AU will win

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2003

A survey of sports editors from around the state in Alabama was conducted earlier this week with just one question: Who will win the Iron Bowl?

A majority of sports editors predicted Auburn will win by an average of five points.

I was not included in this survey. Maybe that's because my reputation as a horrible prognosticator has gotten out around the state. Or, maybe it's because we are not a member of the Associated Press wire service.

Whatever the reason, it is probably a good thing they did not include me in the survey. Why? Well, because I have no idea who will win. But, that has never stopped me from making a prediction.

The past two seasons there has been a heavy favorite playing at home, and both times the underdog won.

This season, I do not expect the Alabama Crimson Tide to go into Jordan-Hare Stadium and knock off the Auburn Tigers. It could happen, but I don't think it will.

On the other hand, I do not see Auburn winning by just five points. Auburn should win big, especially if the Tigers run the ball.

Auburn's rush offense should be plenty effective against Alabama, especially late in the game when the Tide defense becomes fatigued. Auburn's running backs will still be fresh because there are so many. The running backs can rotate in and out throughout the game and still be fresh in the fourth quarter.

Alabama's offense relies too heavily on Shaud Williams. The Tide has not be able to protect quarterback Brodie Croyle and that has resulted in the lack of a passing attack. The defense can line up at the line of scrimmage and just come after the Tide backfield.

This game will either be a major blowout or a major upset.

Auburn has the better team on paper and should win by a large margin.

Alabama, however, has some talent and will play hard for first-year Head Coach Mike Shula. I just don't know if they have enough to work with this year.

This game has lost some of its luster because Auburn lost to Georgia last weekend. The game, however, is still a huge rivalry for both squads.

The players will be ready and will come out with a little extra bounce in their step.

For Auburn, the chance to go to a bowl game could be riding on this game.

For Alabama, this is their bowl game and their season. Sure, Hawaii remains on the schedule but Shula knows, and knew coming in, if there is one game he needs to win it is this one.

Now, for entertainment purposes only, I predict Auburn will win and win big. The game will be close at kickoff and then the Tigers will explode on offense and hold a big lead at the halftime intermission.

Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville will not call the dogs, ummm Tigers, off until late with Auburn winning 35-10.

But, nobody asked me.