Preview: No. 2 Alabama has plenty to play for against rival Aub - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview: No. 2 Alabama has plenty to play for against rival Auburn

Posted: Updated:

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's Barrett Jones summed up the Iron Bowl's significance hours before it got really meaningful nationally.

"It's the West, it's all our hopes and dreams, and also, it's Auburn," the Crimson Tide center said after Saturday's early game.

Then it got even bigger. For the fifth straight year, the Iron Bowl features a team squarely in the national title hunt. No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) almost certainly controls its own fate.

A victory over the Tigers (3-8, 0-7) would put the Tide into the Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 3 Georgia with the winner presumably playing in Miami for the BCS title. All the pieces fell into place hours after Bama's 49-0 victory over struggling FCS team Western Carolina.

Saturday night losses by Oregon and Kansas State ended Alabama's weeklong position on the outside looking in at the BCS chase after a loss to No. 9 Texas A&M. The twin defeats touched off the kind of celebration in Tuscaloosa normally reserved for big victories, with a YouTube video showing fans lining the Strip near campus.

The result is the Iron Bowl has the highest of stakes again, even if it's an apparent mismatch. Alabama won the national title in 2009 and 2011; Auburn in 2010.

Plus, the Tide were No. 1 going into the 2008 Iron Bowl but wound up losing to Florida in the SEC championship game and Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

Auburn is trying to avoid going winless in the SEC for the first time since going 0-6 in Doug Barfield's final season in 1980.

The slide has raised speculation about coach Gene Chizik's job security. Auburn President Jay Gogue has said he'll evaluate the program after the season. Tennessee fired Derek Dooley on Sunday and Kentucky's Joker Phillips won't return for next season.

Chizik continued to decline to discuss his status.

"You've asked me that pretty much every week and as I've said before it's very simple for me, we have a game against Alabama and it's the Iron Bowl and that's my No. 1 focus," he said. "I'm not focused on anything else but that."

There's no dodging his team's standing this week. The Tigers were installed as 34-point underdogs on Sunday.

"I've been in this game several different times," Chizik said. "The circumstances of this game are certainly different than most of the other times I've played against these guys. Obviously that's out there in terms of you having a chance to knock somebody off, but being the rival that it is, being what the game means and has meant for a lot of years. That's really what we're focusing on."

The Tigers beat FCS foe Alabama A&M 52-7 on Saturday, improving their mood with a romp over a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent.

Tre Mason ran for 181 yards -- including an 86-yard touchdown -- and Onterio McCalebb added 104, the second time this season both have topped 100 yards in the same game.

Jones and Tide coach Nick Saban both maintain that Alabama expects a test despite the disparate seasons.

"It doesn't matter what Auburn's record is, who Auburn's coach is, they're always going to be ready," Jones said. "Every time I've played against Auburn, it's been a hard-fought game, no matter what the record is. I know they're going to bring their best, and we have a tough week of preparation."

Added Saban: "You throw everything out the window in terms of records when you play rivalry games."

Or maybe not. The Tide won 42-14 last season over an Auburn team that won eight games. That top-ranked Alabama team in 2008 won 36-0 in what proved to be coach Tommy Tuberville's final game, sending the Tigers to a 5-7 finish.

"Everybody understands what's at hand, that those guys, regardless of whatever they're going through down there are going to come and put up a good fight against us," Tide defensive end Damion Square said. "And we're going to come and play Alabama football."

Matchup

 AUBALA
W-L 3-8 10-1
Avg Points 20.4 38.1
Avg Points Allowed 26.5 10.1
Home Record 3-5 6-1
Road Record 0-3 4-0
Division Record 0-5 4-1
Conference Record 0-7 6-1

Passing Leaders

 
AuburnCMP%YDSTDINT
K. Frazier 53.9 753 2 8
J. Wallace 62.1 649 4 2
 
AlabamaCMP%YDSTDINT
A. McCarron 66.8 2291 21 2
B. Sims 55.6 77 0 0

Rushing Leaders

 
AuburnCARYDSAVGTD
T. Mason 150 920 6.1 8
O. McCalebb 91 573 6.3 6
 
AlabamaCARYDSAVGTD
E. Lacy 146 870 6.0 12
T. Yeldon 121 809 6.7 9

Receiving Leaders

 
AuburnRECYDSAVGTD
E. Blake 47 733 15.6 3
P. Lutzenkirchen 15 139 9.3 0
 
AlabamaRECYDSAVGTD
A. Cooper 40 658 16.5 6
K. Bell 16 416 26.0 3
  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:57:02 GMT
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
  • Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:56:20 GMT
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old Brian Mitchell of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday. Police say Mitchell is behind a message posted on social media site, Yik Yak,More >>
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old from of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday.More >>
  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:35 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • ABI investigate shooting

    ABI investigate shooting

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:49 GMT
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
  • Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:20 GMT
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
  • Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:52:58 GMT
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:57:02 GMT
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
  • Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:56:20 GMT
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old Brian Mitchell of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday. Police say Mitchell is behind a message posted on social media site, Yik Yak,More >>
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old from of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday.More >>
  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:35 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:13 GMT
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
  • ABI investigate shooting

    ABI investigate shooting

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:49 GMT
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
  • Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:20 GMT
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
  • Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:52:58 GMT
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
  • 3 people shot in Wylam

    3 people shot in Wylam

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:52:37 GMT
    Birmingham police are on the scene of a triple shooting this afternoon in Wylam. According to police all three victims are males and have been transported to UAB hospital for treatment. At least two of the victims are reported to be in critical condition. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. ABC 33/40 has a crew on scene and will have more information as it becomes available.More >>
    Birmingham police are on the scene of a triple shooting this afternoon in Wylam. According to police all three victims are males and have been transported to UAB hospital for treatment. At least two of the victims are reported to be in critical condition. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. ABC 33/40 has a crew on scene and will have more information as it becomes available.More >>