Another decade is past and another future is present. As we stand upon the precipice of SEC football dominance on the collegiate national landscape I wanted to peer back upon the last ten years of a state divided...between Auburn and Alabama. And, the dominance or dispute thereof.
Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News had a little blog about who had the better decade and he agreed with Chris Lowe of ESPN's college football website stating that Auburn had the better decade.
Well, besides wins and losses the rest is all subjective.
Or is it?
So lets start at wins and losses:
Both teams played 127 games apiece, which is amazing, but we will get into that later.
Auburn's wins/loss ratio was 88 and 39. Alabama's was 79 and 48. End of story, Auburn had the better decade.
Not only did Auburn have the better decade, they beat there cross state rival seven out of 10 times. The Tigers competed in the SEC championship game twice and won it once. And, for nine years of that decade they had just one coach.
In that same decade the Tide had four coaching changes, probation which included scholarship reductions, and three losing seasons. However, during that decade the Crimson Tide also played in two SEC championship games, and won a National Championship title.
They also had four 10-plus win seasons compared to Auburn's two and the Tide had five top-five defenses to Auburn's two (the Tigers did have a No. 6 ranked defense). I would mention offense but both were generally pathetic averaging 65.4 percent and 60.3 percent respectively as an aggregate (the edge to Auburn).
During this period Alabama had their first Heisman winner, their second Butkus Award winner and completed another task of winning a conference title in every decade since the inception of the league.
Lets get back to the 127 game "amazing" point. What is amazing about this statistic is that even with coaching changes, scholarship reductions, and losing seasons Alabama was able to accumulate the same amount of games played as Auburn.
Back to dominating the decade. While all of this happened with Alabama for the better part of that time, Auburn had the lay of the SEC and only racked up nine more wins than Bama. Thank goodness for those seven wins against the Tide.
My question is this, thirty years from now how many people are going to remember Auburn's six in row over Alabama? Do you remember the Tide's nine in row over Auburn?
Or, more importantly, when was Alabama's last National Championship and when was Auburn's six in row? Oh yeah, that's right, the six ended a couple of years before the Tide won the 2009 National Championship.
At the end of the day there is no doubt in my mind Auburn dominated Alabama in head-to -head victories during the aught years. And, if you are an Auburn fan you should be proud of that.
However, to me, at the end of the day, it sounds like a moral victory with no trophy to show for it.