 and 2002, is a young squad and looking to find its identity after the departure of 2004 Olympians and World Record Holders Ian Crocker, Brendan Hansen and Aaron Peirsol, but should provide a strong challenge for the home team.
The Tigers and Longhorns have battled 15 times in dual meets, with AU holding a 9-6 advantage in the series, which includes wins in the last three meets.
All fans attending the women's basketball home SEC opener against #12 Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. are encouraged to come an hour earlier to the aquatics center for the swimming meet.