Iron Bowl 2013: Winner of Alabama-Auburn Will Determine BCS Championship Game

Mike MoraitisAnalyst INovember 28, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers coaches against the Texas A&M Aggies on October 19, 2013 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

One participant in the BCS National Championship Game will almost certainly be determined on Saturday when the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide hits the road to take on the No. 4 Auburn Tigers for SEC supremacy.

For the Crimson Tide, things are a bit more certain at the moment. Head coach Nick Saban's squad controls its own destiny and needs no help from the teams around it as the top team in the country.

'Bama has owned the top spot the entire season and is by far the favorite to win another national title. With that distinction and wins over three ranked opponents, only a loss will knock the Crimson Tide from its perch as the No. 1 squad.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 23:  Head coach Nick Saban and AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide look on in the final mintues of their 49-0 win over the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by K
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Should they finish what they started and end the season unbeaten, there is no question the Tide will be rolling to another title game.

The road is a bit hazier for the Tigers as the highest-ranked one-loss team in college football.

Sure, the Tigers have beaten three ranked teams and their only loss came to former No. 6 LSU, but winning outright doesn't guarantee a spot in the big game.

At worst, Auburn will be No. 3 with a win over Alabama on Saturday. More likely than not, such a win in a big spot over the best team in the country in any fashion will land the Tigers a top ranking that moves them into position for a shot at a national title.

Should that not turn out to be the case after winning this week versus the Crimson Tide, the Tigers will need either Florida St. or Ohio St. to falter in one of their remaining contests while Auburn finishes the job in the SEC Championship Game, which could be against another top-five team in Missouri.

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 23: Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles rests on the sideline during the second half against the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles beat the Vandals 80
Jeff Gammons/Getty Images

But even if Ohio St. and Florida St. both run the table and finish undefeated, it'll be tough to deny Auburn after beating two top-five teams in the span of a week when neither the Seminoles nor the Buckeyes have done anything close to that this season.

Not to mention, the Tigers winning the toughest conference in college football wouldn't hurt.

So, there's clearly more than just bragging rights on the line in this one. Auburn isn't just a team looking to knock off a top squad as are the Tigers, just like the Crimson Tide, can make a big step in the right direction of the BCS National Championship Game with a win on Saturday.