that you've heard it before. They live by a totally different calendar in Alabama. While New Year's Day is January 1 for the rest of the world, the new year in Alabama starts the minute the game ends. Believe me, it's not just a game. Very few people say that it's Oklahoma-Texas, Ohio State-Michigan, Notre Dame-USC, Army-Navy, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Florida-Florida State that are the big rivalries. Ask any real college football fan and they'll tell you that this game is all of those other games rolled into one game. For the people of Alabama, it's a way of life. Numerous books have been written about it and more than a few stories have been retold about one of, if not the greatest rivalry in college football. There are no other options in the state; no pro teams, no other college teams, just Roll Tide and War Eagle. These are just a few of the classics from this storied rivalry. The Iron Bowl: nothing in sports will ever rival it's glory.
How do you break an Auburn guy's finger? You punch him in the nose!
What better place to start than the 1996 Iron Bowl? What an exciting game and fantastic finish! The 61st Iron Bowl started on a cool evening at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead with only 3:34 to play in the 1st quarter. Alabama's Curtis Alexander opened the scoring with a 64 yard touchdown reception from Freddie Kitchens just a minute and a half into the contest. On Alabama's next offensive series, place kicker Jon Brock connected from 37 yards out to make it 10-0 Alabama. Freddie Kitchens threw is second touchdown pass of the evening when Alabama got the ball back to make 'Bama's lead an unbelievable 17-0. Unfortunately, Auburn refused to give up and took a 20-17 halftime lead. Auburn kicked another field goal midway through the third quarter to go up 23-17. Neither team could score any points and with 2:14 to play in the game, Alabama faced 1st and 10 from its own 26 yard line. Quarterback Freddie Kitchens led the Tide on a 10 play, 74 yard drive in just under two minutes. Important plays on that drive included a third and 10 pass completition for 14 yards to Shamari Buchanan, pass completitions to Dennis Riddle for gains of 16 and 22 yards, a pass interference call against Auburn in their endzone that moved the ball to the Auburn 17 yard line and of course the 6 yard touchdown pass to Dennis Riddle with only :26 left to play. For the game, Kitchens completed 20 of 33 passes for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. With the win, Alabama clinched their fourth SEC Divisional Championship in five years.
An Alabama fly and an Auburn fly are in the kitchen. How do you know which one is which? The Alabama fly is always in the Sugar Bowl!
|Once again the Tide made it look easy, for just one half though. Alabama jumped out to a 21-0 lead by halftime, and most of the 'Bama faithful thought the game was over. Even Auburn play-by-play man Jim Fyffe commented that the game looked like men playing with boys. But as it usually happens, Auburn came back in the second half and with 2:23 to play, Auburn trailed Alabama by only a touchdown, 21-14. Auburn attempted an onside kick after scoring, but 'Bama recovered it at the Auburn 46. Auburn forced the Tide to punt the ball away, and when the kick was downed, Auburn had 2:00 to go 99 yards. Auburn moved the ball all the way out to the Alabama 43, but was then faced with a 4th and 3 with only :38 to be played. AU quarterback Patrick Nix completed a pass to Frank Sanders who was hit immediately at the 40. When the officials marked the ball, Auburn had come up inches short, and 'Bama won 21-14. Once again, 'Bama gave college football another game to remember.|
The whole football world was watching as Alabama defeated Auburn 28-17 in the 1981 Iron Bowl, for Bear Bryant's 315th coaching victory. The win moved Bryant to the top of the all-time coaching list ahead of Amos Alonzo Stagg. The fact that it came against 'Bama's hated rival made the record that much sweeter. Believe me, this was one game that the Auburn faithful wanted to win. Lose, and they become the answer to a trivia question, What team did Bear Bryant defeat for win No. 315? Alabama opened the scoring in the 1st quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Alan Gray. Auburn tied the game in the 2nd quarter with a sixty-three yard touchdown run. Jesse Bendross put the Tide back in the lead with a twenty-six yard touchdown reception five minutes into the 3rd quarter. A fumbled punt by Alabama led to Auburn halfback Lionel James scoring on a two-yard touchdown run just two minutes later tying the game at fourteen. Another 'Bama fumble led to an Al del Greco field goal, and with thirteen minutes to play, Auburn led 17-14. Walter Lewis entered the game at quarterback and connected with Bendross on a thirty-eight yard touchdown pass to give 'Bama the lead again for good, 21-17. 'Bama added an insurance touchdown with seven minutes to play, and the answer to what team did Bear Bryant beat to win No. 315? "Who was Auburn?". Another notch in the belt of the greatest coaches in college football.
Know how to get to Memphis? Go to the Alabama 1-yard line at Legion Field and take a right.
