The fiercest rivalry in all of college football takes place each year in late November as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers meet in a series known as 'The Iron Bowl'. The series earned its name following years of playing in Birmingham, known for producing iron.
The series started in 1893 when the two teams met in Birmingham. The Auburn Tigers clinched the first win of the series, which was played not in November, but in February! The teams met again that same year, this time in Montgomery. The November game saw Auburn take its second win.
Though the first game was played 110 years ago, the teams have not met 110 times. Between 1896-1900 and again between 1907-1948, the in-state rivals avoided playing each other.
To date, the teams have played each other 77 times in four different locations: Birmingham (53x), Tuscaloosa (9x), Montgomery (4x) and Auburn (11x).
Alabama had the advantage when playing in Birmingham (34-19). The teams were tied when playing in Montgomery (2-2). The Iron Bowl is no longer played in these cities, having seen its last matchup in Montgomery back in 1903 and in Birmingham in 1998.
The teams now alternate between Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium on even years and Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on odd years, locations where Auburn retains the statistical advantage (7-4 in Auburn and 7-2 in Tuscaloosa).
Alabama holds the all-time series lead with 42 wins to Auburn's 34. The Crimson Tide has maintained the series lead since the 1965 season when it pulled to 15 wins over Auburn's 14.
The longest winning streak for Alabama is nine (1973-1981) under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
The longest winning streak for Auburn is six (2002-2007) under Coach Tommy Tuberville.
The Iron Bowl has featured a battle between in-state national champions for the last 4 seasons, a record. Alabama went on to when the BCS National Championship in 2009, followed by Auburn in 2010. The Crimson Tide won the national championship again, this time in back-to-back season in 2011 and 2012. Currently ranked No. 1 in the final year of the BCS, the undefeated Crimson Tide has a chance to enter the national championship for a third straight year in 2013.
Here's how the teams have done during each year's meeting. Note the absence of wins/losses during the years between 1895-1900 and 1907- 1948. The teams did not play during those years.
No games were played between the teams from 1896 to 1899
No games were played between the teams from 1908 to 1947
Sunday, July 20 2014 5:21 PM EDT2014-07-20 21:21:42 GMT
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
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