By Paul Beaudry | [email protected]@al.com
Even when the Alabama Crimson Tide or Auburn Tigers are down, the Iron Bowl rivalry has shown that it’s not out.
For example, in the last 15 seasons, Alabama has won five National Championships — the last one without winning the Iron Bowl. But in that stretch, Auburn has won eight of the 15 games. The last unranked team to win? Auburn in 2003 (yes, it was a loaded question; at 4-9 Alabama was not going to be ranked.)
To kick off this Iron Bowl Week, we bring back an eight-part series done earlier this decade by John Cameron of the Mobile Press-Register; it chronicles the history of the Iron Bowl — from its inception in 1892 through today (with a couple of little updates and tweaks).
Here’s Iron Bowl History: A look at America’s fiercest college football rivalry.
Every score in the rivalry
The Early Years: 1982-1907
The Missing Decades (1908-1949)
For more than four decades, Alabama and Auburn football fans could only dream about on-the-field competition between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers. The Iron Bowl was dormant from 1907 to 1948 in spite of continuous efforts to revive the intense intrastate rivalry.
AU bashes Bama (1950-59)
Many observers consider the 1980s to be the greatest period in Auburn football history but the 1950s were actually the apogee for the program if you consider bashing Alabama important, and Tiger fans do.
Bama rules 60s (1960-1969)
By the time the decade of the 1960s had begun, sportswriters around the nation had developed a keen interest and curiosity in the Iron Bowl staged each year in Birmingham’s Legion Field.
Tide Domination (1970-82)
The decade of the 1970s was colored in crimson as far as the Iron Bowl is concerned but the Auburn Tigers were not without their moments of emotion and glory.
The Recent Years (1983-1996)
Perhaps at no other time in the history of the Alabama-Auburn football series has the volley of power been more evident than in the past decade.
The Current Rivalry 1997-2017
Both Alabama and Auburn have seen their shares of ups and downs in the past decade. Since 1997, Auburn has won the SEC Championship title in 2004, 2010 and 2013, and Alabama had earned SEC titles in 1999, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015.