No weekend in college football is more exciting than rivalry week as teams get ready to play their arch-rivals in another installment of “Who wants it more?”
Yes, I know you have Michigan/Ohio State, Washington and Washington State battling for the Apple Cup and Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, but there is something about the Iron Bowl that separates itself from these other rivalries, and here are some of the reasons why:
1. Classic Games
The Iron Bowl always has memorable games like The Kick in 1985 when quarterback Mike Shula lead the Tide down the field for the game winning field goal against Heisman winner Bo Jackson and the Auburn Tigers or how about The Kick Six, which Auburn fans still talk about to this day, when a missed field goal by Alabama lead to one of the most unforgettable plays ever. Yes the other rivalries have memorable moments, but it seems like most of those memorable moments are from 40 years ago. The Iron Bowl has had more memorable moments in the past 10 years than most rivalries have in a lifetime.
2. Legendary Players
Do you know how many NFL greats have played in this game? Cam Newton, Bo Jackson, Shaun Alexander, Ken Stabler and Joe Namath, just to name a few. All of them played in the Iron Bowl, and you could put an all-star team together of both Alabama and Auburn greats who have played in this game that would rival any team in football.
3. There is Something Always on the Line
This is the first time in years that the UM/OSU game and the UW and WSU games have more than just bragging rights on the line. That’s not the case with the Iron Bowl. Last year, both teams were playing for an SEC West title and chance to make the college football playoffs. This year’s game maybe the exception to the rule, but rarely is this game ever played and something is not on the line. Even though Auburn is out of the playoff picture, Alabama isn’t, and if Auburn knocks off Alabama as they did last year, they can definitely put a dent into Alabama’s undefeated season and decrease their chances of making the College Football Playoff.
4. The Coaches
What other rivalry can boost they have witness some of the greatest football coaches of all-time coach in this game. Paul “Bear” Bryant, Nick Saban, Shug Jordan, Pat Dye. All these coaches have coached in this game which has made these games even more memorable. Coach Bryant became the all-time winningest coach at the time in this game. Pat Dye was the head coach when Auburn played their first ever game in Jordan-Hare.
5. The Fans
What is a great rivalry if it wasn’t for the fans? The fans is what makes this rivalry the best because this is literally brother against brother. Families in Alabama are literally divided on this game more than politics. Yeah you can have your out of state border wars, but there is nothing that makes a rivalry better when both teams come from the same state.