Birmingham, Alabama is a steel town, so when the Crimson Tide meet the Auburn Tigers, the clash of metal on metal can be heard throughout college football. Auburn and Alabama first met on February 22, 1893, in Birmingham, Alabama, and the story goes that the rivalry was nasty from the start.
Facts and Links
1972 - Punt Bama Punt - Trailing 16-3 with six minutes left, underdog Auburn blocked two Alabama punts - returning both for touchdowns - to win the game 17-16, handing Alabama its first loss of the season and ending its national title hopes. (source: Wikipedia)
1982 – Bo Over the Top - Auburn drove the field and scored with two minutes left when Bo Jackson jumped over the top of the pile on the one yard line. Auburn won the game 23–22. It ended Alabama's 9 game winning streak, the longest in the rivalry's history. It would be Coach Bear Bryant's last Iron Bowl. (Source: Wikipedia.)
1985 – The Kick - At their own 12-yard line and trailing 23-22 with only 37 seconds remaining, Alabama quarterback Mike Shula and the Tide offense drove to the Auburn 35-yard line to set up a 52-yard field goal by Van Tiffin, winning the game 25–23 as time expired. (Source: Wikipedia.)
1984 – Wrong Way Bo - Late in the fourth quarter on 4th and goal from the one-yard line and Auburn trailing by two points, Coach Pat Dye decided to go for the touchdown instead of a field goal. The ball went to Brent Fullwood and famous Bo Jackson was supposed to block, but he headed in the wrong direction, leaving Tide defensive back Rory Turner free to take Fullwood out of bounds, preventing the score. Alabama would hold on to win 17-15 and knocked Auburn out of the Sugar Bowl. (Source: Wikipedia)
The game has been played in four cities: Auburn, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa.
TIGER WALK - An Auburn tradition which began in the early 1960s when Auburn players would walk from Sewell Hall to the football stadium and fans would line Donahue Drive to wish them well. Over the years, the Tiger Walk has grown into a major part of game day at Auburn, so much so that it is listed on the players' game weekend itinerary. The largest Tiger Walk is believed to have taken place prior to the 1989 Alabama game when more than 20,000 well wishers lined the street. Every Tiger Walk prior to home games draws thousands and over the last couple of years, Tiger Walk has become a standard as Auburn football players enter stadiums on the road. Tiger Walk is two hours before kickoff for every game. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Crimson Tide - Early newspaper accounts of the University's football squad simply referred to them as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White." The first nickname popular with the media was the "Thin Red Line," which was used until 1906. Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald, is credited with coining the phrase "Crimson Tide" in an article describing the 1907 Iron Bowl played in Birmingham. The game was played in a sea of red mud with Auburn a heavy favorite to win. Alabama held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus graduating to their newfound nickname. (Source: Wikipedia)
Crimson Tide and Tiger loyalties run deeper than than any bloodline. The passion is so great in the hearts and minds of Alabamians it can cause health problems. Friends can turn into enemies during the course of the game and entire business deals can actually depend on the outcome of what has become known nationwide as the Iron Bowl.
In a state that has had a century-old love affair with college football, this one, 60 minutes of football determines bragging rights in Alabama for the next 364 days. The losers have only "next year" to cling to because the scores of other games during the season really do not matter. (Source: Wikipedia)
"It is satisfying obviously, because when I was hired I was told, and
I'm sure Nick Saban and everybody that coaches at Alabama have been
told, that you have to win the Iron Bowl matchup. In this game, winning
is for bragging rights. You want to give your fans the opportunity to
walk in to a restaurant, Wal-Mart, or business and be able to brag about
the game. And, it is only a game; it is not life or death. If there is
anything close to that, then it would probably be the emotions of this
game in terms of fans. Most players will have the opportunity to come
back and play in it next year, so it is not the end of the world, but
the fans really enjoy it; probably even more than the coaches or
Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville
"They said they had the No. 1 defense in the nation, but they didn't show it. They didn't step up to the challenge. They said a lot of things, but you know what? They can put this (loss) in a turkey and smoke it."
AU linebacker Karlos Dansby after the 2002 AU/Bama game in Tusculoosa
"Sure I'd like to beat Notre Dame, don't get me wrong. But nothing matters more than beating that cow college on the other side of the state."
Paul "Bear" Bryant