ALABAMA vs AUBURN
The Alabama and Auburn football programs were less than a year old when the schools staged the first game of what was to become the most intense intrastate college rivalry in the nation.
Other states boast great traditional rivalries … games such as Texas-Texas A&M, Georgia-Georgia Tech, USC-UCLA and Florida-Florida State … but the Iron Bowl seems to generate a passion like no other.
Crimson Tide and Tiger loyalties run deeper than than any bloodline. The passion is so great in the hearts and minds of Alabamians it can cause health problems. Friends can turn into enemies during the course of the game and entire business deals can actually depend on the outcome of what has become known nationwide as the Iron Bowl.
In a state that has had a century-old love affair with college football, this one, 60 minutes of football determines bragging rights in Alabama for the next 364 days. The losers have only "next year" to cling to because the scores of other games during the season really do not matter.
There are few people in the state who have not committed to one school or the other for the Iron Bowl, so named for its traditional Birmingham home and birthplace. Birmingham, of course, was built around huge iron ore deposits in Alabama's hill country.
Perhaps the unusual fact that, after 1907, the two schools did not meet for 40 years, added to the intensity of the series when it was resumed. That intensity has not relented. Maybe the fact that, until 1989, it was held every year in Birmingham with the tickets split between the schools, has added to the passion and electricity of the game. Whatever the reason, the Iron Bowl has incredible impact on the state and its people.
The Beginning of a Rivalry (1893-1906)
Only 450 people were at Birmingham's Lakeview Baseball Park on Feb. 22, 1893, to witness what would eventually become the Iron Bowl. That historic game saw Auburn walk away with a 32-22 victory. Little did the handful of football fans realize what would develop from the first encounter.
From the time of the series' conception until a 6-6 tie in 1907, Auburn dominated, winning seven of 11 games.
The early years were highlighted by intense, hard-nosed football, promoting the traditional reasons the rivalry became so popular and important to football fans in this state. More than 100 years later, the game would become the state's great divider.
The Series is Suspended (1907-1949)
For more than four decades, Alabama and Auburn football fans could only dream about on-the-field competition between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers. The Iron Bowl was dormant from 1907 to 1948 in spite of continuous efforts to revive the intense intrastate rivalry.
Myth and legend indicate a controversy concerning violence and dirty play during the 1907 game brought an early end to the Iron Bowl, but history records show that money within the game contracts was the primary stumbling block. Also, Auburn wanted an unbiased "Northern man" to officiate the game.
During the 1907 game, the hotel allowance for 17 men from each team was $2 per man, per day, including lodging and meals. On Jan. 23, 1908, Alabama coach J.W. Pollard received a proposed contract from Auburn football manager Thomas Bragg asking for $3.50 per day for 22 men from each team for two nights for a game to be played at Birmingham's Fair Grounds. Alabama offered $3 per day for 20 men for two nights. Even then, Auburn and Alabama fans had trouble agreeing on anything and apparently a discrepancy of $34 could not be resolved until 41 years later.
The two schools tried to save the series in 1908. In late September, Auburn agreed to accept a compromise contract as suggested by Alabama, and Alabama agreed to meet Auburn's demands on players and per diem. All that remained was the selection of a date, but as with all decisions involving the Tide and the Tigers, compromise was difficult to achieve.
Auburn offered four possible dates to play. Before a reply was made, two of the dates passed and it was too late to change dates of other games. There were still two chances to play, including Nov. 21 when Alabama had a game schedule with Haskell Institute and Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Alabama would not cancel the Haskell Institute game, honoring its contract. That ruled out Nov. 21, and the Auburn Board of Trustees refused to change its long-standing rule prohibiting football games after Thanksgiving. The Auburn-Alabama series had stopped indefinately.
There was another effort to resume the series in 1911. Alabama suggested the two rivals play again but Auburn rejected the idea. Again, there was a move initiated by Alabama in 1923 to resume the series but Auburn president Dr. Spright Dowell rejected the overture saying such a game would make "other games, contests and events subservient to the one supreme event of the year."
During the standoff, Wallace Wade would lead the Crimson Tide to national prominance. In 1924, Alabama won its first Southern Conference title with an 8-1 record. A year later, the first national championship came to Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide was 10-0 and defeated Washington 20-19 in the Rose Bowl.
Alabama shared the national championship with Stanford, Navy and Lafayette in 1926 and played 7-7 tie with Stanford in the 1927 Rose Bowl. It claimed its third national title four years later with a perfect 10-0 record. This time, the Crimson Tide blanked Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl.
While Alabama was winning national titles, Auburn's program was on a slide. From 1923-31, the Tigers had only three winning seasons. However, in 1932, Auburn went 9-0-1 to win the Southern Conference under Coach Chet Wynne. It turned out be a short reprieve. From 1933-48 Auburn had only five winning seasons.
Meanwhile, Alabama was on an unprecedented roll. The Crimson Tide ripped off 14-straight winning seasons, captured four Southeastern Conferences championships and added two more national titles in 1934 and 1941 under Coach Frank Thomas. Despite Alabama's success, Auburn wanted to renew the series in 1944. This time, Alabama said no.
Alabama's Board of Trustees was against the resumption, saying that an Auburn-Alabama rivalry would lead to an overemphasis of football in Alabama and an unhealthy increase in rumor and rancor between the two schools. The Board also said an intrastate rivalry would make it impossible for either school to hire coaches of "high character and proven ability" because they would be afraid of beating the cross-state rival every year. After 1944, several legislative attempts were made to force the two schools to play again, but all attempts failed. The Legislature did, however, pass several resolutions calling on the two schools to play each other. Those resolutions were rejected by both schools.
