Did Alabama-Auburn rivalry spell death for Toomer's Corner?

Auburn University confirmed on Wednesday that an herbicide commonly used to kill trees was deliberately applied to the soil around the Toomer's Corner live oaks on campus, and there is little chance to save the trees.

The trees, which are 130 years old, are the traditional gathering place for Tigers fans after major victories, as fans often deck them with toilet paper as a sign of Auburn pride. Most recently, it was the scene of celebration for Auburn's victory over Oregon in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 10.

The City of Auburn Police Division is investigating the situation.

The university learned that a caller to The Paul Finebaum Show, a nationally syndicated radio show based in Birmingham, on Jan. 27, claimed he had applied the herbicide. Soil samples were taken the next day and sent to the Alabama State Pesticide Residue Laboratory on campus for analysis. However, because of a small fire that occurred in the Alabama lab in December, the tests were sent to the lab at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., to expedite results.

While it was not confirmed by the Auburn release, the caller to the Finebaum show is believed to be an Alabama fan. For weeks, there was discussion within the state regarding retaliation for Auburn pranks that included placing a Cam Newton jersey on Alabama's on-campus statue of Bear Bryant as well as growing this year's Iron Bowl score in the lawn outside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In the school release, Auburn president Jay Gogue asks Tiger fans to refrain from any acts of retaliation of their own. Again, however, it has not been confirmed that this was an act by an Alabama fan.

"It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism," Gogue said. "However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts."

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

Want to work in the NFL? Click here to sign up for the NFP's "Chalk Talk at the Combine" Seminar February 25 in Indianapolis.

Upcoming Games

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Kansas City -3 +103

Tennessee +3 +103

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Washington +7.5 -107

Green Bay -7.5 -107

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Carolina -3 -117

NY Giants +3 -117

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

NY Jets +7 -105

New England -7 -105

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +3 -112

Miami -3 -112

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +7 +108

Baltimore -7 +108

@

Oct 24th, 4:05 PM

Detroit +13.5 -110

LA Rams -13.5 -110

@

Oct 24th, 4:05 PM

Philadelphia +2.5 -122

Las Vegas -2.5 -122

@

Oct 24th, 4:25 PM

Houston +14.5 -107

Arizona -14.5 -107

@

Oct 24th, 4:25 PM

Chicago +10 -107

Tampa Bay -10 -107

@

Oct 24th, 8:20 PM

Indianapolis +3.5 -118

San Francisco -3.5 -118

@

Oct 25th, 8:15 PM

New Orleans -3 -120

Seattle +3 -120

@

Oct 28th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +3.5 -108

Arizona -3.5 -108

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

LA Rams -14 -111

Houston +14 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

San Francisco -3.5 -111

Chicago +3.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Miami +11.5 -112

Buffalo -11.5 -112

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati -4.5 -115

NY Jets +4.5 -115

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Tennessee +2.5 -111

Indianapolis -2.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Pittsburgh +3 -105

Cleveland -3 -105

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Philadelphia -4 -111

Detroit +4 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Carolina +2.5 -111

Atlanta -2.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 4:05 PM

New England +5.5 -110

LA Chargers -5.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:05 PM

Jacksonville +3.5 -112

Seattle -3.5 -112

@

Oct 31st, 4:25 PM

Washington +3.5 -116

Denver -3.5 -116

@

Oct 31st, 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay -4 -111

New Orleans +4 -111

@

Oct 31st, 8:20 PM

Dallas -2.5 -110

Minnesota +2.5 -110

@