College football’s biggest rivalry
College football fans are fanatical, loyal fans in the truest sense of the word. When it comes to SEC football rankings indicate that the SEC (Southeastern Conference) is the best conference in NCAA football, but no matter which team you back, it’s the age-old rivalries that really make college football a bone-deep passion for some people. When it comes to the SEC, there is no rivalry that runs deeper than that of Alabama vs. Auburn.
If you live in Alabama and give a sniff about college football (which pretty much everyone does) you are decidedly on one side of the fence or the other. You either fully support Auburn University or the University of Alabama. There is no room for neutrality in the matter. In Alabama, college football is a huge part of the culture and the state’s collective history, and with good reason. Some heavy hitters in the football world came out of that state, such as Joe Namath.
There is one day of the year where all Alabama eyes are focused in the same direction. It is on this day that the rivalry between fans of Auburn University and those who cheer for the University of Alabama can reach an all-time fever pitch. What day is that? It is the day on which the Iron Bowl is played. The passion with which Alabama football fans watch this Bowl game can divide families, make best friends not speak to one another, and increase the divorce rate in the state each year. OK, not really – but close. Alabama football fans really love the game.
It’s probably fair to say that The Iron Bowl is one of, if not the, biggest rivalry game that exists in college football, period. Why? Well, for many reasons. The Iron Bowl isn’t just about racking up a win in a game against a rival. It is that, too, for sure, but a win in the Iron Bowl bodes well for winning the SEC Western Division and also the SEC Championship Game, which is pretty major in the life of an Alabama team. With just one victory in The Iron Bowl, the entire fate of the rest of the season could be turned around. It works in reverse, too. Just ask former Alabama coach Mike Shula. Following his teams’ fourth consecutive Iron Bowl defeat, he was relieved of his position with the team.
If you live in Alabama, you are either passionate about college football or you aren’t. If you aren’t, you probably feel like an outsider on game day. And if you are, you no doubt fall decidedly on one side or the other of the Auburn/Alabama rivalry. No matter which side you fall on, college football in Alabama is a state pastime, not just a spectator sport. The Iron Bowl and the rivalry itself aren’t going anywhere, so it’s like they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Pick a side, throw on your jersey and get ready to cheer your heart out.