In 1948, the series finally resumed thanks to a conversation between the schools' presidents. Auburn President Ralph B. Draughon and Alabama President John M. Gallalee were attending a meeting in Birmingham. Dr. Gallalee suggested "there's no reason in the world why Alabama and Auburn can't play one another." Dr. Draughon agreed. A meeting was set up in April of 1948, and the two schools agreed to renew their athletic rivalry. Later that year in Birmingham, a "Bury the Hatchet" ceremony was held that ended the disputes off the field, replacing them with rivalries on the field where they belong.
The Rivalry Finally Resumes
On Dec. 4, 1948, the big game was finally resumed at Birmingham's Legion Field. Alabama, which had earned a national reputation with trips to the Rose and Sugar bowls, overwhelmed the Tigers, 55-0. Alabama came into the 1949 Iron Bowl again expecting to blow away the Tigers but Auburn won its second game of the year with a 14-13 upset of the Tide.
As the decade of the 1940s closed, the big Alabama gridiron battle had been resumed ending years of frustration of fans in the state who wanted the two schools to play one another. The pregame festivity and pageantry became a vital part of the renewed big game and grew each year. Tickets for the Iron Bowl were split between the schools and gates to Legion Field were opened several hours before the start of the contest and the student bodies of the two schools would attempt to drown out the opposite side with "Roll Tide" and "War Eagle." The annual shouting matches lasted for hours.
Just prior to the start of the game, both bands would come onto the field playing their respective fight songs. The Alabama Million Dollar Band would form the traditional UA while the Auburn Band would form the traditional AU. The alma maters would then be played, the bands combining to play the National Anthem. Then, with emotions at a fever pitch and most voices already hoarse, the football game would finally begin.
The Emergance of Two Legends (1950-59)
The Crimson Tide had dominated since the re-emergence of the series winning five of the first six games. Things were just the opposite for Auburn. In the six seasons following resumption of the series, the Tigers were the worst team in the SEC, having won just 14 games. After posting a 0-10 record in 1950, Auburn was tired of losing, especially to Alabama, so it hired Ralph "Shug" Jordan to rectify things.
Jordan came back to his alma mater in 1951 and took advantage of the wretched Alabama teams coached by J.B. "Ears" Whitworth. From 1954-1958, Auburn posted it's longest winning streak ever against Alabama. Then in 1957, Auburn ended it's season a perfect 10-0 that earned the Tigers their first and only national championship.
In 1955, Alabama suffered it's only 0-10 season, got tired of losing to Auburn, and eventually called Paul "Bear" Bryant home. Bryant took over as head coach in 1958 and in his second year, stopped Auburn's winning streak at five. Alabama and Auburn would split the decade winning five games each, with Crimson Tide dominating the first half and the Tigers dominating the second half. But tough times lay ahead for the Tigers as Bryant would go on to take control of the increasingly bitter rivalry.
Bryant Dominates (1960-1969)
By the time the decade of the 1960s had begun, sportswriters around the nation had developed a keen interest and curiosity in the Iron Bowl staged each year in Birmingham's Legion Field. When the decade began, Auburn held the unique distinction of being the only Southeastern Conference team that held a lead over Alabama in its series of games. The Tigers' 13-10-1 advantage was to become a 18-15-1 Tide advantage by the time the 1969 Iron Bowl was history.
Television also began developing an interest in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry and first beamed the classic rivalry to the rest of the nation on Nov. 26, 1964. Coach Jordan's Tigers came into the game with a 6-3 record and with consecutive wins over Mississippi State and Georgia. Bryant's Crimson Tide, led by Joe Willie Namath, was undefeated (9-0) and, in fact, had not lost since Auburn upset the Tide 10-8 in the Iron Bowl the year before.
Legion Field was absolutely electric with excitement. Thousands roamed the stadium outside hoping somehow to get into the game and apparently ignoring the fact that it was on national television.
Of course, the tickets were split for the game with half of the throng of 68,000 screaming for the Tide and the other half for the Tigers. The two bands went through the pregame ritual of coming onto the field together, playing the fight song for each school, the alma mater for each school and then combining to play the national anthem.
On this day the tension became almost unbearable by the time the final strains of "The Star Spangled Banner" had floated across the stadium and it was as if the world stood still for this football game. For the first time a national TV audience observed the Alabama backyard brawl and it had all the ingredients to keep fans interested. With Shug and Bear on the sidelines, bowl representatives in the press box and pride at stake, it was war.
The two teams battled back and forth with both sides giving their all. All-America fullback Tucker Frederickson could not be stopped by the tough Tide defense but the Tigers could not contain Namath. Alabama finally won, 21-14. Fans were absolutely exhausted and drained from the tension and, for the first time, the rest of college football had a better idea of what the Iron Bowl was all about.
The Tide won the national championship and went on to the Orange Bowl where Texas upset Bama, 21-17. Perhaps it was the non-sports events going on in the state that caused so much importance to be placed on this game. George Wallace was governer and he was defying the federal government at every turn.
A year earlier, he had tried to block two black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama. Marches and demonstrations were the order of the day in Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham and fans seem to take refuge in college football in order to escape the media microscope focused on the state's racial problems.
