|Series record||Alabama leads, 42–35–1|
|First meeting||February 22, 1893
Auburn 32, Alabama 22
|Last meeting||November 30, 2013
Auburn 34, Alabama 28
|Next meeting||November 29, 2014|
|Trophy||James E. Foy, V-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy|
The Iron Bowl is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the football teams of the two largest public universities in the U.S. state of Alabama, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers. The series is considered one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports. As the rivalry was mainly played in Birmingham, Alabama, for many years, the name of the Iron Bowl comes from Birmingham's historic role in the steel industry. Alabama leads the series 42–35–1.
Since 2000, the games are played at Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn every odd-numbered year, and in Bryant–Denny Stadium at Tuscaloosa every even-numbered year. For much of the 20th century the game was played every year at Legion Field in Birmingham. Alabama has a 32–15 record in games played at Legion Field, while Auburn has an 8–4 record in games played at Jordan–Hare Stadium and a 7–2 record in games played in Tuscaloosa (5–2 at Bryant–Denny Stadium). The game is traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day weekend. In 1993 both schools agreed to move the game up to the week before Thanksgiving to give themselves a bye for a potential SEC Championship Game berth, but in 2007 the conference voted to disallow any team from having a bye before the league championship game, returning the game to its traditional Thanksgiving weekend spot.
Alabama and Auburn played their first football game in Lakeview Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on February 22, 1893. Auburn (then named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama) won 32–22, before an estimated crowd of 5,000. As if a signal of the future, disagreement between the schools began immediately as Alabama considered the game to be the final matchup of the 1892 season and Auburn recorded it as the first of 1893.
Tensions further built when, after both 1906 and 1907 contests, Auburn head coach Mike Donahue threatened to cancel the series if Alabama head coach "Doc" Pollard continued employing his elaborate formations and shifts. The series was indeed suspended after the 1907 game when the schools could not come to agreement over the amount of expenses to be paid players, as well as from where officials for the game should be obtained.
In 1947 the Alabama House of Representatives passed a resolution encouraging the schools to "make possible the inauguration of a full athletic program between the two schools". The schools were disinclined to resume the series despite the passage of the resolution, since it did not have the effect of law. However, the Alabama State Legislature threatened to withhold state funding from the schools unless they did resume the rivalry. With that threat in mind, Ralph B. Draughon, the president of Auburn (then officially named the Alabama Polytechnic Institute), and Alabama president John Gallalee decided during the winter and spring of 1948 to end the disagreement and renew the series. The games would be played in Birmingham because it had the largest stadium in the state, 44,000-seat Legion Field, as well as the difficulties in traveling to Tuscaloosa and Auburn for much of the 20th century. Tickets would be split evenly between the two schools. Alabama won the first game when the series renewed 55–0, still the most lopsided victory of the series.
By 1980 the series had come to be called the Iron Bowl, due to Birmingham's prominence as a center of iron and steel production. The term Iron Bowl was coined by Auburn's coach at the time, Shug Jordan. Alabama's coach, Bear Bryant, said he preferred calling the game the Brag Bowl, since the winner's fans got to brag all year long.
Between 1969 and 1987, Auburn made additions to Jordan–Hare Stadium until it eclipsed Legion Field in size. Auburn fans began feeling chagrin at playing all Iron Bowl games at Legion Field. Although ostensibly a neutral site, it is only 45 minutes east of Tuscaloosa, and had long been associated with Alabama football. Until the late 1980s, Alabama played most of its important games in Birmingham. For this reason, Auburn began lobbying to make the Iron Bowl a "home-and-home" series. Finally, the schools reached an agreement where Auburn could play their home games for the Iron Bowl in Auburn starting in 1989 (except for the 1991 game, which was played at Legion Field). On December 2, 1989, Alabama came to "the Plains" for the first time ever as a sellout crowd witnessed Auburn win its first true "home" game of the series, 30–20 over an Alabama team that entered the game unbeaten and ranked #2 in the country.
Alabama continued to hold its home games for the rivalry at Legion Field. In 1998, Alabama expanded Bryant–Denny Stadium to a capacity of 83,818, exceeding Legion Field by a few hundred. Alabama moved their home games in the series to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2000. That year, Auburn came to Tuscaloosa for the first time since 1901 and won in a defensive struggle, 9–0. A new attendance record for the Iron Bowl was set in 2006 as the latest expansion to Bryant–Denny Stadium increased its capacity to 92,138. The record was reset again in 2010, after another expansion to Alabama's Bryant–Denny Stadium, when a crowd of 101,821 witnessed a 28–27 Auburn victory.
