There are rivalries, and there's the Iron Bowl. It may not have the relevance and conference title implications of Ohio State-Michigan, but for 24/7, 365 sheer hatred, it's tough to beat Alabama versus Auburn.And this year's matchup may seem like a bit of a mismatch, with the Tide (10-1, 6-1 in the SEC) ranked second and almost surely destined for the SEC Championship and theCollege Football Playoff, while Auburn (6-5, 2-5 in conference) sits unranked and settling for the ultimate spoiler role. Auburn doesn't have any hopes besides whatever second-tier bowl game they land in, but an upset like this over the Tide would live forever in the lore of this rivalry, and almost surely end any national title hopes for the in-state rival.For Alabama, there is only winning. Auburn is just the next opponent to be conquered, followed by Florida in the SEC Championship Game, and then redemption in the playoffs after last season's loss to Ohio State. Derrick Henry's run to the Heisman Trophy has another chance to gain some traction as well with a big performance. The 6-4, 240-pound junior has 482 yards and seven touchdowns in his last three games in November.
Three big things to know :
1. The Moments : The Kick Six. Punt Bama Punt. Bo Over the Top. The Kick. This rivalry has some of the SEC's most memorable moments, and between Henry's Heisman campaign or the possibility of Auburn playing the ultimate spoiler, there's always the chance that you might see some history in this one.
2. Jeremy Johnson : Auburn's much-ballyhooed quarterback may not have met his preseason all-conference hype, but he's started to find his groove in the last few week, channeling his inner Nick Marshall with some run/pass option type plays. Alabama's struggled with those in the past, and that could be the chance Auburn needs.
3. Calvin Ridley : Alabama's star freshman receiver hasn't topped the 100-yard mark in five games, but Auburn's secondary has been torched this season, even allowing 356 yards last week to Idaho. With so much attention on Henry, there may be some chances for Ridley to shake lose.