With the 2009 Iron Bowl rapidly approaching, talk of Iron Bowls past has been abound.
Recently, the subject of which was the bigger blowout—the 2005 Iron Bowl or the 2008 Iron Bowl—was debated between myself, a huge Alabama fan, and my cousin, the most ardent Auburn fan who I can stand.
And by debated, I mean an all day back and forth war consisting of nearly 200 texts containing at least five times as many profanity laced insults.
To finally settle the matter, I have formulated a range of seven categories to tell us, once and for all, which game was the bigger beat down.
At first glance, this category looks like a no-brainer.
Alabama trounced Auburn last year by a score of 36-0, while Auburn put down Alabama 28-18 in 2005. However, my cousin throws out his time honored argument that Tommy Tuberville was too conservative, and that the score could have been far worse if he had wanted it to be.
He cites the halftime score of 2005 (28-7), compared to 2008 (10-0). Still, you can’t dismiss the fact that the 2005 game ended up as a 10 point spread while the 2008 game was the biggest blowout since Alabama won 38-0 in 1962. Advantage: Alabama
Again, initially this is no contest. In 2008, Alabama out gained Auburn by 242 yards while in 2005 Auburn bested Alabama by 69. The “Tubs was being conservative” line doesn’t fly here because Alabama only attempted 18 passes in 2008 during 35:37 of possession time, while in 2005 Auburn attempted 21 passes in 27:38 of possession time.
There’s really no argument for this one. Advantage: Alabama
Length of Time Before the Game Had Been Decided
In 2005, Auburn jumped up 21 to zip before the frat boys even had a chance to pull the Jack Daniels minis out of their girlfriends' hiding places. The 2008 game was only a 10-0 deficit at halftime.
However, they could still be playing to this day and the 2008 Auburn team, would be lucky to have three points. Neither game was ever really in doubt. Advantage: Auburn
Gratuitous Boxing Analogy
If Alabama fans could have thrown in the towel after the first quarter in 2005, they would have.
It was reminiscent of the famous Mike Tyson-Larry Holmes fight, where Holmes got decked and then floundered around the ring like a fish in a boat wondering what hit him.
It was ugly.
On the other hand, the 2008 game was a lot like a match where a boxer takes enough painful body shots over the period of a few rounds that his hands naturally come down, leaving him ripe for the KO roundhouse. Still, nobody buys $50 pay-per-view boxing matches to see body shots (unless said body shots involved college age girls). Advantage: Auburn
In 2005, Alabama regrouped from the Iron Bowl thrashing in time to squeak by Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl, while Auburn got “Badgered to death” in the Capital One Bowl. In 2008, Alabama went on to face Florida in the SEC championship game, while Auburn went and traded a coach who had one bad five win season for a coach who won the same number of games over a two year span. Advantage: Alabama
Defining Moment s
In 2005, Auburn sacked Alabama QBs 11 times. Out of necessity, poor Brodie Croyle invented the much less successful precursor to the Wildcat—the Fetal Position. In 2008, Auburn was so outmatched physically and so putrid offensively that it almost took the fun out of watching them get beaten senseless.
It did, however, seemingly usher in a complete shift of power in the state. Advantage: Alabama
Resulting Cheap Paraphernalia Referencing Game
Though handing Auburn its seventh loss of the season and preventing their streak from reaching seven games made for some clever “7”-themed jokes, I gotta hand it to Auburn. “Honk if you sacked Brodie” even made me laugh. Good one Auburn. Still, 36-0! 36-0! 36-0! Advantage: Auburn
So there you have it. Alabama wins 4-3. Really, was there ever any doubt?