The Game Is This Week (As if You Didn't Know)

Image courtesy of Jimmy Bank

J. Bank

In 1959, Auburn had the "home game" in Birmingham, where the teams played annually at Legion Field.

Alabama had lost the last five games to Auburn and Crimson Tide fans weren't very happy during the streak. It even helped lead to the hiring of a new coach in 1958, former player Paul W. "Bear" Bryant.  

Not only did Alabama win the 1959 and the next three as well, but all four games were shutouts.

Alabama football roster in 1959 that beat Auburn.
Two of the coaches who made this rivalry what it is today.  Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant on the right and Auburn coach Shug Jordan on the far left.
The headline on this photo says it all!

A quote from Coach Bryant summed up what this game meant for the team, the school and the fans: “The state championship of Alabama means everything. This is for bragging rights for the next 365 days.” 

Overall, Alabama and Auburn will meet for the 84th time on Saturday (2:30 p.m., CBS).

Alabama holds a 46-36-1 (.560) lead in a series that dates back to the 1893 season. 

The Crimson Tide and Tigers first met on Feb. 22, 1893, at Birmingham’s Lakeview Park with the Tigers claiming 32-22 victory in the inaugural matchup. 

Alabama has had the upper hand in recent meetings, claiming eight of the last 11 games.

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is 10-7 all-time against Auburn, including an 8-4 mark in the Iron Bowl. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is 2-4 against Alabama in his seven years with the Tigers. 

For the 34th time since 1980, at least one team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 entering the annual showdown. 

Neither team was ranked in 1982, 1998 and 2003. 

The College Football Playoff committee has Alabama at No. 5, while Auburn is No. 15. 

The Crimson Tide is 32-12 (.727) against the Tigers when ranked in the AP poll. Auburn has been ranked a total of 30 times in Iron Bowl history and has compiled a 21-9 (.700) record when ranked in the AP Top 25.

The highest-ranked team owns a 46-11 (.807) record in the series since 1955.

Bryant holds the Iron Bowl record for most games coached (25) and most wins (19). With a win Saturday, Nick Saban can tie Shug Jordan for the second-most wins with nine. Overall, including his year at LSU, Saban is 10-7 against Auburn.