Nothing divides the state of Alabama like the one week where Auburn and Alabama face off on the gridiron in the Iron Bowl. The rivalry is arguably one of the best in all of college football and filled with program-defining moments for each team. Here’s a look at the series history between the two schools ahead of the 85th Iron Bowl.
The rich history of the series dates back to 1893 in Birmingham, Alabama, where the two programs first met in the Magic City. Auburn, known as the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at the time, won the first meeting 32-22.
Alabama leads the all-time series 46-37-1.
The two played each other 12 times from 1893-1907 before taking a break from the series over a contract dispute. After a 41-year hiatus, the rivalry was finally renewed in 1948.
Birmingham became the home for the Iron Bowl, as the large production of steel in the city gave the famous rivalry its name. The game was hosted annually at historic Legion Field for 41 consecutive years, during which Alabama won 26 of the 41 games.
In 1989, the late Pat Dye brought the Iron Bowl to Auburn for the first time. The Tigers won the game 30-20 for their fourth consecutive Iron Bowl victory. In 1993, Jordan-Hare Stadium became the permanent location for the Iron Bowl when Auburn was serving as the home team.
Alabama continued using Legion Field in Birmingham for its home Iron Bowls until 2000, when the upper decks were added to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Since 2000, Auburn has led the series 11-9.
However, the Crimson Tide has had recent success against the Tigers in Tuscaloosa. Auburn is 1-5 over the last six games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the lone victory being in 2010.
Known as “The Camback,” an undefeated No. 2 Auburn team traveled to Tuscaloosa to face No. 11 Alabama. Auburn went down 24-0 early and it looked as if its national championship hopes were on their way out the door.
Then, eventual Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton led the Tigers on a 28-3 scoring run to defeat Alabama 28-27. Auburn went on to win the SEC Championship and defeat Oregon in the 2010 BCS National Championship to claim its first title since 1957.
From 2009-2016, the winner of the Iron Bowl made an appearance in either the BCS National Championship or the College Football Playoff.
Alabama won both the Iron Bowl and National Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The Crimson Tide dominated Auburn from 2011-2012 on its path to win back-to-back national championships, outsourcing the Tigers 91-14 in that span.
The following season in 2013, The Tigers were back in the Iron Bowl win column, under new head coach Gus Malzahn. Nicknamed the “Kick-Six,” the game saw one of the wildest finishes to a college football game in recent years.
With one second remaining on the clock, Alabama lined up to attempt a game-winning 56-yard field goal. The kick was short and fielded by Auburn’s Chris Davis, who ran the ball back 109-yards for a walk-off Auburn touchdown. The 2013 Tigers went on to defeat Missouri in the SEC Championship but lost to Florida State in the BCS National Championship.
This year’s Iron Bowl sees No. 22 Auburn travel to face No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In games where Alabama is ranked No. 1, the Crimson Tide are 6-2 all-time against the Tigers. However, Alabama has never lost to Auburn as a No. 1 ranked team at home.