Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Iron Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide Vs Auburn Tigers

No. 1 Alabama clinched the SEC West Championship (its third straight) two Saturdays ago when it drubbed Mississippi State 51-3 and Auburn lost to Georgia 13-7.

The Dawgs had possession of the ball for 39 minutes of the game and made 21 first downs compared to the Tigers’ paltry 10.  UGA had 208 passing yards and 135 rushing yards.  Auburn was in control in the first half but when the Dawgs returned after halftime the game’s momentum swung in their favor.

The 81st meeting in the rivalry game known as the Iron Bowl will kick off at 3:30 PM ET at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  CBS will carry the game. The Crimson Tide won six of the last eight slobberknockers including the last two games.  Bama leads the series 44-35-1.

Auburn last won at Bryant-Denny in 2010 when Cam Newton was under center.  The Tigers come to Tuscaloosa banged up pretty bad.  Unsurprisingly War Eagle is the heavy underdog in this game.  The Tide has a 78.8% chance of taking the Tigers by their tail and beating the snot out of them.

Will Sean White’s shoulder injury keep him out of the Iron Bowl?  Will star running back Kamryn Pettway be well enough to play after sitting out the last two games?  Head Coach Gus Malzahn is hopeful he can play them both.  They’re going to need them badly to even have a shot at taking down the Tide.

The rivalry between these two schools has long been recognized as one of the most heated in the country.  Auburn is beaten down and desperate.  That’s no way to come into Tuscaloosa—with the Houndstooth, the Rammer Jammer, the bragging fans, the Finebaum freaks and the Kiffin troll game—but come they must however demoralized they may be.  They’re asking themselves isn’t four national titles in seven years enough?  Nope.  No it isn’t.

I saw on ESPN’s Gameday two Saturdays ago that Washington wanted Bama?  Really?  Don’t make me laugh.  The Huskies got beaten by USC 26-13.  Bama annihilated the team that beat them on September 3rd 52-6. Surely nobody has ever won five titles in eight years, have they?  Hmmmm.

And finally, anyone who follows this blog knows that I am steeped in Alabama football and a reverence for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant which goes all the way back to my childhood.  I learned to love the game my daddy loved.  He would be proud of the boys from Tuscaloosa.  And, I swear, I can hear him hootin’ and hollerin’ up there in Heaven after every victory.

Coach Bryant is hoisted on the shoulders of his team after completing an undefeated regular season. The first nationally televised Iron Bowl featured Alabama quarterback Joe Namath and receiver Ray Perkins who led the Tide to a 21 - 14 victory over the Auburn Tigers in the November 26, 1964 matchup held at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo credit:  Robert Adams/The Birmingham News)


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