It would be nice to think that Auburn will at some point get punished for their egregiously bad behavior a la USC, but I wouldn't count on it. The recent NCAA decisions re Newton and Prior raise genuine questions about the organization's competence and/or honesty. I think Prior is even more disturbing, since it was done for "bowl integrity," whatever that is.
Auburn probably cheated, and probably did so big time. As a general rule anytime a program jumps from mediocrity to excellence instantaneously, it's cheating. In indivual athletics, sometimes an athlete can just have a great day and do something once, e.g., Beamon's long jump, and go from good to great based on a single moment in time. In basketball, sometimes a single player can make the difference on a team, e.g., Bird back in the day, or Yao on the Chinese national team, and elevate the team to greatness. But in football, where you need a number of playmakers to make a difference, a jump is almost always explained by cheating. In cycling, they have a biological passport, the idea being if your performance or the underlying physical attributes jump significantly beyond historical norms, you're probably cheating. The same statistical argument applies to any athletic endeavor. Auburn went from bad to great instantly. Unlikely.
I guess we should have asked them to let AJ serve out his penalty in 2012.