The Iron Bowl has had major National Title implications the past two years and 2011 is no different. Alabama is No. 2 in the BCS and it appears as though they cannot be bypassed by any team if they beat rival No. 24 Auburn.
But the question for those with a little extra cash is which team will cover the 21-point spread in favor of the Tide.
On paper, it would seem like Alabama could cover that pretty easily. All of the Tide’s wins have come by 16 or more points with eight of the 10 coming by 24 or more points and Auburn has lost four games this year and three of them have been by 24 or more points.
Additionally, in all of those losses the Tigers have given up at least 38 points and Alabama is scoring an average of 35 points per game. Auburn’s defensive weakness is also the Tide’s offensive strength—the Tigers rank 98th in rush defense and Trent Richardson is seventh in the country in rushing yards per game and Eddie Lacy is no slouch either.
But you have to remember history in this game. The past two Iron Bowls have seen the eventual national champion go down early and have to claw its way back to beat the underdog on the road.
This situation is remarkably similar to the one from 2009. Auburn was not highly ranked and burst out to a 14-point lead and held Heisman winner Mark Ingram to under two yards per carry for the whole game. Alabama’s only lead came in the final minutes of the game.
Auburn also hasn’t lost at home since that game.
When you consider that, it is hard to see the Tide doing enough to beat the Tigers by more than 21 points. It’s pretty easy to see why Vegas set the line for the game so high but it doesn’t seem realistic that history stops repeating itself. Alabama will win but by less than 21 points.