I don’t care what anybody says, Auburn and Alabama have the greatest rivalry in college football. The Iron Bowl alone has produced iconic memories like “The Camback,” the “Kick Six” and Kenny Stabler’s “Run in the Mud.” Of course, who can forget when fans rushed the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2019 and two women hilariously got stuck in a bush?
The Crimson Tide and the Tigers first met in 1893 and currently play each other every year on Thanksgiving weekend. Alabama may hold the edge in the all-time record, 46-37-1, but there’s been very little separation in recent years.
One former Auburn cornerback has taken notice and went a step further in his analysis.
Auburn DB: Auburn Is Best Football Team in Alabama
Former Auburn defensive back Noah Igbinoghene told AL.com while at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis he felt Auburn has overtaken Alabama football for the top-spot in the Yellowhammer State.
“I feel like Auburn has come around as the best in that state,” he said. “So I really feel like the next couple years we’re gonna show that. Recruiting, everything. The coaches are winning. So I’ll see. We’ll all see.”
Igbinoghene has a point.
Auburn’s 48-45 win in last year’s Iron Bowl meant the Tigers had won two of the last three matchups. Alabama, however, had won seven of the last nine clashes before that. Since 2000, Auburn has won 11 Iron Bowls while Alabama has taken nine.
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban’s squad has the edge in national championships. The Tide have five national titles since 2009 under Saban, while Auburn has just the one in 2010, when current head coach Gus Malzahn was the offensive coordinator.
Alabama is sending more players to the NFL Draft, reeling in the SEC’s top recruiting class year-after-year and consistently enters the Iron Bowl as a top-five team, leaving the Tigers to fight as underdogs.
Despite that, former Auburn Tigers defensive lineman Nick Coe said none of that matters when the two teams meet in Tuscaloosa or Auburn.
“It still will be the same because they always put Alabama on top and everything,” he told AL.com. “Even if Auburn could be No. 1 and Alabama could still be 10th in the nation, or something like that, they still will expect Auburn to mess up and do something wrong. We always find a way to win.”
Alabama finished last season 11-2 and ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 NCAA rankings. Auburn went 9-4 and checked in at No. 14 following a 31-24 loss to Minnesota in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, during which Igbinoghene had a kickoff return for a touchdown at Raymond James Stadium.
Auburn picked up a win against Oregon but lost to Florida, LSU, Georgia and the Golden Gophers. Alabama’s only two losses in 2019 were to Auburn and LSU.
Here’s how the SEC West standings looked at the end of the season:
Texas A&M, 8-5
Mississippi State, 6-7
Ole Miss, 4-8
You be the judge. Is Auburn football really the best team in the state?
Next season can’t come soon enough.