Riggs: 2010 Auburn season was amazing
Published 4:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2011
While former T.R. Miller Tiger Mikel Riggs was not actually on the field playing in the BCS National Championship game last Monday for the Auburn Tigers, he had a direct way in helping the Tigers clinch their first national championship since 1957.
Riggs is on the video staff along with video coordinator Brent Thomas and seven other students.
Riggs and the video staff at Auburn logged over 30,000 hours of video this year for the Tigers and had the videos on a 40 terabyte server at the team’s headquarters in Arizona according to a recent story by Jack Smith discussing on the experience the team had at the national championship game.
According to Smith’s article, Thomas replicated the football program’s server and made it available in the team’s hotel using over 1,000 feet of Ethernet cable.
Riggs along with Thomas and others on the staff brought 16 laptops, eight digital video cameras and 16 projectors and screens to accommodate each coach at the hotel.
The cameras filmed every play during the week of Auburn’s practices and when practice was done, video was pulled from the cameras and the practices were on the coach’s laptops with “cut-ups” of every play. Each play was tagged and the coaches had the videos instantly.
“During the week I just film the practices,” Riggs said. “On game day I am responsible for bringing in both angles of video and combining them on the computer for the coaches to watch. Towards the end of the year I started training a younger worker to do my job on game day so next year I have a replacement.”
Riggs said a typical day, week and game day for him would be busy.
“Sunday through Thursday is practice at 4 p.m. and the end time varies as to what time practice gets out,” Riggs said. “Game day we show up four hours prior to the game and get our stuff set up and ready to go.”
Riggs said this season has been a very fun ride all the way though.
“This is my third year working, so seeing the transformation from the old staff to the current and the mold of the players taking new form was pretty awesome,” Riggs said. “I am amazed at what a tremendous job this staff has done the team in just a short matter of time.”
Riggs said the BCS game was absolutely amazing and winning made it even better.
“Even as just a student staff member it was amazing to feel a part of something so special and something so rare this season,” Riggs said. “It was a fun week to be in Arizona. The weather was absolutely amazing unlike it was in Alabama at the time. We practiced every day around lunch but we arrived at the practice complex much earlier than that to get set up. We would eat lunch there after practice everyday and would generally leave around 3 p.m. which put us back at the hotel by 3:30 p.m. at the latest. Then we had the afternoons off to do whatever we wanted.”
Riggs, who is in his last year on the video staff, said there was not a better way to go out and on a scale from one to 10, this year would be an 11.
“I knew coming into the year that we had the potential for a very special season due to who we had back and the very favorable home schedule,” Riggs said. “Thankfully things went good for us and we caught a bounce or two our way throughout the season and we kept rolling. It is an amazing feeling to just be a part of something so special. I felt like I was on top of the world and I was just a student staff member. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to be a player.”
This year, Riggs had a video made that was played inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“It was pretty neat to see,” Riggs said. “I was nervous as you could expect the first time and to my surprise the video got a cheer or two. Plus the timing of the video and when the team ran to the student section made it seem like it was even better when they all erupted into cheers for the team, not my video.”
This season at Notre Dame, a student videographer was killed when the tower he was in collapsed during high winds. Riggs said he never worried about his safety at Auburn.
“If there is ever a time such as that, we were instructed since day one to come down and not to worry about getting in trouble,” Riggs said. “That was a very freak accident that I hope never happens again. I believe that one of the things they are trying to do with the new practice complex at Auburn is to get rid of those lifts and have only permanent filming towers or ledges.”
While the season at Auburn was his last with the team, Riggs said he would always remember the 2010 season.
“I would just like to thank the university and those who helped me get the position three years ago,” he said. “It has been an amazing ride, one that I will remember forever.”
This is the first story of two of former area natives at Auburn this season with the next story discussing with former W.S. Neal Eagles Jared Cooper, Jamar Travis, and Scott Fountain.