In 2009 and 2010 CBS Sports and the two universities arranged to have the game played in an exclusive time slot on the Friday following Thanksgiving. The 2009 game was the sixth Iron Bowl to be played on a Friday and the first in 21 years. CBS did not attempt to renew the agreement after 2010 due to criticism from within the state from both fan bases, returning the game to its traditional Saturday date.
The rivalry has long been reckoned as one of the most heated collegiate rivalries in the country. This is due to a number of factors. For a long time, they were the only Alabama schools in what is now Division I FBS; it is often said that the entire state of Alabama grinds to a halt to watch the game. The two schools account for 31 SEC titles (23 by Alabama and 8 by Auburn) and both are among the winningest programs in college football history (Alabama is seventh, Auburn is 16th). Before the SEC adopted a divisional format, the game frequently decided the SEC title, and it frequently decides the SEC West title. The two schools have been fixtures on national television for the better part of the last four decades, and the season-ending clash has been televised for all but one year since the late 1970s (the lone exception being 1993, when Auburn was barred from live TV due to NCAA sanctions). The two teams played in the last five BCS National Championship Games, with Alabama winning in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and Auburn winning in 2010.
Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Award
The trophy given to the winner of the game is the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Award. It is named after James E. Foy, a former Auburn dean of students and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society – which was established on both campuses during the 1920s. The Foy Trophy is presented at halftime of the Alabama-Auburn basketball game later in the same academic year at the winner's home court. At the start of each season the SGA Presidents of both schools agree to bet on the outcome of the Iron Bowl by agreeing that after the trophy presentation, the SGA President of the losing team will sing the winning team's fight song.
1893: First Game – This was the first meeting between Auburn and Alabama. Auburn beat Alabama in Birmingham 32–22. It was the second year of each university's football program.
1948: Rivalry Renewed – The rivalry resumed after being suspended for 41 years due to issues related to player per diems and officiating. Alabama beat Auburn 55–0 at Legion Field. It remains the largest margin of victory in series history.
1964: First Televised Iron Bowl – Played on November 26, 1964, this was the first Iron Bowl broadcast on national television. Quarterback Joe Namath led Alabama to a 21–14 victory over Auburn. Alabama finished the regular season 10–0, and won the SEC Championship. This was the second Iron Bowl whereafter the winner earned the AP National Championship. National championship trophies from the AP and UPI were awarded prior to the bowl games in 1964.
1967: The Run in the Mud – This was the first night game in the series. Thunderstorms soaked Legion Field, making the field muddy. The game was frequently stopped to clear raincoats and other wet weather gear from the field. Late in the game, Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler ran 47 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama a 7–3 victory. Even though he appeared to run out of bounds, the referees did not stop the play because the sidelines had washed away in the rain.
1971: The Undefeateds – Going into this game, Alabama was ranked third in the nation while Auburn was ranked fifth. Both teams were undefeated and playing for the SEC title and a berth in the Orange Bowl to face #1 Nebraska for the national championship. Alabama routed Auburn 31–7. The game featured Alabama's Heisman Trophy finalist Johnny Musso, and Auburn's Heisman Trophy winner, Pat Sullivan.
1972: Punt Bama Punt – #2 Alabama was leading #9 Auburn 16–0 when an Auburn drive stalled, forcing the Tigers to settle for a field goal. On the ensuing possession, Alabama was forced to punt. Auburn's Bill Newton blocked Greg Gantt's punt. Auburn teammate David Langner caught the blocked punt and ran the ball back 25 yards for an Auburn touchdown, making it 16–10. Several minutes later, Alabama was forced to punt again. Once again, Newton blocked the punt and Langner returned it for a touchdown. Gardner Jett hit the extra point to give Auburn a 17–16 win. In August 2010, ESPN.com ranked the game as the 8th most painful outcome in college history. Despite the loss, Alabama won the SEC Championship that season. 
1974: The Gossom Incident – The 1974 Iron Bowl was for the SEC title and a Sugar Bowl bid. Alabama built a 17–7 halftime lead, but on 3rd-and-6 from the Alabama 41, Auburn quarterback Phil Gargis threw the football to Thom Gossom for an apparent touchdown. However, prior to the throw, Alabama cornerback Mike Washington “threw his body at” Gossom causing him to step on the boundary. The rule then prevented players from returning in-bounds after being knocked out, and the touchdown was called back. Auburn closed the gap on a fake field goal, but the Tide won the game.