Jordan and Bryant became joint celebrities as after-dinner speakers told and re-told jokes about the two coaches. They would appear on television spots together pushing community causes. It was true glory years for Alabama with the Crimson Tide winning three national titles and going to a bowl game each year including three Sugar Bowls, three Orange Bowls, one Cotton Bowl, one Gator Bowl, one Liberty Bowl and one Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.
Auburn was also gaining national recognition for appearances in the Orange, Liberty, Sun and Astro-Bluebonnet bowls and the Tigers finished regularly in the nation's top 20. Jordan continued to be effective during the decade in recruiting top players at Auburn and Bryant continued to attract winners at Alabama. For the Tide, it was the decade of great quarterbacks with Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Steve Sloan and Scott Hunter, to name a few. It would also be remembered by Bama fans as the decade that saw Stabler's famous "Run in the Mud" play against Auburn in 1967.
Perhaps the greatest performance at quarterback came from Pat Trammell, who directed the Tide to the 1961 national championship. While he did not possess the arm of a Namath or Stabler, he always knew the position of the team on the field and how much it took to make a first down and keep a drive going.
Trammell seemed to typlify the players that Bryant attracted to Alabama during the era … people with little talent but great heart. Across the state, Shug was able to instill the great love he had for Auburn in his players and produced his share of outstanding stars during the 1960s. Pat Sullivan, whom he recruited, went on to be the first player from the state to win the Heisman Trophy.
Tide Continues It's Domination (1970-1982)
The decade of the 1970s was colored in crimson as far as the Iron Bowl is concerned but the Auburn Tigers were not without their moments of emotion and glory. Alabama installed the wishbone offense and won three more national championships before the decade ended but perhaps one of the greatest upsets in the history of the storied series occurred in 1972 in what has become known as the "Punt, Bama, Punt" game.
Alabama came into the game undefeated, ranked number two in the nation. Auburn came into the game as heavy underdogs despite a 9-1 record. The Crimson Tide was completely in control of this game for three quarters and had a 16-0 lead with only 10 minutes left in the game. An Auburn drive stalled and Coach Shug Jordan was booed as he ordered his team to try a long field goal. It was good and the margin was 16-3.
Then, Alabama got the ball and could not move it. Auburn's Bill Newton blocked an Alabama punt and it bounced into the hands of teammate David Langner who ran 25 yards for a Tiger touchdown and that narrowed the gap to 16-10.
Again, the Auburn defense was tough and Bama's Greg Gantt was sent in to punt again. The ball was snapped and Newton broke through and blocked the punt and Langner again scooped it up for a 20-yard gallop to paydirt. The extra point was good and Tide fans were stunned as the scoreboard revealed a 17-16 Tiger win.
However, the real story of the 1970s were the nine consecutive Alabama victories from 1973 through 1981. Alabama's great wishbone teams were simply overpowering. It was also an emotional decade for the Auburn Tigers. Jordan ended his tenure as the most beloved coach in the history of Auburn football in 1975.
Something seem to be missing from the Iron Bowl in 1976, when new coach Doug Barfield brought the Tigers to Birmingham. Bryant was still calling the shots for Bama and the Tide won 38-7 but the element of the Shug-Bear competition seemed to be missed by both sides. Barfield would never defeat the Bear in his five years at Auburn.
When the decade of the '80s began, Alabama was seeking a third consecutive national championship and Auburn was on the verge of beginning a search for a new coach. Bryant's dominance in the state was unquestioned.
Auburn turned over its fortunes to Pat Dye in 1981, who had been a Bryant assistant coach at Alabama. Dye would eventually transform the Auburn program during the '80s. Meanwhile, Alabama fans were counting the victories as Bryant mounted his march to 315 wins to become the winningest coach in major college football history. The clincher came in the '81 win over Auburn, led by Dye who was in his first season as head coach.
However, the end of another era was marked the next year as the Bear lost his final Iron Bowl, 23-22, to Dye. Two weeks later, Bryant announced his retirement. He won his final bowl game, the 1982 Liberty Bowl over Illinois, 21-15, and a month later he was dead.
Change comes and traditions give way even in college football and but memories of the Iron Bowls with Bear and Shug on the sidelines live on in the hearts of both fans.
The Balance of Power (1983-1996)
Perhaps at no other time in the history of the Alabama-Auburn football series has the volley of power been more evident than in the past few decades.
On the eve of the series' next chapter, many of the stars and pivotal moments of the games played during the '80s and early '90s show the delicate balance that decides winner from loser, champion from challenger. The tug of war over state supremacy has gone from side to side and back again.
During the 80's, Dye used the talents of Bo Jackson and a host of other talented players to rebuild the Auburn program and for the most part, the '80s belonged to the Tigers.
Perkins, Bryant's hand-picked successor, left the New York Giants to take over the reins at Alabama, but Dye, aided by the win over Bryant, had gained a foothold in recruiting and was in the process of restoring Auburn's pride.
However, Perkins led Alabama to a 17-15 win over Auburn in '84, the saving grace of a 5-6 season.
The following year's Iron Bowl will be rembered as perhaps the most memorable field goal in Alabama history as Van Tiffin kicked a 52-yarder in the closing seconds to beat Auburn 25-23. Tiffin's kick drove a stake in Auburn's heart. Some solace was regained for the Tigers as Bo Jackson was selected winner of the Heisman Trophy. Auburn, returned the favor in '86, defeating Alabama 21-17.
At the end of the year, Perkins announced he was leaving the Tide to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In stepped Bill Curry of Georgia Tech, a surprise choice. Curry brought controversy and a division among Tide followers with him.
