ROTC is big at the university — and the city is home to lots of retired military folks.
Not surprisingly, the city is as conservative as Eugene is liberal, the percentage of Republicans (59.3) far above the national average (45.6) and far, far, far above Eugene’s (34.9).
“With liberal professors and conservative students, the joke at Auburn is about brainless professors teaching heartless kids,” Gibbs says.
Auburn has nearly three times the national average number of Baptists and only a tenth the average number of Catholics.
“In Auburn, you’re either employed by the university or a protestant church,” Zacharias says. “God plays a way bigger part in their football than in our football out here.”
Meanwhile, in Eugene, a close town-gown connection has never been anyone’s bragging point.
“In Auburn, everything revolves around the college,” Gibbs says. “On Sunday mornings, city employees are cleaning up the mess at Toomer’s Corner. And they’re happy to do so, since a few hours before they were helping create it.”
And come Jan. 10? “If Auburn beats Oregon,” Gibbs says, “I expect a serious toilet-paper shortage.”