Six years ago, an Alabama team with a new head coach (supposedly reputable) came into Auburn with a 5-6 record, reeling from several embarrassing losses. All that remained was the Iron Bowl (and the LSU game since this was 2001). Win the Iron Bowl and Auburn would finish off Alabama’s catastrophe.
Then Carnell broke his leg in the first quarter. The score was tied 7-7.
Auburn went on to lose 31-7.
As one columnist put it, Auburn had its foot on Alabama’s throat and let it up instead of crushing its windpipe.
Alabama went to a bowl game and finished with a winning season.
This weekend, Alabama comes in with a 6-5 record and a similar situation. While a 6-6 team is technically bowl eligible, this season has more bowl-eligible SEC teams than most. This season, a 6-6 team might find itself sitting at home during the college football postseason. An Auburn win would mean that Alabama’s finishes this season with four straight losses. It could hurt their recruiting if some of Saban’s vaunted incoming signing class changes it mind.
In short, Auburn has its foot on Alabama’s throat. This time, it needs to crush the windpipe.
War Damn Eagle!