In '87, Curry's first year, Alabama was 7-5, but lost its last three games, including a 10-0 loss to Auburn. The next season, '88, brought the Tide a 9-3 record but again, a 15-10 loss to Auburn.
Then came '89, perhaps the proudest moment in the series for Auburn fans and perhaps one of the most disappointing moments for Alabama fans. After years of haggling, Auburn finally demanded its home games in the series be played in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Yet the Tigers, who finished 10-2 that season and won its third straight SEC title, had to face an unbeaten Alabama team. The town was awash in blue and orange and the Tigers won, 30-20.
Alabama, sharing the SEC crown with Auburn, went to the Sugar Bowl while Auburn went to the Hall of Fame Bowl. In three tries, Curry never defeated Auburn, which ultimately helped lead to his departure.
The '90s entered with Gene Stallings taking over the Alabama program and Eric Ramsey shaking the foundation of Auburn's program with his allegations of wrongdoing. Auburn slipped to 8-3-1 in a season that promised great things but ended in bitter disappointment.
Meanwhile, the shift of power was taking place again. Stallings surrounded himself with several former Tide coaches and players and mended the separation caused by the Curry reign. Stallings gained immediate accreditation with the Tide's 16-7 victory over the Tigers.
Auburn's disappointment continued with a 13-6 loss to Alabama included in the school's first losing season 5-6 since Dye's first season. Alabama was on the other end of the spectrum, rolling to an 11-1 record and reclaiming the throne as the leader in the power struggle between the two schools.
The next season, the Crimson Tide captured it's twelth national championship that included a victory over the Tigers, 17-0. Amist a losing season and upcoming NCAA sanctions, it was to be Pat Dye's last season as Auburn's head coach.
Terry Bowden, son of Florida State's Bobby Bowden was hired from Division I-AA Samford to coach the Tigers. In his first season, Bowden lead the Tigers to an undeafeated season that included a 22-14 win over Bama at Jordan-Hare Stadium. However, the Tigers were uneligable to play in a post season bowl because of NCAA violations relating to the Ramsey case and were denied a chance to compete for a national championship.
In 1994, a showdown of unbeatens came to Legion Field to settle who what the dominate team in the state. Trailing late in the game and needing a touchdown to win, Auburn was driving with less than a minute to go. On a fourth down pass, Sam Shade drilled Auburn's receiver right at the first down marker. The ball was spotted and measured and the ball was short...my a mere inch! Shade's gutsy hit insured the Bama victory.
However, turnabout was fair play as the Tide's lost 31-27 to Auburn in 1995. A controversial call late in the game had the state debating for weeks. Alabama was driving late in the game. A pass caught by Curtis Brown in the endzone was called out-of-bounds by officials. Alabama claimed he had one foot in, Tiger fans (and officials) disagreed, and Auburn preserved their Iron Bowl streak at Jordan-Hare stadium.
The 1996 Iron Bowl would prove to be a memorable game for Tide fans for years to come. It was a game Bama had to win to get back to the SEC Championship game. It was a seesaw battle that saw Bama up seventeen points in the first half, only to see Auburn score the next twenty-three points. Auburn had visions of victory with the Tigers up 23-17 with only minutes left. Bama QB Freddie Kitchens marched the team down the field that ended with a pass to Dennis Riddle who went in for the tying score. The extra point was good and Bama pulled out a heart-stopping 24-23 win. After the game, Gene Stallings announced he would retire after the Crimson Tide's bowl game against Michigan.
Coaching Changes and Controversy (1997-Present)
The next few years would be turbulent times for both programs as they went through their fair share of coaching changes and controversey.
In 1997, Mike DuBose inherited a program under NCAA sanctions regarding the Gene Jelks and Antonio Langham cases, and it showed. In his first year, the Tide went 4-7. A narrow 17-18 loss to Auburn once again in Jordan-Hare stadium brought a bitter end to a dissapointing season. Bama had the lead late in the game and could have ran the clock out with a first down run. Unexplicably, a pass call was made, which was fumbled and the Tigers recovered deep in Alabama territory. Auburn marched down the field and scored with seconds remaining on the clock, sealing a 18-17 victory. It also sealed the fate for several of Bama's coaches as they took the fall for the loss.
In 1998, Terry Bowden left the Auburn program during the season amist a losing record and controversy over his relationship with Auburn trustees. Bill Oliver took over the Tigers on an interim basis. Oliver's team played with heart against Alabama, piling up a 17-0 lead at halftime. But Alabama roared back and won 31-17.
Tommy Tuberville took over the Auburn program in 1999. While most of the season was a disappointment for the Tigers, a victory over their rival would help ease the pain. Alabama had not beaten Auburn in Jordan-Hare for four straight meetings. Bama was losing 14-6 in the third quarter. Bama QB Tyler Watts came in for a lackluster Zow and marched the Tide to the Auburn 6-yard line. RB Shaun Alexander was stopped short of the endzone four times in a row and things looked like they were going the Auburn's way. However, on the very next play Bama sacked Auburn quarterback Ben Leard in the end zone for a safety. The Tigers kicked the ball back to Bama and Shaun Alexander proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game. Alexander marched into the endzone to give Bama a 15-14 go ahead score. Not only that, he scored two more TD's in the 4th quarter to seal a Bama victory, 28-17. Auburn's season and home field dominance was over and Bama was on it's way to becoming SEC Champions with an eventual victory over the Florida Gators.
