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Auburn Tigers' Football: How Do the Tigers Measure Up Against the Crimson Tide?

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
John ReevesContributor IIOctober 6, 2010

So far, Alabama and Auburn have looked like the cream of the crop in the SEC. LSU is undefeated, but even fans realize they've been lucky. Not counting anyone out, but right now it looks like the Tigers and the Tide. An Iron Bowl for the SEC; possibly for the BCS title shot. 

To this point in the season, Auburn has not played a common opponent to Alabama. So there isn't any comparison there. To measure up the best team in the country, we'll look at positions and compare the teams that way.

 

Quarterback

Alabama QB Greg McElroy hasn't lost a football game since he was in the eighth grade. He lead the Tide to a National Championship win over Texas last season. McElroy is a pure passing QB that can make all the throws.

Auburn is lead by Cam Newton, whose journey has been different. Newton, who started his college career with Florida, transferred to Blinn Community College. He lead Blinn to a championship, then chose Auburn over Miss St. because it gave him a chance for a title at this level.

From the QB position these teams are even.

 

Running Back

Alabama has former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, followed by could-be Heisman winner Trent Richardson. Last, but not least, is Eddie Lacy. These guys could all start on over half the teams in college football. This is arguably the best backfield in the country.

Auburn has some really good backs. However, they're not interchangeable like Alabama's three backs. Onterio McCalebb is the speedy back that Auburn tries to get open-field runs for. Mario Fannin is the is the smashing big body back that Auburn uses in short yardage situations. Questions surround Fannin, with his past fumbling and this season's injuries. Micheal Dyer is a small tough back, but we really haven't seen him in the open field too much. He has been progressing very well.

Advantage here goes to Alabama.

 

Wide Receiver

When you compare these two teams at WR it can look one sided because of Newton's rushing the football. Darvin Adams matches up well with Julio Jones. When you go down the list, it's mostly the same; these two teams are very comparable in my opinion at WR.

I think they're even at wide receiver.

 

Tight End

This position is also pretty even. Alabama might have a very slight edge with Colin Peek but, we're learning more about Auburn's TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen as the season goes on.

I have the tight ends even.

 

Offensive Line

In my opinion, Auburn has the better offensive line. Now, Alabama isn't breaking off huge runs without good blocking, I just think the Tigers' more experienced line is slightly better than Alabama's.

Advantage here goes slightly to Auburn.

 

Defense

Auburn has had a bend-but-don't-break mentality, while Alabama shuts everything down as quickly as possible. I think Alabama has faced tougher passing teams, while Auburn has faced the better running teams. Seeing the way Alabama has brutally beaten several good offenses, I give the defense of Alabama the edge here.

Auburn is steadily improving each week and, by season's end this will be much closer to even.

 

Special Teams

You can make a case for either team here. I personally go with Auburn despite a fumble on the kickoff against Mississippi St. However, I think Auburn has a better kicker.

 

Coaching

This pretty easily goes to Alabama if you count championships, which I do. Nick Saban is defending champion. To be the man, you have to beat the man. So until Gene Chizik beats the Alabama Crimson Tide, advantage goes to Nick Saban.

 

Most Explosive Player

For Alabama that has to be running back Mark Ingram. His return to the Alabama lineup was huge and their offense got very powerful upon his return. Because he missed the first two games, Richardson leads in all the statistical categories but Ingram will overtake him before season's end.

Cam Newton is the Tigers most explosive player. Because of Newton, the Tigers are undefeated. Without Newton, the Tigers might have lost two or three games.

 

Alabama

Div. I RankingOffenseDefense
Rushing229.8 (17th)101.0 (19th)
Passing234.2 (46th)191.4 (45th)
Overall20th19th


Auburn

Div. I RankingOffenseDefense
Rushing269.0 (8th)92.8 (12th)
Passing206.4 (70th)241.8 (84th)
Overall11th43rd

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