#6 – 2008 Alabama vs Auburn – 10 Most Important Games of the Saban Era
Welcome back to our weekly edition of Throwback Thursday, a look back and countdown of the 10 most important games of the Nick Saban era at the University of Alabama. We continue on this week with our 6th ranked game-the 2008 meeting between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers.
In his opening press conference Nick Saban told fans and media “You know we have an opponent in this state that we work every day, 365 days a year to dominate-but that’s our goal.” However his opening season things didn’t go quite as planned.
Alabama limped into the Iron Bowl in 2007 with a 6-5 record, and played a very close game throughout, but again fell short 17-10. Thoughts of the sure-touchdown catch that popped off DJ Hall’s hands into those of an Auburn DB to end the first half replayed over and over again as fans wondered what might have been.
It had been six, long, painful years for Alabama fans as year after year they saw Tommy Tubberville’s team celebrate victoriously.
But Nick Saban was about to keep his promise.
In 2008, Alabama did dominate their opponents. To that point everyone from Clemson to Mississippi State had seen a different Crimson Tide team, but Auburn was different-Alabama had to win this game.
Unfortunately for the Auburn Tigers, Alabama didn’t just win, they dominated. Leading just 10-0 after the half Alabama’s offense rained down three more touchdowns in the 3rd quarter with the final nail in the coffin coming in the waning moments as Greg McElroy, then a backup, connected with Marquis Maze for a picturesque 34 yard touchdown pass in front of the student section as Bryant Denny erupted.
Then it came. 6 years of pain, 6 years of frustration were released as Rammer Jammer was sung so loudly and so true: Alabama did really just beat the hell out of Auburn.
It was the moment the state of football in Alabama had changed; Auburn had officially been dethroned as the state’s premier team and the Crimson Tide were back on top.