No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1) tries to keep its BCS national championship game hopes alive by traveling to Jordan–Hare Stadium to take on No. 24 Auburn (7-4, 4-3). The Crimson Tide crushed an undermanned Georgia Southern squad on Saturday while the Tigers were busy knocking off Samford.
Which team will win Saturday's game?
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 at 3:30 p.m. EST
Listen: WTSK 790 AM (Alabama) or WKKR 97.7 FM (Auburn)
Live Streaming Audio: Alabama Crimson Tide Radio Network
Betting Line: Alabama -20.5
Who Might Not Play for Alabama: WR Darius Hanks
Hanks is Alabama's No. 2 wide receiver. He's caught 21 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown in eight games. He's been battling a nagging ankle injury and didn't play vs. Georgia Southern in hopes of getting him back to full strength. The senior is listed as questionable.
Who Might Not Play for Auburn: OL Brandon Mosley
Auburn's right tackle suffered a knee injury against Samford and has been listed as day-to-day. The Tigers offense will need all the help it can get against Alabama's stout defense, especially along the offensive line.
Key Storyline: Can Auburn win its second straight Iron Bowl?
The Tigers used a big comeback against Alabama last season to catapult themselves into the SEC championship game. They eventually claimed the national title with a win over Oregon. Auburn would love nothing more than to knock off a fierce rival to end its title dreams.
Alabama last lost seven of its last nine games against its in-state rivals. They won't have the benefit of playing in the conference championship, so a loss here would be a huge blow to the Tide. That makes the game even more intriguing.
Thanks to a crazy weekend of college football, Alabama was able to reclaim a top-two spot in the BCS. All the Crimson Tide can do now is beat Auburn and hope another one-loss team doesn't leapfrog them during conference championship week.
What They're Saying
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been preaching to his team to take care of what's in front of them and not worry everything else, including the BCS. It's a good message because there are a ton of things out of their control over the next couple weeks (via Rivals).
"It's about how we play in the games, how we prepare, how we get ready to play and us going and playing our best football," Saban said. "That's what we control. That's what we need to do. None of that other stuff really matters. It really doesn't matter, because if you don't do that ... what happens? You don't have the opportunity."
Auburn's Clint Moseley attempted to put the game in perspective for people who live outside of Alabama. There's no doubt that it's one of the nation's top rivalries, especially since both teams have been so good in recent years (via Associated Press).
“It’s the biggest day of the year, if you live in Alabama,” Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley said. “I mean, you have Christmas and everything, but this is the day that everybody—people who don’t even like football watch this game. Auburn’s going to be packed, probably, Wednesday. It’s a huge game.”
Will Marquis Maze catch a TD vs. Auburn?
Alabama Player To Watch: WR Marquis Maze
Maze has double the amount of catches of any other Alabama player, but has only found the end zone once. The senior could really help his team's chances should be break the 100-yard barrier for the third time in 2011.
Auburn Player To Watch: RB Michael Dyer
Dyer is averaging over 100 yards per game and has scored 10 touchdowns in 11 games. He'll be the focal point of the offense again on Saturday and will need to be at his best if the Tigers have any hope of pulling off the upset.
Key Matchup: Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy vs. Auburn run defense
Richardson is a Heisman Trophy contender and Lacy is his equally capable understudy. Auburn's defense, which is giving up nearly 200 yards per game on the ground, will have its hands full attempting to slow down the dynamic duo.
Prediction: Alabama 38, Auburn 20