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Auburn Football 2010: Will Alabama End Tigers Unbeaten Run In Iron Bowl?

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Auburn Football 2010: Will Alabama End Tigers Unbeaten Run In Iron Bowl?
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The time of year has arrived for one of the most intensive rivalries in all of sports. For fans in the state of Alabama it is simply called the Iron Bowl. Those across the rest of the world know it as the annual college football game between Auburn and Alabama.

The 2010 version of this game has the defending BCS Champions Alabama Crimson Tide facing the BCS' current top ranked Auburn Tigers team. It is expected to be another game of the ages this series is well known for.

This is a game that has most often hinged on the success of the rushing offense. Auburn is currently ranked second in the conference in rushing defense allowing 111 yards per game. Alabama is currently ranked sixth in the conference in rushing defense allowing 128 yards per game.

Both Auburn and Alabama have played Mississippi, Mississippi State and LSU the second-, third- and fourth-ranked rushing offenses in the conference respectively. Auburn is currently ranked first and Alabama fifth in the conference in rushing offense.

The first-, third- and fourth-ranked rushing defenses in the SEC are currently South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU, all of which are common opponents of these two teams. Basic logic would dictate that a comparison of how these two teams performed against these common opponents might give some useful insight into the game.

Opponent

Conference Rank Rushing Defense

Auburn Rushing Production

Alabama Rushing Production

South Carolina

1

334 yards

36 yards

Mississippi State

3

190 yards

175 yards

LSU

4

440 yards

102 yards

Average

2.67

321.33 yards

104.3 yards

Looking at this particular aspect of the game, it would appear Auburn has the advantage in rushing offense.

Passing offense has been the wild card that has evened many games in this series. Alabama is currently ranked fifth in the conference in pass defense allowing 178 yards per game. Auburn is currently ranked 11 in the conference in pass defense allowing 244 yards per game.

Both Alabama and Auburn have played the first-, fourth- and eighth-ranked pass defenses in the conference LSU, Arkansas and Mississippi State respectively. Alabama is ranked third and Auburn eighth in passing offense in the conference.

Opponent

Conference Rank Pass Defense

Auburn Passing Production

Alabama Passing Production

LSU

1

86 yards

223 yards

Arkansas

4

140 yards

194 yards

Mississippi State

8

158 yards

277 yards

Average

4.33

128 yards

231 yards

Alabama has the advantage in passing offense.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Auburn is ranked first and Alabama fifth in scoring offense in the conference. Both teams have played the second-, third-, fourth- and sixth-ranked scoring defenses in the conference in LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Arkansas respectively.

Opponent

Conference Rank Scoring Defense

Auburn Point Production

Alabama Point Production

LSU

2

24

21

Mississippi State

3

17

30

South Carolina

4

35

21

Arkansas

6

65

24

Average

3.75

35.25

24

Auburn has a substantial advantage in scoring offense.

Alabama fans will tell anyone that their biggest asset is the Tide defense. Most have assumed that the Auburn pass defense has been their weakness this year. Auburn is not looked upon as being a very good defensive team.

Alabama and Auburn have only played two passing offenses ranked in the top six in the conference as common opponents. Arkansas and South Carolina are ranked first and sixth respectively in passing offense in the conference.

Opponent

Conference Rank Passing Offense

Auburn Passing Defense Yards Allowed

Alabama Passing Defense Yards Allowed

Arkansas

1

428 yards

357 yards

South Carolina

6

305 yards

201 yards

Average

3.5

366.5 yards

279 yards

Doug Benc/Getty Images

Alabama has the advantage in pass defense.

Rushing defense is essential in every SEC game. Alabama and Auburn have three common opponents in the conference top six in rushing offense Mississippi, Mississippi State and LSU ranked second, third and fourth respectively.

Opponent

Conference Rank Rushing Offense

Auburn Rushing Defense Yards Allowed

Alabama Rushing Defense Yards Allowed

Mississippi

2

218 yards

133 yards

Mississippi State

3

117 yards

149 yards

South Carolina

4

79 yards

110 yards

Average

3

138 yards

130.66 yards

The rushing defense seems fairly even.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Alabama hasn't played but one of the conferences top scoring offenses. This makes this particular part of the comparison less reliable than the others. Arkansas, Mississippi and South Carolina are the top three scoring offenses that are common opponents for both teams.

Opponent

Conference Rank Scoring Offense

Auburn Scoring Defense Points Allowed

Alabama Scoring Defense Points Allowed

Arkansas

2

43

20

Mississippi

6

31

10

South Carolina

7

27

35

Average

5

33.66

21.66

Alabama has a hefty advantage in scoring defense.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The results of the two teams compared to the best competition in each category is as follows.

Statistic

Auburn

Alabama

Rushing Offense

321.33 yards

104.3 yards

Passing Offense

128 yards

231 yards

Scoring Offense

35.25 points

24 points

Rushing Defense

138 yards

130.66 yards

Passing Defense

366.5 yards

279 yards

Scoring Defense

33.66 points

21.66 points

Win Margin

1.59 points

2.34 points

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