Iron Bowl 2011: Is There Any Way Auburn Can Win This Thing?
The Auburn Tigers are not okay with the assumption that Alabama will play a rematch with LSU for the national title.
They may be 7-4 on the season, but all of their losses coming to teams currently ranked in the Top 15 and are ranked 24th in the BCS themselves.
The Iron Bowl will also be played in Auburn this year, so what are the odds that the Tigers will give the Tide a second loss on the season?
The primary problem for Auburn has been defense. In all four of the Tiger’s losses, they gave up either 38 or 45 points. The only other times they gave up more than 30, they nearly lost to Utah State and Mississippi State.
All of the games where Auburn gave up less than 30 points were games against teams who rank 86th or worse in yards per game—two of those teams don’t have winning records going a combined 2-17 and another is an FCS opponent.
Alabama’s offense ranks right up there with the best teams the Tigers have played all season. The Tide are scoring an average of 35 points per game which ranks 25th nationally, and running back Trent Richardson is seventh in the country in rushing yards per game.
Who will win the Iron Bowl?
The other major problem for Auburn has been turnovers. In the four losses, the Tigers have lost the turnover battle by a combined 9-4 which accounts for more than half their turnovers.
Careless mistakes like that cannot happen if a serious underdog is going to pull off the upset.
Clint Moseley has been pretty efficient since taking over for Barrett Trotter, but he has thrown an interception in both losses that he started for. The Tide have one of the best secondaries in the entire country with at least three guys who will be drafted just from that unit alone.
Factor in all of the talent in the defensive front seven, and you have the best defense in the country and they go out and prove it every week. They rank first in the country in every major statistical category.
Crazy things can happen in rivalry games, and the past two Iron Bowls have certainly been wacky with the eventual loser leading in the first half of both games by double digits.
Still, this year’s Alabama team appears incredibly focused, and unless Auburn can come out with something we have never seen before, the Tide will come out victorious.
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