The 2013 Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn was one of the most epic games of not only the season but in recent years.
It’s no surprise that the outcome will have a wide-reaching impact that not only impacts this season but future ones as well.
First, let’s quickly recap what happened. Both teams played a relatively even-matched game, but missed field goals ultimately doomed the Tide.
The Tigers ended up just edging the Crimson Tide, thanks in no small part to three missed kicks from Cade Foster. However, it was freshman Adam Griffith’s 57-yarder coming up short that would ultimately do in ‘Bama.
Chris Davis returned that attempt 100-plus yards with time expired to seal a 34-28 victory over the most bitter of rivals.
Once the senior cornerback crossed the goal line, ‘Bama’s shot at making the SEC Championship vanished—along with almost any chance of appearing in a third-straight national title game.
Auburn is now headed to Atlanta to take on the Missouri Tigers, with some potential for one of those two teams to make the BCS Championship matchup.
However, the BCS system will ultimately determine which two teams contest for that national championship.
Right now, it has Florida State as the No. 1 team in the nation and Ohio State at No. 2. Barring a loss by either in their respective conference title contests, it seems that that will be the showdown in the championship come January.
Not many expected that matchup prior to the 2013 Iron Bowl, showing just how far the implications of the game's outcome spanned.
No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Mizzou's chances of hoisting the crystal trophy aren't dead, but they are on life support. It will take some good fortune and a win in the Georgia Dome to do better than just a run-of-the-mill BCS bowl.
Outside of the bowl hierarchy—which has completely shifted with Alabama moving down to No. 4—the recruiting landscape could be impacted by the Iron Bowl results.
Four-star defensive tackle prospect Elisha Shaw was in attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday and had previously told Mike Herndon of Al.com that his decision—he’s between those two schools, as well as Georgia, FSU and Ole Miss—may be altered by the result of the rivalry contest:
"Auburn's a good team, Alabama's a good team. I want to see how the players play when everything's on the line."
After seeing how great the Tigers really are, it wouldn’t be surprising if Shaw—and many other recruits who watched this game and head coach Gus Malzahn’s squad pull out an epic victory—decided to take his talents to the Plains.
The 2013 Iron Bowl will be a game remembered for a long time. It was not only thrilling to watch, but the way the outcome affected the national title, the BCS bowls and the recruiting picture seals its place and importance in college football history.