The Most Important Iron Bowl Games of All Time
This game needs no introduction nor any description. Alabama and Auburn face off each year to gain control of state bragging rights, and this year, this game may mean more to each program than ever before. The importance of this game got us thinking about which games have been the most important thus far in this heated rivalry, so we went back in the history books and found the games that have had the most impact for both schools.
February 22, 1893
How can you possibly leave off the first ever meeting between the two schools in a list of the most important games? This one started everything off, although I’m not sure anyone at that time could foresee this rivalry becoming as intense as it is now.
Auburn won 32-22
November 16, 1907
On this date, the Tide and Tigers fought to a 6-6 tie, but this game was the final game the two teams would play against each other for 41 years. There are speculations as to why the two teams decided not to play for 4 decades, but some say the real reason was monetary concerns.
The long break only added to this already heated rivalry, since both teams claimed the other cheated and played dirty throughout the first 11 games of the series. After 41 years of building up hate, the Iron Bowl took off and began the best rivalry in sports.
December 22, 1989
As many people know, this was the first Iron Bowl to be played in Auburn, AL. Although there had already been two games played in Tuscaloosa (1895, 1901), this game added a new element to the fire that is the Iron Bowl. This was the catalyst to jump start this rivalry to being a home-and-home series, with the current format beginning in 2000.
Auburn won this game 30-20.
November 27, 1971
Despite many believing that the 2013 edition of the Iron Bowl is the first time the two teams met while both were in the top 5, the 1971 game was actually the first year this occurred. It still remains the only Iron Bowl to feature both the Tide and Tigers undefeated and untied. This game had SEC and national title implications, not to mention this was one of 18 match-ups between two of the greatest coaches in both programs’ history: Paul W. “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan.
Alabama came out victorious 31-7.
November 27, 2009
This game may not have had national importance for the team on the plains, but for the Crimson Tide, this game was the game that kept their undefeated season alive. Deemed as “The Comeback,” Greg McElroy drove the offense down the field during the final minutes, and ended it with a play-action TD pass to Roy Upchurch with just seconds left on the clock.
The dynasty that we are currently witnessing would not have been possible had it not been for the willpower and drive (pun intended) of the boys in crimson and white that fateful day.
Alabama won 26-21.