The next year, things went downhill for the Tide. Reports of instablility among the coaching staff and players, along with the team's poor performance and scandal in the program, lead to the announcement that Dubose would not be retained after the end of the season. The only way Alabama could salvage their season was with a win against Auburn in an historic Iron Bowl game that would now be played in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 1901. Played on a freezing, rainy day mixed with sleet, Bama couldn't overcome the Tigers and lost 9-0.
In 2001, Dennis Franchione took over the reigns of the Crimson Tide amist a cloud of more accusations of NCAA violations. However, he would lead them to an unexpected Iron Bowl victory in his first season. No one gave Alabama much of a chance to compete with the Tigers. In fact, only one sportswriter in the entire state predicted a Bama victory. And rightfully so, Auburn had a 7-3 record, was playing at home, and only needed to beat Bama to win the SEC West and advance to the SEC title game. What occured on November 17th was truely an Iron Bowl classic that will be remembered for years to come as Alabama went into Jordan-Hare stadium and embarrassed the Auburn Tigers 31-7. Two highlights of the game included an off-balance 45- yard touchdown throw from Zow to McAddley late in the second quarter and a two play, 80-yard drive ending with a 47-yard touchdown run by Santonio Beard to start the third quarter.
While the past few years have proved to be turbulant times for both programs, both Alabama and Auburn have had success in the past few seasons. Since 1997, they have both played in SEC Championship games despite going through four coaches in the past five years combined. The future now looks brighter than ever with the Iron Bowl now being played on each school's campus permanately for the first time in history. Who will earn "bragging rights" in 2002? Only time will tell.
|Feb. 22, 1893||Auburn||32-22||Lakeview Baseball Park, Birmingham|
|Nov. 30, 1893||Auburn||40-16||Riverside Park, Montgomery|
|Nov. 29, 1894||Alabama||18-0||Riverside Park, Montgomery|
|Nov. 23, 1895||Auburn||48-0||Tuscaloosa|
|Nov. 17, 1900||Auburn||53-5||Montgomery|
|Nov. 15, 1901||Auburn||17-0||Tuscaloosa|
|Oct. 18, 1902||Auburn||23-0||West End Park, Birmingham|
|Oct. 23, 1903||Alabama||18-6||Highland Park, Montgomery|
|Nov. 12, 1904||Auburn||29-5||West End Park, Birmingham|
|Nov. 18, 1905||Alabama||30-0||West End Park, Birmingham|
|Nov. 17, 1906||Alabama||10-0||Birmingham Fair Grounds|
|Nov. 16, 1907||Tie||6-6||Birmingham Fair Grounds|
|Dec. 4, 1948||Alabama||55-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 3, 1949||Auburn||14-13||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1950||Alabama||34-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1951||Alabama||25-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1952||Alabama||21-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 28, 1953||Alabama||10-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1954||Auburn||28-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 26, 1955||Auburn||26-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1956||Auburn||34-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 30, 1957||Auburn||40-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1958||Auburn||14-8||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 28, 1959||Alabama||10-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 26, 1960||Alabama||3-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1961||Alabama||34-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1962||Alabama||38-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 30, 1963||Auburn||10-8||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 26, 1964||Alabama||21-14||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1965||Alabama||30-3||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 3, 1966||Alabama||31-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1967||Alabama||7-3||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 3, 1968||Alabama||24-16||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1969||Auburn||49-26||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 28, 1970||Auburn||33-28||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1971||Alabama||31-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1972||Auburn||17-16||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1973||Alabama||35-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1974||Alabama||17-13||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1975||Alabama||28-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1976||Alabama||38-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 26, 1977||Alabama||48-21||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1978||Alabama||34-16||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1979||Alabama||25-18||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1980||Alabama||34-18||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 28, 1981||Alabama||28-17||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1982||Auburn||23-22||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 3, 1983||Auburn||23-20||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 1, 1984||Alabama||17-15||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 30, 1985||Alabama||25-23||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 29, 1986||Auburn||21-17||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 27, 1987||Auburn||10-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 25, 1988||Auburn||15-10||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Dec. 2, 1989||Auburn||30-20||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
|Dec. 1, 1990||Alabama||16-7||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 30, 1991||Alabama||13-6||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 26, 1992||Alabama||17-0||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 20, 1993||Auburn||22-14||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
|Nov. 19, 1994||Alabama||21-14||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 18, 1995||Auburn||31-27||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
|Nov. 23, 1996||Alabama||24-23||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 22, 1997||Auburn||18-17||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
|Nov. 21, 1998||Alabama||31-17||Legion Field, Birmingham|
|Nov. 20, 1999||Alabama||28-17||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
|Nov. 18, 2000||Auburn||9-0||Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa|
|Nov. 17, 2001||Alabama||31-7||Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn|
Game By Game Summary of All 65 Iron Bowls
- Feb. 22, 1892: The first game was played at Lakeview Baseball Park in Birmingham in front of 226 Auburn fans and 220 Alabama fans. Auburn's 32-22 victory was front page news in the Birmingham Age-Herald.
- Nov. 30,1893: An evenly divided crowd witnessed Auburn's 40-16 rout over Alabama. Attendance was 3,000 at Montgomery's Riverside Park. Auburn scored seven touchdowns and received $350, while Alabama received $250.
- Nov. 29, 1894: The first upset of the series gave Alabama an 18-0 victory in front of 3,000 at Montgomery's Riverside Park.
