As we head straight toward November, we are once again reminded that Iron Bowl 2013 could be a game for the ages. I wouldn't have said that six weeks ago, but week in and week out, those Auburn Tigers are proving they can run with the big dogs. Oh, we knew Bama would be stout this season, but a year after a few Auburn fans donned paper bags over their heads, Malzahn's players have proven they are anything put a paper tiger!
The 3rd best offense in the SEC? It belongs to Auburn, as the Tigers average 511 yards and 37 points a game. While top-ranked Bama averages 41 points a game, the Tide gains an average of 462 yards a game, placing Saban's gang 6th in the SEC in total offense. Looking for a running attack? It's Auburn again as the Tigers lead the SEC in rushing at well over 300 yards a game. Tre Mason is 5th in the conference in rushing (753 yards) while Cameron Artis-Payne stands ninth (510 yards) and Corey Grant 15th (451 yards). Of course the Crimson Tide is stout as well, as T.J. Yeldon stands 6th in the SEC in rushing (729 yards) and Kenyan Drake 11th (491 yards).
Now the good news for the Crimson Tide: Over the last seven games UA has outscored opponents 246 to 26. That mean s during that span, Bama has averaged 35.1 points a game while the Tide defense has allowed 3.7 points s game. Think about that: Auburn is averaging 37 points a game while Alabama is allowing 3.7 points a game. Something's gotta give, right?
Could we see an Iron Bowl where 11-0 Bama faces 10-1 Auburn? Why not? There is no reason why the Crimson Tide cannot win their remaining games before the Iron Bowl, and while the Tigers have Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia before they meet the Tide, I see no reason why AU can't win all of them.
I'm here to tell you that Jordan-Hare Stadium could be as crazy as it's been since Cadillac ripped off that 80-yarder a number of years ago. You know Tiger fans would love to ruin the Tide's national championship hopes (providing the other current unbeatens stay that way). And Alabama? Fans of the Tide expect nothing but success against the Tigers.
Now for the pick (as of today). Two things lead me to believe Bama escapes: Defense wins football games, and UA has a better defense. The other? I believe having a senior quarterback who has won 2 national championships trumps a team with young QB's like Marshall & Johnson. I will tell you that I truly believe the Tigers can beat the Tide, and if they do? Get out the seismograph, because the earth will be shaking in Lee County. For now however, it's Alabama 42, Auburn 31.