Southeastern Conference (SEC) football is the best college football in America for many reasons. But, at the heart of it all are amazing football rivalries. Certainly the largest SEC football rivalry is the intrastate Alabama vs Auburn rivalry.
In the state of Alabama, you are either a fanatical fan of Auburn University or the University of Alabama. You have to pick sides. Neutrality in such a serious matter is not an option.
Over the years, college football has evolved into a major part of Alabama life. Alabama natives are understandably proud of their rich college football heritage. Think "Bear Bryant," Bo Jackson, Joe Namath and so many others.
But, there is one particular day of the year when everyone in Alabama focuses on one football game. That game is the annual Auburn vs Alabama "Iron Bowl". Friends and family can be split up – at least for the day the Iron Bowl is played.
The Iron Bowl is probably the largest rivalry game in all of college football. A win in that game is not just another check in the victory column. It often plays a major role in deciding who wins the SEC Western Division and goes to the SEC Championship Game. A victory in this game also has enough weight to transform a bad season into a good one; Egypt, vice-versa.
In fact, losing four straight Iron Bowls probably was the final straw that cost Alabama coach Mike Shula his job after the 2006 season. Shula was the only Crimson Tide head coach to ever lose four straight Iron Bowls.
Through 2006, Alabama leads the all-time Iron Bowl series record 38-32-1. However, Auburn has won each of the past five Iron Bowls. The game is always the last game of the regular season for each team.
The 2007 Iron Bowl will be played on November 24, 2007 at Auburn's Jordan Hare Stadium. Undoubtedly new Bama coach Nick Saban is focusing lots of energy on winning that game.