- Nov. 23, 1895: Auburn won convincingly, 48-0 in Tuscaloosa, for first-year head coach John Heisman. Researchers have tried for years to find details from the game's lopsided score, but to no avail. Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery newspapers had only brief accounts of the game with no details or statistics.
- Nov. 17, 1900: Auburn scored nine touchdowns in the 53-5 victory in Montgomery. It was the first time that season Auburn had scored at all.
- Nov. 15, 1901: Auburn's 17-0 win in Tuscaloosa prompted this Birmingham News headline: "A Tiger Claws Alabama." It was only the second time the press had used the Tiger nickname to describe Auburn, and it was the first time the name was used for a game within the series.
- Oct. 18, 1902: Birmingham's West End Park was the site for the 23-0 Auburn victory. According to the weekly Tuscaloosa Times, both teams received $500 for playing the game.
- Oct. 23, 1903: The second upset of the series gave Alabama an 18-6 win at Montgomery's Highland Park. Auburn was favored 5-to-1 entering the game. The average weight of Alabama players was 148 pounds, compared to Auburn's 161-pound average.
- Nov. 12, 1904: Auburn won 29-5 at West End Park in Birmingham, marking the first time Auburn had been scored upon that season. The Birmingham News reported that the game "resulted in as fierce a game and struggle as was ever seen on the local gridiron." The 29-5 score was carried in all Alabama and Auburn records and today's Southeastern Conference Football Guide. Harvey Sartain scored Alabama's touchdown, but a discrepancy over the conversion has been disputed ever since. The Birmingham News reported the score 29-6.
- Nov. 18, 1905: A record crowd of 4,600 attended the Alabama 30-0 victory at Birmingham's West End Park. It was the biggest crowd to ever witness a football game in the city.
- Nov. 17, 1906: Alabama won 10-0 at the Birmingham Fair Grounds, but the game was played under protest. Auburn claimed Alabama left guard T.S. Sims was an illegal player. The protest was heard by the Southern Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association, but denied. Fans watched the game for just 75 cents per ticket. Box seats were an expensive $1 each.
- Nov. 16, 1907: The game ended in a 6-6 tie, a fitting score for the last game to be played between the two schools for the next 41 years.
- Dec. 4, 1948: After much anticipation and many political efforts, the big game was finally resumed at Birmingham's Legion Field. Alabama, which had earned a national reputation with trips to the Rose and Sugar bowls, overwhelmed the Tigers, 55-0.
- Dec. 3, 1949: Alabama came into the 1949 Iron Bowl again expecting to blow away the Tigers but Auburn won its second game of the year with a 14-13 upset of the Tide. Alabama finished the 1949 season with a 6-3-1 record.
- Dec. 2, 1950: Bobby Marlow scored three touchdowns in Alabama's 34-0 win that avenged the 14-13 upset loss to Auburn the year before. The Tigers finished 0-10 for the only time in school history.
- Dec. 1, 1951: Bobby Marlow scored three more touchdowns to spoil Shug Jordan's first game against Alabama as Auburn's head coach, 25-7. Vince Dooley quarterbacked the Tigers' only touchdown drive.
- Nov. 29, 1952: Tommy Lewis, who a couple of years later would jump off the bench to make his infamous tackle of Dickie Maegel in the Cotton Bowl, scored a couple of touchdowns to lead Alabama to a 21-0 win over Auburn.
- Nov. 28, 1953: Shug Jordan came out with his famous X and Y teams and for the first time since 1949, the Tigers scored first. But they couldn't hold the lead and lost 10-7. Late in the game, with the score tied 7-7, the Tigers were penalized for piling on, setting up Bobby Luna's game-winning 28-yard field goal with a minute left. It was the first field goal in the Iron Bowl since 1906.
- Nov. 27, 1954: Auburn started its five-year mastery of the Tide with a 28-0 win as the Tigers ran for 354 yards. Bobby Freeman scored three of the touchdowns.
- Nov. 26, 1955: Auburn beat Alabama Coach Ears Whitworth in his first Iron Bowl, 26-0. A pair of Howell Tubbs to Jerry Elliott passes ended long scoring drive of 80 and 90 yards. Alabama finished at 0-10 for the only time in its history.
- Dec. 1, 1956: Auburn had 489 yards of total offense in routing Alabama 34-7. Howell Tubbs passed to Jerry Elliott for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another.
- Nov. 30, 1957: Auburn went into the season finale against Alabama at 9-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country and needing a win to claim its first national championship. After it was over, it was hard to tell what was lower, the Tide or the freezing temperature. Auburn led 34-0 at halftime, which emptied the Alabama side of Legion Field, and won 40-0.
Mistakes destroyed the Tide, Billy Atkins scored on a couple of short runs after fumbles, Tommy Lorino returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown and Jackie Burkett brought back another interception 66 yards for a score. A couple of days after the lopsided loss, it was announced that Alabama had hired Paul ``Bear'' Bryant, a former Crimson Tide player and coach at Texas A&M, as its new head coach.
- Nov. 29, 1958: Shug Jordan won his first coaching battle against Bryant and a vastly improved Alabama squad, 14-8, to conclude a 9-0-1 season. The Tide trailed 14-0 in the fourth quarter, then pulled to within six points on a Marlin Dyess touchdown run, but couldn't recover an onside kick.
- Nov. 28, 1959: The decade ended for the Iron Bowl with Bryant claiming his first win over Auburn and Shug Jordan as the Tide's head coach, 10-0. The diminutive Marlin Dyess scored the only touchdown on a 39-yard pass from Bobby Skelton to seal the win in the third quarter.