1981: 315 – Alabama coach Bear Bryant earned his 315th career victory after Alabama defeated Auburn 28–17. With the victory, Coach Bryant passed Amos Alonzo Stagg's winning record and became the all-time winningest FBS coach. Since then, Coach Bryant's wins have been surpassed by Florida State's Bobby Bowden, but Bryant remains second in the List of college football coaches with 200 wins. Alabama shared the SEC Championship that season with Georgia.
1982: Bo Over the Top – With two minutes left, Auburn drove the length of the field and scored when running back Bo Jackson jumped over the top of the defensive line for a touchdown. Auburn won 23–22. The victory ended Alabama's nine-game winning streak over Auburn.
1984: Wrong Way Bo – Late in the game Auburn trailed 17–15, and had 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. Coach Pat Dye opted to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal. The ball was pitched to Auburn running back Brent Fullwood. Bo Jackson ran the wrong direction, causing Fullwood to be easily forced out of bounds by an Alabama defender, Rory Turner. Alabama won 17–15.
1985: The Kick – After four lead changes in the fourth quarter, Alabama had the ball on their own 12-yard line, trailing 23–22 with 37 seconds left. Alabama quarterback Mike Shula led the offense to the Auburn 36 yard line. Alabama kicker Van Tiffin made a series-record-tying 52-yard field goal as time expired, and Alabama won 25–23.
1989: The First Time Ever – In front of the largest crowd at the time to witness an Iron Bowl, Auburn defeated Alabama 30–20 in the first Iron Bowl played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The SEC championship was shared that season among Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee. After decades of playing at Legion Field in Birmingham, Auburn head coach Pat Dye pushed the powers in charge to have the game moved to Auburn for a home and away series.
1993: Radio Championship – #6 Auburn defeated #11 Alabama 22–14. The game was not televised due to Auburn's probation, but was shown on closed-circuit television before 47,421 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium, becoming the first college football game to sell out two stadiums. Despite the loss, Alabama earned a berth in the SEC Championship Game for the second straight season Auburn finished the season undefeated.
1997: The Fumble - Alabama was up 17–15 late. Fullback Ed Scissum caught a swing pass and got hit by Martavius Houston. The hit caused Scissum to fumble. The fumble was recovered by Quinton Reese. Jarrett Holmes hit a 39-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Alabama had one final shot with six seconds left, but freshman A.J. Diaz's 57-yard attempt fell short to give Auburn an 18–17 victory and their first SEC West title and earned a berth in the 1997 SEC Championship Game.
1999: Alabama's Win on the Plains – Alabama beat Auburn 28–17, giving the Crimson Tide its first victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The win earned Alabama a berth in the 1999 SEC Championship Game. Alabama won the SEC Championship in 1999.
2005: Honk if you Sacked Brodie – Auburn set a new school and series record by sacking Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle 11 times. Seven different Auburn players recorded at least half a sack in the game, leading Auburn to a 28–18 victory.
2008: The Beat Down in T-town – #1 Alabama defeated Auburn 36–0 in Tommy Tuberville's last game as Auburn's head coach. The win resulted in a 12–0 regular season for Alabama (first time in SEC history), and earned Alabama a berth in the 2008 SEC Championship Game. This also ended Auburn's 6 year winning streak over Alabama.
2009: The Drive – Greg McElroy threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Roy Upchurch with 1:24 remaining to lift No. 2 Alabama to a 26-21 win over Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That play capped a 15-play, 79-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes. Auburn came into the game as heavy underdogs but jumped out to a 14-0 lead, thanks to a 67-yard TD run by Terrell Zachary and 1-yard pass TD pass to Eric Smith from Chris Todd. Alabama responded with a Colin Peek 33-yard touchdown catch and a 2-yard TD run by Trent Richardson, tying the game at halftime. Todd set a new Auburn single-season passing TD record with a 72-yard strike to Darvin Adams. Leigh Tiffin cut the advantage to 21-20 with a pair of field goals, setting up the final drive. Auburn had one final chance, but a Hail Mary pass was knocked down in the end zone by Rolando McClain as time expired. Mark Ingram was held to 30 yards on 16 carries but still managed to win the 2009 Heisman Trophy. Alabama went on to defeat Tim Tebow and No. 1 Florida in the 2009 SEC Championship Game and win the 2010 BCS National Championship.
