There are three things the state of Alabama is known for: trailer parks, hillbilly lifestyles and dang good college football.
The last one takes the cake in terms of reality.
Alabama has 13 national championships, 26 conference championships (22 in the SEC), 800 wins, 47 All-Americans and a Heisman winner.
Auburn has a national championship (missing out on many more), 10 conference championships (six in the SEC), 707 wins, 62 All-Americans and two Heisman winners.
Sounds like the state has some pretty good programs. But no stats or banners can indicate what it means for the schools when they play each other.
The annual contest between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers is known as the Iron Bowl, and it's always been a fun one to watch. There's a lot of hostility all year between Auburn and Alabama fans.
The rivalry has been recognized as the best in college football. In fact, on ESPN's 2007 list of the best sports rivalries, the Iron Bowl was ranked No. 2. The only event ranked higher was the Red Sox-Yankees baseball rivalry.
All-time, Alabama leads the series 40-33-1, winning the last two. Paul "Bear" Bryant is a huge reason for Bama's lead, as he went 17-6 against the "Cow College." Without him, "The School to the Northwest" is 23-27-1 against Auburn.
We're close to the Iron Bowl. Auburn has a bye, while Bama has a virtual bye against Georgia State. In honor of the upcoming Iron Bowl, here are the most notable games in its history.
1893: Auburn 32, Alabama 22
The first game ever is a good place to start. Auburn beat Alabama in Birmingham in just the second year of football for most schools, including Auburn and Alabama.
1948: Alabama 55, Auburn 0—Revenge
After years of not playing each other due to disagreement, the teams finally played another game. Bama got revenge against Auburn to get its fifth win in 13 tries against Auburn.
1957: Auburn 40, Alabama 0—National Champions
Auburn won its third straight Iron Bowl in a thrashing of Alabama in Birmingham. This completed a 10-0 season, and Auburn was crowned national champions.
1964: Alabama 21, Auburn 14
This was the first Iron Bowl aired on national television. Bama won behind Joe Namath and went on to win the national championship.
1967: Alabama 7, Auburn 3—The Run in the Mud
In a defensive struggle in sloppy conditions, Alabama QB Kenny Stabler ran for a 47-yard touchdown to lead Alabama over Auburn.
1971: Alabama 31, Auburn 7
Third-ranked Alabama entered unbeaten, as did fifth-ranked Auburn. Auburn QB Pat Sullivan did go on to win the Heisman, but he didn't exactly impress voters in this blowout loss.
1972: Auburn 17, Alabama 16—Punt Bama Punt
Down 16-3 in the fourth quarter, Auburn blocked two Alabama punts and returned both for touchdowns to upset Alabama.
1981: Alabama 28, Auburn 17—315
Alabama beat Auburn at Legion Field to earn Bear Bryant's 315th win, then the record for Division I-A coaches.
1982: Auburn 23, Alabama 22—Bo Over the Top
Auburn ended a nine-game losing streak to Alabama when Bo Jackson leaped over the line of scrimmage to land in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
1983: Auburn 23, Alabama 20—Bye-Bye Bo
Auburn defeated Alabama at Legion Field behind the legs of Bo Jackson to win the SEC Championship. Auburn would go on to win the Sugar Bowl over Michigan.
1984: Alabama 17, Auburn 15—Wrong Way Bo
Late in the fourth and trailing by two, Pat Dye called a Brent Fullwood run on 4th-and-1. Bo ran the wrong way to block, and Fullwood never had a chance.
1985: Alabama 25, Auburn 23—The Kick
Van Tiffin connected on a field goal from 52 yards out to beat the Auburn Tigers at Legion Field.
1989: Auburn 30, Alabama 20—First Time Ever
No. 11-ranked Auburn played host to No. 2 Alabama, who was undefeated coming in. It was the first time ever an Iron Bowl would be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn made the most of it.
1993: Auburn 22, Alabama 14—11-and-oh!
Unbeaten Auburn defeated Alabama at Jordan-Hare to complete an unbeaten season in spite of NCAA sanctions preventing them from national title eligibility. The game was not on TV due to these sanctions, so while Auburn sold out for obvious reasons, Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium sold out as well, as the game was being shown on the Jumbotron. This game was the first to sell out two stadiums at the same time.
1994: Alabama 21, Auburn 14
Bama beat Auburn 21-14 in Birmingham. It snapped the Tigers' record-breaking winning streak. Prior to this game, Auburn had gone 20-0-1 in its last 21 games.
1997: Auburn 18, Alabama 17
After Auburn recovered a fumble on a screen pass by Alabama late in the game (a call Bama fans still regret to this day), Jaret Holmes nailed a field goal to give Auburn the win and its first trip to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta since it began in 1992.
1999: Alabama 28, Auburn 17
Alabama earned its first win ever at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
2000: Auburn 9, Alabama 0
The first time these teams played in Tuscaloosa 99 years prior, Bama was shut out and never crossed midfield. In 2000, the same happened. Auburn beat Alabama 9-0 in the second Iron Bowl ever in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama once again failed to cross the 50-yard line.
2001: Alabama 31, Auburn 7
Bama went into Jordan-Hare Stadium and crushed the Auburn Tigers.
2002: Auburn 17, Alabama 7—Tre WHO?
Auburn was a heavy underdog against Alabama. AU was unranked, while Alabama was in the AP Top 10. To make matters worse, it was in Tuscaloosa, and Auburn was missing Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown to injuries. Starting at halfback was this short white kid named Tre Smith—and he lit Alabama up all game.
Auburn finally let Alabama cross midfield and even score in Bryant-Denny Stadium, but Auburn dominated from the start in this game.
2003: Auburn 28, Alabama 23—Cadillac
Carnell Williams ran for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, and he ran for over 200 yards on the night as Auburn beat Alabama convincingly.
2004: Auburn 21, Alabama 13
Auburn defeated Alabama 21-13 in Tuscaloosa to finish 11-0 in the regular season.
2005: Auburn 28, Alabama 18—Honk If You Sacked Brodie
No. 8 Alabama traveled to No. 11 Auburn to end the regular season. Alabama's senior QB, Brodie Croyle, was sacked not once, not twice, not even five or seven times, but 11 times in the game. Eleven sacks! Not to mention late in the game, he was taken out and John Parker Wilson came in. He was also sacked once.
2008: Alabama 36, Auburn 0—Beatdown in T-Town
After six years of frustration, No. 1 Alabama played host to 5-6 Auburn, which was having a disaster season. This didn't go well for Auburn. After Alabama's "Freeze the Kicker" technique worked perfectly before halftime and Auburn found itself in a 10-0 hole instead of a 10-3 hole, Bama took that momentum and easily rolled to victory over Auburn. Bama fans were singing "Rammer Jammer" all night after this one.
2009: Alabama 26, Auburn 21—The Drive
After being badly outplayed for three quarters by an undermanned and determined Auburn team at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Alabama executed a 15-play, seven-minute drive for a touchdown that ended Auburn's hopes for an upset. Bama would go on to win the national championship.
Will 2010 be on this list this time next year? If history is any indicator, the answer is "yes."
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