- Nov. 26, 1960: Tommy Brooker of Demopolis booted a 23-yard field goal and the Alabama defense held Auburn to 63 yards rushing to preserve a 3-0 Tide victory and clinch a bid to the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston.
- Dec. 2, 1961: Quarterback Pat Trammell engineered the Crimson Tide to a 34-point win over the Tigers. Alabama's defense had shut out five opponents coming into the game and did not allow Auburn to even get close enough for a field goal. With the Iron Bowl victory, the Tide won the national championship and later defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
- Dec. 1, 1962: Alabama came into the game with only a 7-6 loss to Georgia Tech as a blemish on its record while the Tigers were 6-2-1. However, the Tide overwhelmed the Tigers, 38-0.
- Nov. 30, 1963: Jordan brought a spirited Auburn team to Legion Field and stopped Alabama's winning streak at four. Namath was quarterbacking Bama but Tucker Frederickson caught the pass that beat the Tide, 10-8.
- Nov. 26, 1964: The 1964 Iron Bowl was a thriller with Alabama winning a 21-14 decision and, in so doing, winning its second national championship for Bryant.
- Nov. 27, 1965: The Crimson Tide won the 1965 Iron Bowl and once again won a national championship but this time the Associated Press voted after the bowl games and it took a 39-28 Tide win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to put Bama at the top of the poll. Auburn, after a 30-3 loss to the Tide, went on to the Liberty Bowl and beat Ole Miss, 13-7.
- Dec. 3, 1966: With Kenny Stabler at quarterback, Coach Bryant always thought his 1966 team was probably his best even though the squad was not voted national champs despite being undefeated. This was a rebuilding year for Jordan and Alabama beat Auburn, 31-0. The Tide went on to beat Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl, 34-7.
- Dec. 2, 1967: The dedication of Auburn and Alabama fans to the Iron Bowl was greatly in evidence in 1967 as thousands remained in Legion Field through downpours and storms. A long run through the mud by quarterback Stabler provided the Tide with a 7-3 win. The Tigers finished 6-4 and the Tide wound up, 8-2-1.
- Dec. 3, 1968: Auburn lost a 24-16 decision to Bama in this game but went on to crush Arizona 34-10 in the Sun Bowl. Meanwhile, the Tide came off the win only to lose 35-10 to Missouri in the Gator Bowl.
- Nov. 29, 1969: The Iron Bowl decade closed out with a big Auburn victory. The Tigers upended the Tide 49-26 but both teams went to bowl games and lost. Houston toppled Auburn in the Bluebonnet and Bama lost to Colorado in the Liberty.
- Nov. 28, 1970: Wide open offenses were the trademark of the two teams in the 1970 season and the advantage belonged to Auburn. The Tigers, of course, were led by the passing of eventual Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan and the receiving of Terry Beasley. Air Sullivan prevailed, 33-28.
- Nov. 27, 1971: The Crimson Tide switched to the wishbone, shocked Southern California in the first game, 17-10, and crushed the Tigers in the last game, 31-7.
- Dec. 2, 1972: Two blocked punts that appeared to be television replays. Enough said the Tigers shocked the Tide, 17-16.
- Dec. 1, 1973: The Tigers came into the Iron Bowl with a 6-4 record while Bama was undefeated. Behind the quarterbacking of Richard Todd, Alabama crushed AU, 35-0, and won the UPI national championship.
- Nov. 29, 1974: The 1974 Iron Bowl was again a matchup of an undefeated Alabama team against a once-beaten Tiger team and it was for the SEC title and a Sugar Bowl bid. Again, Todd directed the Tide attack and Alabama built a 17-7 halftime lead behind the running of Calvin Culliver. However, AU closed the gap on a fake field goal, 17-13, and then the Tide defense held off the Tigers for the win.
- Nov. 29, 1975: This was Shug Jordan's last year at Auburn and it was a tough one for the Tigers. Once-beaten Alabama had its way with the Tigers, 28-0.
- Nov. 27, 1976: Auburn had a new head coach in 1976 and the powerful Alabama wishbone continued to dominate, 38-7.
- Nov. 26, 1977: The 1977 game was a high-scoring affair with Jeff Rutledge directing the wishbone for the Tide. Six different players scored for the Tide as they outscored the outmanned Tigers, 48-21.
- Dec. 2, 1978: Auburn came into the game with a 6-3-1 record but Alabama had lost but one game on the way to another national title. The Tide edged Auburn, 34-16, and then downed Penn State in the Sugar Bowl, 14-7.
- Dec. 1, 1979: Barfield's best year at Auburn also was his best Iron Bowl game. The Tigers were 8-2 coming into the game but Bama prevailed, 25-18, and won another national title with a win over Arkansas in the Sugar.
- Nov. 29, 1980: This was Barfield's last year for the Tigers. His team again scored 18 in the Iron Bowl while Bama scored 34.
- Nov. 28, 1981: This was Pat Dye's first year as head coach and he brought a competitive team into Legion Field but Bryant won his 315th, 28-17.
- Nov. 27, 1982: The nine-game Crimson Tide winning streak came to an end as did the career of Bryant several weeks later. The Tigers prevailed, 23-22.
- Dec. 3, 1983: This was Bo Jackson's day. The Auburn tailback rushed for 256 yards in leading Auburn to a 23-20 victory. Included in Jackson's total were touchdown runs of 69 and 71 yards, the latter ending a 20-16 Alabama lead and giving Auburn the win.