2010: The Cam-Back – No. 2 Auburn defeated No. 11 Alabama 28–27 after overcoming a 24–0 deficit when Cam Newton rallied his troops to outscore Alabama 28-3 over the remainder of the game, ending with a touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen with 11:55 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the biggest deficit overcome in Iron Bowl history. Auburn, which had already clinched the SEC West, went on to win the 2010 SEC Championship Game against South Carolina and its first BCS national championship in school history by defeating Oregon in the 2011 BCS Championship Game.
2013: Kick Bama Kick – Going into the game, Alabama was 11–0 and had been ranked #1 in the polls all season, while Auburn was 10–1 and #4 in all major polls, making this the highest ranked Iron Bowl ever and only the second time ever that both teams were ranked in the top five. "Kick Bama Kick" stems from the kicking troubles Alabama had all game, with kicker Cade Foster missing field goal attempts from 44 yards and 33 yards, and having a 44-yard attempt blocked. With seven seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 28, Alabama's T. J. Yeldon rushed 24 yards to the Auburn 38, and seemed to have been forced out of bounds just as time expired. On review, however, one second was put back on the clock after it was determined that Yeldon had gone out of bounds just before the end of regulation. Alabama opted to attempt a game-winning 57-yard field goal, but chose freshman kicker Adam Griffith over Foster. Griffith's attempt fell short and Auburn's Chris Davis fielded it nine yards deep in his own end zone. With Alabama's field goal unit being mostly made of offensive linemen, Davis sprinted 109 yards for a touchdown and a 34–28 Auburn win. Under NCAA scoring rules, Davis was officially credited with the maximum 100-yard touchdown return (the NCAA does not count yardage inside the end zone in returns). With the win, Auburn avenged two consecutive blowout losses to Alabama following the national championship year, and completed one of the biggest single-season turnarounds in NCAA history; they went from 3–9 (0–8 in conference play) a year earlier—their worst season in over 50 years—to a berth in the SEC Championship Game. It also ended Alabama's hopes for a third straight national title. Auburn would go on to defeat Missouri in the 2013 SEC Championship Game but lost to Florida State in the final seconds of the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. At the 2014 ESPYs (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award), both Davis' return and the game itself received awards. The return was awarded "Play of the Year" and the game awarded "Game of the Year".
Since 1893, the Crimson Tide and Tigers have played 78 times. Alabama leads the series 42–35–1. The game has been played in four cities: Auburn, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Alabama leads the series in Birmingham (34–18–1). Auburn leads the series in Tuscaloosa (7–2) and Auburn (8–4). The series is tied in Montgomery (2–2). Alabama leads the series since it was resumed in the modern era in 1948 (38–28). For the first time in the series history, four consecutive Iron Bowl winners went on to win the BCS National Championship Game: Alabama in 2009, Auburn in 2010, and Alabama again in 2011 and 2012. It also marks the first time that two different teams from the same state won consecutive BCS National Championships.
Alabama victories are colored ██ crimson. Auburn victories are colored ██ navy blue.
|February 22, 1893||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||22||32||Auburn 1–0|
|November 30, 1893||Montgomery, AL||Auburn||16||40||Auburn 2–0|
|November 29, 1894||Montgomery, AL||Alabama||18||0||Auburn 2–1|
|November 23, 1895||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||0||48||Auburn 3–1|
|November 17, 1900||Montgomery, AL||Auburn||5||53||Auburn 4–1|
|November 15, 1901||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||0||17||Auburn 5–1|
|October 18, 1902||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||0||23||Auburn 6–1|
|October 23, 1903||Montgomery, AL||Alabama||18||6||Auburn 6–2|
|November 12, 1904||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||5||29||Auburn 7–2|
|November 18, 1905||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||30||0||Auburn 7–3|
|November 17, 1906||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||10||0||Auburn 7–4|
|November 16, 1907||Birmingham, AL||Tie||6||6||Auburn 7–4–1|
|December 4, 1948||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||55||0||Auburn 7–5–1|
|December 3, 1949||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||13||14||Auburn 8–5–1|
|December 2, 1950||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||34||0||Auburn 8–6–1|
|December 2, 1951||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||25||7||Auburn 8–7–1|
|November 29, 1952||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||21||0||Tie 8–8–1|
|November 28, 1953||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||10||7||Alabama 9–8–1|
|November 27, 1954||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||0||8||Tie 9–9–1|
|November 26, 1955||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||0||26||Auburn 10–9–1|