This wasn't supposed to happen. An Alabama team with a losing record beat an Auburn team with their sights set on the Sugar Bowl. But that is exactly what happened. Instead of Auburn spending New Year's in New Orleans, they got to spend December in Memphis at the Liberty Bowl. For 'Bama, the win eased the pain of their first losing season since 1957. Auburn got the scoring started with a Bo Jackson touchdown run of two yards to lead 7-0. Alabama's Paul Ott Carruth tied the game at 7-7 with a six yard touchdown run early in the 2nd quarter. Carruth scored again mid-way through the 3rd quarter from four yards out and when Van Tiffin kicked a fifty-two yard field goal, 'Bama led 17-7 going into the 4th quarter. Auburn pulled within two points at 17-15 on a Brent Fullwood touchdown run and Bo Jackson conversion run. Then, on Alabama's next series, Auburn intercepted a pass and appeared headed for the go ahead score. Auburn had the ball first and goal from the Bama four yard line, but were called for holding. Fullwood then ran for one yard, second and goal. Another run netted no gain, third and goal. Quarterback Pat Washington headed for the end zone and was tackled at the one yard line. In a call that is still debated to this day, Auburn coach Pat Dye elected to go for the touchdown instead of kicking the field goal. Washington handed the ball off to Fullwood who was met behind the line of scrimmage and short of the goal line. Everyone expected Bo Jackson to carry the ball, including Bo, but he didn't hear the play call correctly. There was confusion in the huddle and the Tigers never had a chance. Auburn did get one more shot, a forty-two yard field goal attempt. The kick sailed wide right and sent Auburn up the road to Memphis, and gave Alabama some satisfaction headed into the off season.
What's the difference between Terry Bowden and a brand new puppy? Eventually the puppy will quit whining!
|"Six seconds to play, on comes Van Tiffin for the win. It's a 52 yard field goal into a slight breeze. There's the snap, the kick, it has the distance, it looks long enough, IT'S GOOD, IT'S GOOD, IT'S GOOD. Van Tiffin has won the game for Alabama."|
"THE KICK." Say those words to any Alabama fan and watch a huge grin come over their face. Say those same words to an Auburn fan and watch out! Veteran announcer Keith Jackson who was in Birmingham that day says that it was the most exciting college football game he has ever witnessed. It wasn't a game that won a conference or national championship, but Alabama's 1985 Iron Bowl win was the most exciting Tide victory in the series. It was a game that saw the lead change four times in the fourth quarter. Alabama led 16-10 early in the fourth, Auburn came back to take a 17-16 lead. Alabama rallied for a 22-17 advantage, only to see Auburn snatch the lead again 23-22 with :57 left. Then, the miraculous happened. From a third-and-18 on the 12 yard line, Mike Shula rallied the Tide. He tossed a 14 yard pass to Gene Jelks. On fourth-and-four from the 26, Al Bell ran a reverse for 20 yards to the Alabama 46 with :21 left. Shula then hit Greg Richardson over the middle, who made the play of the game to get out of bounds at the Auburn 35, stopping the clock with only :06 left. That's all Van Tiffin needed to drill a 52-yard field goal for a 25-23 win and a place in Alabama history. After the game, Auburn coaches aggreed that they scored with to much time left on the clock. It was an Iron Bowl to end all Iron Bowls. Auburn coach Pat Dye described the emotions of the game best: "A game like this, Alabama players will remember it for the rest of their lives. Auburn players...it'll eat their guts out the rest of their lives."
How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Auburn? If it had been invented anyplace else, it would have been called a teethbrush.
13-0 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Everything about this Iron Bowl was different. It was played on Thanksgiving day for one. Also, it was the last game for Auburn coach Pat Dye who resigned the night before the game. An Alabama victory would send the Tide into the first ever SEC Championship game against the Florida Gators and a shot at playing for the national championship. Alabama brought a twenty game winnng streak into the game and a perfect record of 10-0. Alabama was ranked No. 2 in the nation and the Tigers were about to be put on NCAA probation. For one half, it looked like Auburn could beat the Tide. At the half it was 0-0 and Auburn had the momentum not to mention the emotional edge. But the 2nd half would be a different story. Alabama's defense was No. 1 in the nation, so it figured that they would score the first touchdown of the afternoon, a 61-yard interception return by cornerback Antonio Langham. Michael Proctor added a 47-yard field goal late in the quarter to boost Alabama's lead to 10-0. Sherman Williams added the final points on a 15-yard touchdown run to make the final score 17-0. It was the one and only shutout of a Pat Dye coached team. After the game, coach Gene Stallings refused to entertain thoughts of a national championship. "We won 11 games and still haven't won anything. I have no thoughts on anybody but the University of Florida." You know the rest. 13-0. National Champions. Enough said.