- Dec. 1, 1984: This time out, Bo went the wrong way and Alabama picked up a 17-15 victory. A field goal would have given Auburn the lead, but head coach Pat Dye decided to go for the touchdown. The ball went to Brent Fullwood and Jackson was supposed to block, but he headed in the wrong direction, leaving Tide defensive back Rory Turner free to ``wax the dude'' (Fullwood), preventing the score.
- Nov. 30, 1985: Van Tiffin made ``The Kick'' to give Alabama a 25-23 win. Tiffin ran on the field in the final seconds of an all-or-nothing drive to boot a perfect 52-yard field on the game's final play, lifting the Tide to victory.
- Nov. 29, 1986: He wasn't supposed to get the ball, but Lawyer Tillman took it and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 7-yard run on a reverse. The play was called with someone else in mind, but Tillman was in the game, scoring a touchdown on the first rushing play of his collegiate career with just 32 seconds to play, giving Auburn a 21-17 win.
- Nov. 27, 1987: Bill Curry was introduced to the Alabama-Auburn rivalry in rude fashion as the Tigers claimed a 10-0 win. A Harry Mose touchdown run and Win Lyle field goal was all Auburn would need as the Auburn defense held Alabama to 183 total yards.
- Nov. 25, 1988: Tied 3-3, Ron Stallworth sacked David Smith for a safety, Lyle added another field goal and Vincent Harris made a 1-yard scoring run in a 15-10 Auburn win. Quarterback Reggie Slack threw for 220 yards and tailback Stacy Danley rushed for 97 yards in leading the Tigers.
- Dec. 2, 1989: This was one of the most historic dates in the history of the series. It marked the first time the game was played in Auburn, and the Tigers made it a day to remember. Alabama entered with a perfect 10-0 record but left with a 30-20 defeat. The win gave Auburn a share of the SEC title along with Alabama. It also marked the last Alabama-Auburn game for Curry, who has never beaten Auburn. He left Alabama to take the Kentucky job.
- Dec. 1, 1990: Having lost the first three games of the season, Alabama finished in fine style, collecting a 16-7 win over the Tigers in Gene Stallings first Alabama-Auburn game as head coach. The victory ended a four-game Auburn win streak.
- Nov. 30, 1991: David Palmer's 10-yard scoring run provided the winning points as the Tide, backed by a strong defensive performance, knocked off Auburn 13-6 for the second consecutive year, giving Stallings a 2-0 record in the series.
- Nov. 26, 1992: Antonio Langham was the hero in this game as he picked off a Stan White pass in the third quarter and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown that broke open a scoreless tie. Bama prevailed, 17-0. Alabama went on to win the SEC Championship Game over Florida and defeated Miami in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.
- Nov. 20, 1993: The scene shifted to Jordan-Hare for this Iron Bowl and the Tigers were undefeated in Auburn's final probation year. Alabama jumped out to a 14-5 halftime advantage but Auburn came back but, following an injury to Stan White, Auburn turned to reserve quarter Patrick Nix. On his first play, a fourth-and-15 from the Alabama 35, Nix hit Frank Sanders with a pass in the end zone and Auburn went on to win, 22-14, and wound up 11-0.
- Nov. 19, 1994: Alabama came into this game ranked third while the Tigers were ranked sixth. Auburn got behind big and early as the Crimson Tide took a 21-0 lead by halftime. However, Patrick Nix quarterbacked Auburn to two second-half touchdowns and the Tigers drove to the Alabama 40 with a minute left but failed on a fourth-and-3 play. Alabama won, 21-14.
- Nov. 18, 1995: This was an explosive day for the Alabama offense but the Tigers kept their Iron Bowl record perfect at Jordan-Hare with a 31-27 win. Alabama, out of the bowl picture because of its first-ever NCAA probation, rolled up 478 yards of total offense but it all came down to one play with the Tide at the Auburn 22. Tide quarterback Freddie Kitchens threw a fourth-and-10 pass that sailed out of bounds with less than 10 seconds to play.
- Nov. 23, 1996: Embattled Alabama quarterback Freddie Kitchens threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Riddle with 26 seconds to go and Jon Brock booted the all-important extra point for a topsy-turvy 24-23 victory at Legion Field. Then Tide coach Gene Stallings announced his resignation with as much emotion as offered by the game he just witnessed.
- Nov. 22, 1997 An Auburn team, that would go on to the SEC Championship game, kicked a field goal with 15 seconds to play to beat the Tide 18-17.
- Nov. 21, 1998 Shaun Alexander scored two touchdowns for Alabama as they led the whole game finishing with a 31-17 win in the final Iron Bowl at Legion Field.
- Nov. 20, 1999 Alabama rode a 182-yard, three touchdown performance out of Shaun Alexander. Alabama won this close fought affair 28-17.
- Nov. 18, 2000 Marked the first time the Iron Bowl was played in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Auburn won 9-0 in a defensive struggle where Damon Duval did the only scoring.
- Nov. 17, 2001 Andrew Zow started for an injured Tyler Watts and had a huge game for the Crimson Tide. Alabama also had a great rushing performance with Santonio Beard running for 199 yards and Ahmaad Galloway running for 127 yards. Auburn's Carnell Williams looked good early, but the Tiger's offense stalled after the "Cadillac" left with a broken collarbone. Alabama won 31-7.