Alabama is home every year to one of the more popular and heated late November rivalry games. The Iron Bowl is the official label for the annual Alabama-Auburn showdown which defines a season for both teams. Even when Alabama and Auburn are having down years, a win in the Iron Bowl can salvage a season.
For Auburn, that is exactly what they are counting on as they seek to save their season, and destroy Alabama’s national title hopes all at the same time in the 2008 Iron Bowl.
Auburn comes into the Iron Bowl with a very disappointing 5-6 record, as coach Tommy Tuberville is fighting for job security. The Tigers rarely miss out on a bowl bid, but a loss to the Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl could ensure no postseason for Auburn for the first time in seven years.
Auburn was ranked in the preseason, but have consistently fallen short against the tougher SEC competition, and against some more mediocre clubs. So in the Iron Bowl, against an Alabama Crimson Tide team that is 11-0, ranked number one and going for a national championship, Auburn is a considerable underdog.
There would be worries that Alabama would look past this game to next week’s SEC title game against no.4 Florida, if they weren’t playing Auburn. A top ranked team with a winner-take-all showdown for a spot in the national championship game next week could easily look past a 5-6 team.
But not when that 5-6 is Alabama’s greatest rival, and not when this is the Iron Bowl. Especially considering how the last several Iron Bowl games have gone.
Auburn comes in with a six game Iron Bowl winning streak, having also won their last three games at Alabama. The Crimson Tide seniors have never won an Iron Bowl game.
If Auburn continues that winning streak, they will all but shatter Alabama’s national championship hopes, clinch a bowl bid, save Tuberville’s job, and destroy what stability the BCS has left.
However, the last six years have not seen an Alabama team this strong, or an Auburn team at such a weak state. Therefore, Alabama is a considerable favorite to clinch a 12-0 undefeated regular season.
After that, the Crimson Tide have their unofficial national semifinal against Florida, though it could also lose some significance if the Gators are upset by their own arch-rival, Florida State, this afternoon.
The Crimson Tide will host the Tigers at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
ESPN.com- “Bama looks to turn the Tide vs. Auburn” http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/preview?gameId=283340333