With just three weeks left in the season, ‘Bama fans can be forgiven for looking ahead to a possible third straight National Title come January 6. The Crimson Tide have been the #1 ranked team all season, with the week two matchup against Texas A&M the only game that was even remotely close. The tide does have to get past LSU on Saturday, but if they best Les Miles and LSU, there is just one significant game left of the regular season, and that of course is the final game.
The 2013 Iron Bowl against the Auburn Tigers is set for Saturday, November 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. There are still some tough opponents for both teams before the Iron Bowl, but if one or both stay undefeated, this game could the most important in terms of deciding the BCS Championship Game matchup. Baring an unforeseeable event, the winner of the SEC Championship would go on to play in the 2013 BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. The Iron Bowl is obviously a huge rivalry, perhaps the biggest in college football, which it seems is nothing but historic rivalries. Alabama has won four of the last six Iron Bowls, but the 2013 matchup looks to be one of the most competitive in several seasons.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has been at or near #1 for years now, while Auburn has struggled since winning the National Title on the back of Cam Newton in 2011. But Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn has succeeded in turning around the Tigers and they have been hovering around #10 this season. They had big wins over Texas A&M (45-41) as well as Ole Miss (30-22). Auburn’s only loss was 21-35 to at-the-time #6 LSU. ‘Bama and Auburn are ranked 1 and 2 in the SEC West, and the winner of the Iron Bowl would in all likelihood win the SEC West and put them in the SEC Championship Game. It would be the first time ever that a win in the Iron Bowl would lead to an appearance in the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama Beats Notre Dame 2013 BCS National Championship
Alabama Coach Nick Saban has just five losses since 2009 along with three of the past four National Championships. The Tide is aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive National Championship and what would be 16 total. AJ McCarron has played great al year and has a fantastic receiver corps. McCarron is averaging nearly a 70 % completion rating with almost nine yards per attempt. Alabama won its biggest game of the season against Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel 49-42 and blanked Ole Miss 25-0. LSU is only remaining ranked team before the Iron Bowl. Sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon has ten touchdowns and is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and is paired with Kenyan Drake, who has seven touchdowns with 7.8 average yards per carry.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has instituted one of the biggest turn-rounds in recent memory after the Tigers finished last season at 3-9 without an SEC victory. Tigers Quarterback Nick Marshall has a nearly 60 percent pass completion percentage with an average of 8.3 passing yards per attempt. Marshall has shown he doesn’t rattle easily, as he led the Tigers to a come from behind win to stun Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M late in the fourth quarter.
Auburn has three dangerous running back to go to. Tre Mason has 13 touchdowns and averages 5.8 rushing yards per attempt, Cameron Artis-Payne, is averaging 7 yards per attempt and Corey Grant, who averages nearly 10 yards per attempt. Auburn ends the season hosting Georgia in “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.” Given that Georgia’s loss to Vanderbilt, the Tigers should be able to get past the Bulldogs.
It’s been a few seasons of irrelevance for Auburn, but fans still remember Cam Newton’s incredible comeback in 2010 in Tuscaloosa to win 22-19 en route to the BCS National Championship over Oregon.
Auburn Tigers Win the BCS National Championship
The 2013 Iron Bowl
Alabama has dominated the past two Iron Bowls, scoring 77 more points than Auburn, including an embarrassing 49-0 win. But Auburn has seen an incredible turnaround, and ‘Bama would be foolish to walk into the game expecting another easy win. The outcome of the game will determine the post-season for both teams, and after a bit of a drought Auburn is going to be fired up to take down their hated nemesis. On paper the Crimson Tide have to be the favorites as most experts have picked them to win a third National Title.
But if anyone is going to stand in their way, it looks like Auburn is the team to do it. This game likely won’t be a walk in the park, but Nick Saban has proven again and again that in order to beat one of his teams, the opponent has to play a perfect game. Auburn will get an extra week to prepare for the game following their game against Georgia on November 16. It shouldn’t make a difference to Crimson Tide players, but the game is in Auburn, which should give the Tigers a bit of a boost.
The 2013 Iron Bowl should be a hard-fought contest, but we’ll have to see what the mood is like at Toomer’s Corner after the game.