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Travis Vaughn Tidwell (February 5, 1929 – July 1, 2004) was a two-time All-America quarterback, who led Auburn to one of their biggest upsets over archrival Alabama.


College Football

Tidwell, one of only two freshmen to ever lead the nation in total offense, pulled that feat in 1946. He also led the nation in total offense in 1949 and was Auburn's total offense leader until Pat Sullivan broke the record in 1971.

A quarterback in the T-formation, Tidwell is perhaps best remembered as the Auburn quarterback who in 1949 engineered the Tigers to their first win over Alabama in more than 40 years. The two teams had discontinued play in 1907 and did not resume the series until 1948. Alabama hammered Auburn 55-0 in 1948 as the series resumed and Auburn went into the 1949 contest a three-touchdown underdog. With Tidwell at quarterback, Auburn stunned the Tide 14-13.[1]

In the 1949 game vs Mississippi State, Tidwell ran over a DT by the name of Jerry Clower, dragging him 27 yards and rendering him unconscious, all the while reportedly running backwards.[2 ]

Tidwell was voted the SEC MVP in 1949.[3] He was a charter member of the Mobile-based Senior Bowl Hall of Fame[4] and inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.[5 ] He also played center field on the Auburn baseball team which also featured 4-sport star Erk Russell as first baseman.

NFL & CFL Career

Tidwell was a first-round draft choice (7th pick overall) of the New York Giants in 1950.[6] He was the first NFL first-round draft choice from Auburn University. In his rookie season the backup quarterback was put in a game with his team trailing Baltimore 20-0 and led the Giants to a 55-20 win. After two seasons with the Giants, Tidwell played several seasons with the Edmonton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League.

Life After Football

Tidwell married Juanita Dudley, and had two sons, Vaughn and Knox. Tidwell returned to Auburn and coached briefly under Ralph "Shug" Jordan. After football, Tidwell went into the insurance business, and later into stocks and securities.


  1. ^ Stadium Stories, Stadium Stories.
  2. ^ Interview with Jerry Clower YouTube Interview with Jerry Clower @ 5:50.
  3. ^ AP Article, Tidwell Voted MVP of the SEC.
  4. ^ Senior Bowl, Hall of Fame 1988 Charter Member
  5. ^ ASHOF, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
  6. ^ 1950 Draft, Travis Tidwell 1st Round Pick for NY Giants.

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