Can anyone stop the juggernaut that is the Alabama Crimson Tide? The Auburn Tigers are next up at bat for this year’s edition of the Iron Bowl. While there’s nothing to suggest that Alabama will be slowing down anytime soon, anything can happen in a big rivalry game, especially one with a storied history such as this one.
Auburn is far from a pushover, and you can bet they would like nothing more than to put a big old blemish on their rivals’ record as the season comes to a close. It should be a good one in the late afternoon window on Saturday, and it makes for an excellent way to close out what has been another great season of SEC football.
Let’s take a look at this game in full detail, starting with the way the oddsmakers see things.
Auburn @ Alabama, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
Auburn vs. Alabama pick:
As the spread indicates, the Crimson Tide are widely expected to roll towards another win. This may very well be the finest Alabama team throughout their stretch of recent dominance, and that’s really saying something when you think about the other great teams the program has produced.
As for Auburn, they started out the season with a #9 ranking and high hopes, but a tough schedule got the better of them. However, they remain a program that can play with anyone in the nation.
|Teams||Record||Conf. Rec.||PF||PA||Streak||Standings||CFP Rank|
Auburn started the season off with a big victory over Washington on a neutral field in Georgia. The Tigers would go on to win four of their first five, but they hit a rough patch from that point and dropped two straight to conference rivals. They have righted the ship since that point by winning three of four, including last week’s 53-0 destruction of Liberty.
Alabama has been absolutely cruising this season and dominating every team in their path. Their closest margin of victory was 22 points over Texas A&M, and they recently shut out conference rivals LSU and Mississippi State in back to back weeks. Last week, The Citadel surprisingly put up 17 points on them, but Alabama quickly snapped back to life while finishing with a final tally of 50.
Auburn is pretty balanced on offense while its defense is much stouter than its record suggests. In any other conference, the Tigers would likely have been able to snag a few more wins, but such is life in the ultra-competitive SEC. Junior QB Jarrett Stidham is having an unspectacular season with 15 total TDs and four picks. Auburn’s defense is one of the tops in the nation in terms of getting to the quarterback.
It’s a much different story on offense for Alabama. Prolific and many other adjectives apply, as this offense can put up points in buckets. Heisman trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa is a big reason for that, as he has played lights out this season with 35 total touchdowns and just two picks. As per usual, Alabama’s defense is a ferocious shutdown unit which does an excellent job of applying pressure.
The Iron Bowl is one of the most historic rivalry games in college football. The first meeting between these two schools took place in 1893, and they have hooked up a total of 82 times. The Crimson Tide hold an all-time edge in the series of 45-36-1.
Alabama has had control of the rivalry over the past decade with a record of 7-3 straight up and 5-5 against the spread. The Over has come out four times over that span, but the last three years have all been under. Last year, Auburn was a 26-14 home victor in a game in which they were 5-point underdogs with a projected total of 47 points.
While Alabama appears to be on a collision course with another national championship, their biggest rival generally always makes a game of it. That said, this Alabama team is unlike the other squads from its recent dynasty era. They’re steamrolling over opponents, and they don’t appear to be struggling all that much while doing so.
Even in this rivalry game, an Alabama loss would be on the shocking side. How can we expect Auburn to waltz into Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and walk out with a win, especially when other conference foes have been flicked away like gnats by the Crimson Tide?
Alabama should cruise to another victory in advance of next week’s SEC title game versus Georgia. While the 24-point spread may look a little on the hefty side, the Crimson Tide look unstoppable at this point in time. Auburn could make a game of it for a half, but it’ll be Roll Tide after halftime.
We’ll take Alabama minus the points.
- Record: Team overall win-loss record
- Conf. Rec.: Team record in conference games
- PF: Team points for
- PA: Team points against
- Streak: Team current winning/losing streak
- Standings: Team current position in division or conference
- CFP Rank: Team ranking in College Football Playoff poll, if applicable
- PPG: Team average points per game
- RuYdF: Team average rushing yards per game
- PaYdF: Team average passing yards per game
- PtsAll: Team average points allowed per game
- RuYdA: Team average rushing yards allowed per game
- PaYdA: Team average passing yards allowed
- SaF: Team total sacks for on the year
- SaA: Team total sacks allowed for the year
- ToM: Team turnover differential, i.e takeaways minus giveaways