Iron Bowl: Is the rivalry still there?

Published 12:04 am Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Iron Bowl – it’s touted by Alabamians as one of the biggest rivalry in the nation.

Alabama and Auburn have been playing each other since 1893, and this weekend marks the 77th game between the two. Some say the stakes in today’s game have never been higher.

Over the last five years, the BCS National Championship has been at stake as these teams stepped onto the field against each other. The past three Iron Bowls have determined the eventual national champion. Two of last three selected a finalist in the SEC champion. The last four have involved a team with the inside track to the BCS National Championship. These stakes are what make a rivalry great, and what make the Iron Bowl the champion, so to speak, of rivalries.

So when asked if they think things have changed in light of Auburn’s losing season and Alabama’s winning one, Star-News readers were definite in their answers – “Absolutely not!”

James McDowell said, “Every game matters. Some games matter more than others. It does not matter what your record is or what trophies or awards you have. Iron Bowl bragging rights are the most important things in the state!”

Tami Cox agreed.

“The rivalry will never be over,” Cox said. “I think this year Auburn will be hoping to pull off a win and beat Alabama, but I don’t see that happening. Auburn is having a really bad year. But gotta love that Tide…Roll Tide Roll.”

In a split allegiance household, Brandy Holmes and Paul Hudson are on opposites sides.

“For me, I’m going to pull as hard for Auburn as I would any other season,” Holmes said. “And it is going to be even extra special this year because Paul is a die-hard Bama fan and me being an Auburn fan, our games are always interesting.”

Ashton and Michael Owens agreed, “Everyone has a bad season every now and then. Why would you stop cheering for you team because of it. The rivalry for me is still there. And you never know suppose the underdog comes out on top. War Eagle!”

Fellow Auburn fans Andy and Charlene Griffin said, “The best thing about the Iron Bowl is that regardless of their season record, both teams always play as if their lives depend on the win. That’s what makes it exciting to watch! I doubt the rivalry will ever fizzle out between the two. War Eagle!”

Kickoff is in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa today at 2:30 p.m.

The Tide is heavily-favored to win the game, with Auburn being considered as much as a 31-point underdog.