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5 Fun Facts About the Iron Bowl

Posted by Katherine Haas on November 22, 2018
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fun facts about the Iron Bowl

There’s only two days to go before the Tigers and Tide take the field in Tuscaloosa—and it’s time for some fun facts about the Iron Bowl. The two teams, both titans of the Yellowhammer State, started their stint as rivals in 1893, playing the inaugural game in Birmingham (Tiger fans will be proud to know that Auburn won this gridiron debut). The Tide and Tigers stopped facing off against one another in 1907, after the schools couldn’t agree on terms to keep the series going. This hiatus ended in 1948, when the Alabama Congress threatened to withhold funds from the schools. The two teams have taken the field against one another ever since.


  1. There’s a track record for one team to tromp the other. As the title implies, there’s usually a clear favorite between the two teams for an extended period of time. For instance, between 1893 and 1902, Auburn was 6–1 against the Tide. In response, between 1903 and 1953 Alabama kept the Tigers at bay with an 8–2–1 record. The Tigers retorted with a 5–0 romp between 1954 and 1958. Alabama answered—the Tide took down the Tigers 19–4 from 1959 to 1981. These kinds of flip-flops are hallmarks between the two titans that call the Heart of Dixie home. Bama is, for the time, currently booming—leading Auburn 7–2 since 2008. Continue reading for some other fun facts about the Iron Bowl.
  2. Four cities can lay claim to the Iron Bowl. Originally played in Birmingham, the Iron Bowl owes its moniker to legendary Auburn coach Shug Jordan, who coined the term in the 1950s in homage to the Magic City’s industrial roots. Auburn, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery also carry the mantle of former and current host cities to the classic contest.
  3. The game hosts a host of Heisman’s. To date—between the two teams—five Heisman winners have given it their all on the gridiron. Auburn QB Pat Sullivan (1971), Auburn RB Bo Jackson (1985), Auburn QB Cam Newton (2010), Bama RB Mark Ingram (2009), and Bama RB Derrick Henry (2015) have all played on Iron Bowl game day.
  4. National titles usually hang in the balance. The 2018 National Championship marked the first time in history that after one of the two teams beat the other in the Iron Bowl, the defeated team went on to secure a national title. Prior to this historic occurrence, Auburn’s two championships came on the heels of Iron Bowl wins. Ten of Bama’s titles, excluding the 2018 one, followed the same suit.
  5. Friend or foe? Contrary to popular belief, neither team is the other’s most constant competitor. Bama has played Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State more than they’ve played the Tigers. The Tigers have taken the field against Georgia, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, and Florida more than against Bama. Though, it’s probably worth noting that this is likely due to the 41-year hiatus between the two teams.


Enjoyed these fun facts about the Iron Bowl? Want to know more about the Auburn, Opelika, and Lake Martin areas? Continue reading the Ryan Roberts Realtor blog for more—and don’t forget to contact Ryan Roberts at www.ryanrobertsrealtor.com/contact if you’re searching for a property perfect for game day Saturdays and every other day of the week!