For the second time in five years, the annual Auburn-Alabama matchup — the Iron Bowl — carries even more weight than the normal in-state bragging rights. Gus Malzahn’s Tigers and Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide will square off Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the SEC West title.
No. 1 Alabama (11-0 overall, 7-0 SEC) has rolled through its regular season in dominant fashion without much of a hiccup. No. 6 Auburn (9-2, 6-1) has clawed back from two close-but-ugly losses in college football’s Death Valleys to stay in championship contention behind elite defense and explosive, balanced offense.
Auburn will enter the Iron Bowl with a top-notch starting quarterback in Jarrett Stidham and a possible Heisman contender in running back Kerryon Johnson. Alabama will counter with superstar sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts, a stable of elite running backs and do-it-all receiver Calvin Ridley. The defenses also are star-studded, which should make this rivalry meeting one of the best in recent memory.