|December 1, 1956||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||7||34||Auburn 11–9–1|
|November 30, 1957||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||0||40||Auburn 12–9–1|
|November 29, 1958||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||8||14||Auburn 13–9–1|
|November 28, 1959||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||10||0||Auburn 13–10–1|
|November 26, 1960||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||3||0||Auburn 13–11–1|
|December 2, 1961||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||34||0||Auburn 13–12–1|
|December 1, 1962||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||38||0||Tie 13–13–1|
|November 30, 1963||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||8||10||Auburn 14–13–1|
|November 26, 1964||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||21||14||Tie 14–14–1|
|November 27, 1965||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||30||3||Alabama 15–14–1|
|December 3, 1966||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||31||0||Alabama 16–14–1|
|December 2, 1967||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||7||3||Alabama 17–14–1|
|November 30, 1968||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||24||16||Alabama 18–14–1|
|November 29, 1969||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||26||49||Alabama 18–15–1|
|November 28, 1970||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||28||33||Alabama 18–16–1|
|November 27, 1971||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||31||7||Alabama 19–16–1|
|December 2, 1972||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||16||17||Alabama 19–17–1|
|December 1, 1973||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||35||0||Alabama 20–17–1|
|November 29, 1974||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||17||13||Alabama 21–17–1|
|November 29, 1975||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||28||0||Alabama 22–17–1|
|November 27, 1976||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||38||7||Alabama 23–17–1|
|November 26, 1977||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||48||21||Alabama 24–17–1|
|December 2, 1978||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||34||16||Alabama 25–17–1|
|December 1, 1979||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||25||18||Alabama 26–17–1|
|November 29, 1980||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||34||18||Alabama 27–17–1|
|November 28, 1981||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||28||17||Alabama 28–17–1|
|November 27, 1982||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||22||23||Alabama 28–18–1|
|December 3, 1983||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||20||23||Alabama 28–19–1|
|December 1, 1984||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||17||15||Alabama 29–19–1|
|November 30, 1985||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||25||23||Alabama 30–19–1|
|November 29, 1986||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||17||21||Alabama 30–20–1|
|November 27, 1987||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||0||10||Alabama 30–21–1|
|November 25, 1988||Birmingham, AL||Auburn||10||15||Alabama 30–22–1|
|December 2, 1989||Auburn, AL||Auburn||20||30||Alabama 30–23–1|
|December 1, 1990||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||16||7||Alabama 31–23–1|
|November 30, 1991||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||13||6||Alabama 32–23–1|
|November 26, 1992||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||17||0||Alabama 33–23–1|
|November 20, 1993||Auburn, AL||Auburn||14||22||Alabama 33–24–1|
|November 19, 1994||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||21||14||Alabama 34–24–1|
|November 18, 1995||Auburn, AL||Auburn||27||31||Alabama 34–25–1|
|November 23, 1996||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||24||23||Alabama 35–25–1|
|November 22, 1997||Auburn, AL||Auburn||17||18||Alabama 35–26–1|
|November 21, 1998||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||31||17||Alabama 36–26–1|
|November 20, 1999||Auburn, AL||Alabama||28||17||Alabama 37–26–1|
|November 18, 2000||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||0||9||Alabama 37–27–1|
|November 17, 2001||Auburn, AL||Alabama||31||7||Alabama 38–27–1|
|November 23, 2002||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||7||17||Alabama 38–28–1|
|November 22, 2003||Auburn, AL||Auburn||23||28||Alabama 38–29–1|
|November 20, 2004||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||13||21||Alabama 38–30–1|
|November 19, 2005||Auburn, AL||Auburn||18||28||Alabama 38–31–1|
|November 18, 2006||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||15||22||Alabama 38–32–1|
|November 24, 2007||Auburn, AL||Auburn||10||17||Alabama 38–33–1|
|November 29, 2008||Tuscaloosa, AL||Alabama||36||0||Alabama 39–33–1|
|November 27, 2009||Auburn, AL||Alabama||26||21||Alabama 40–33–1|
|November 26, 2010||Tuscaloosa, AL||Auburn||27||28||Alabama 40–34–1|
|November 26, 2011||Auburn, AL||Alabama||42||14||Alabama 41–34–1|
|November 24, 2012||Tuscaloosa, AL||Alabama||49||0||Alabama 42–34–1|
|November 30, 2013||Auburn, AL||Auburn||28||34||Alabama 42–35–1|
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