Alabama Football: Revealing the Myth of Crimson Tide Supremacy

Anthony CagleCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  T'Sharvan Bell #22 of the Auburn Tigers sacks quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  McElroy was injured on this sack.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It is no secret that Alabama fans suffer from a superiority syndrome. Their hatred for everything Auburn is a close second to their arrogance.

Auburn’s national championship run this year has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Tide fans.

There have been articles about “Auburn’s 15 minutes of fame"; numerous people have commented that they will be glad when Auburn returns to mediocrity.

This article will examine the validity of these ideas.

There is no doubt that Alabama has enjoyed a storied history. Of course, what many Tide fans want to overlook is that Auburn has as well. The thing is that what happened in 1926 has nothing to do with today.

Greece was a military power in 320 BC. What is more important is recent history.

1982 ushered in a new era in Auburn history. Auburn snapped a nine game losing streak against Alabama. Since that time, Auburn has clearly been the more successful team.

Auburn’s overall record for that time is 250-98-5 compared to Alabama’s 247-110-2. The strength of schedule for both teams is close, 5.08 for Auburn and 5.30 for Alabama. Auburn has an advantage over Alabama in head to head play with a 17-12 record in the Iron Bowl.

It does not stop there.

Auburn has had 24 winning seasons since 1982; Alabama has had 23. Both have 22 bowl appearances, with virtually identical records (AU 15-6-1 and Bama 15-7). Auburn has finished in the AP Top 25 more times that Alabama (22 times to Alabama’s 17). Auburn also holds a better average final ranking for this time period (20.88 to 23.83).

During this time period Auburn has won six SEC titles.  Alabama has won four.

One might wonder how the two teams stack up against their rivals other than each other. Auburn’s main rivals are LSU and Georgia; Tennessee and LSU for Alabama.

Against LSU, Auburn holds a record of 11-10; the Alabama/LSU rivalry is tied at 14-14-1.

Auburn leads “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” with a record of 16-12-1; Alabama falls slightly behind Georgia with a record of 4-5-1.

Against Tennessee, Auburn has posted a 10-6-2 record, while Alabama is knotted with the Volunteers with a 14-14-1 record.

Of course, no one can discuss football with an Alabama fan without hearing about “13” National Championships. However, as discussed, what happened in 1926 is of little concern. Since 1982, Alabama has two national championships (1992 and 2009)—well, unless one is counting the five that they added somewhere between 1983 and 1986.

Yes, that is right: Alabama added five national championships (1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941) in the 1980’s.

If Auburn wanted to use the same logic as Alabama, then they could claim nine national championships.

Aside from the 2010 national championship, Auburn went undefeated in 1993 and 2004. In 1983, Auburn went 11-1 against the toughest schedule in college football. The Tigers went into the Sugar Bowl ranked third. Despite winning the Sugar Bowl and the top two teams losing, the Tigers were overlooked by AP voters.

Once again, if one were to use the “Got 13” logic then Auburn has three national championships since 1982.

Alabama fans would like others to believe that they are the superior team, not only in the state or conference, but the country. However, facts clearly show that in recent history they can not legitimately make this claim.

Not only do they fall behind their in state rivals, but they also fail to show dominance against SEC rivals in head to head competition.

If any claims of mediocrity are going to be made, they should be directed at the Crimson Tide and not the Tigers of Auburn.