Cadillac Williams has brought excitement back to Auburn football. There’s no doubt about that. It has been a long time since the Tigers brought as much fervor as they displayed last week against Texas A&M.

Had you not been following college football at all this season and had just tuned in to Auburn’s celebration after its 13-10 triumph over the Aggies, you might have thought that the Tigers had clinched something — a Playoff berth, a division championship, something.

No, it was only Auburn’s 4th victory of the season in 10 games. To bring that kind of enthusiasm for a victory that simply improved the Tigers to 4-6, I guess you’d have to understand Auburn. I won’t pretend that I do, but what matters is that Williams does.

Auburn is family. Williams is part of that family, a big part. He still holds records as a running back for the Tigers back in the day. And he’s certainly a breath of fresh air for a program that had become stale, both on and off the field. The Tigers were going nowhere under former head coach Bryan Harsin, and that’s not all Harsin’s fault.

It’s no secret that all of Auburn Nation was not pulling in the same direction. With Williams, that doesn’t seem to be a problem, at least initially. He has captured the imagination of the fan base at least. It was a sold-out Jordan-Hare Stadium that saw the Tigers snap a 5-game losing streak. I certainly wouldn’t expect less for the game this Saturday, even though it’s an out-of-conference matchup that brings Conference USA member Western Kentucky to The Plains for a 3 p.m. CT contest.

Williams has the team fired up as well, and it’s easy to see why. He has taken off the wraps of a buttoned-down program under Harsin. He has encouraging emotion on the sideline. We didn’t see that with Harsin. Williams is allowing players to be individuals — individuals all pulling in the same direction, for the same cause. Williams is most definitely a players’ coach.

So are the Tigers playing harder or better in 2 games with Williams? Well, I’d say neither. Are they playing with more emotion? Absolutely. Are they having more fun? It certainly seems so. But harder or better? I’m not seeing it.

With all of Harsin’s shortcomings, the 1 thing that you could count on when playing Auburn is that it played hard. It made the opposition earn everything. It played for 60 minutes under Harsin. That wasn’t the problem. Talent was.

Are the Tigers playing better under Williams? Well, that remains to be seen over these final 2 games. Yes, they won for the 1st time since September. But before our infatuation gets the best of us, let’s not forget that the team Auburn beat last Saturday is the worst team in the SEC. The Aggies have more conference losses (6) and more overall losses (7) than any other team in the league.

And Western Kentucky won’t provide a barometer, either. Despite the fact that the Hilltoppers are 7-4, their best win is probably against conference foe Rice. Now, they did take Indiana to overtime before falling, but suffice to say that any team in the SEC should be expected to beat any team from C-USA. So dispatching the Hilltoppers should be expected, certainly for an interim to be considered for the full-time job.

How the Tigers perform in the Iron Bowl … well, that should tell the tale. A 5-6 Auburn team becoming bowl-eligible with a win over its most bitter rival would be epic, and it would raise Cadillac craze to a fever pitch.

And that brings up another interesting question. Does Williams become a viable candidate to have the interim tag removed? Or will the big-money donors throw their collective checkbooks at a more proven head coach? It will be interesting to track, especially the timing of it. If they have a candidate on the hook, it would behoove them to reel him in now.

Because if they wait until the end of the season, and Williams has the Tigers fired up enough to win the Iron Bowl, it doesn’t seem logical that they could go in a different direction. Auburn would really have no choice but to give the job to Williams.

Are the Tigers playing harder under Williams? I don’t really see that much difference. Are they playing better? We’ll all learn the answer to that question on the afternoon of Nov. 26 in Tuscaloosa.