Iron Bowl 2015 Alabama Waltzes into Jordan-Hare Stadium
Small feet shuffling on the floor following the lead of the larger parent’s feet or sometimes grandparent’s, spoken out loud, “1, 2, 3, Step, Step, Feet Together; 4, 5, 6, Step, Step, Feet Together,” children are taught the box step to a waltz rhythm. As two teams prepare and fans anticipate Iron Bowl 2015, the past seven Iron Bowls waltzed through each November in a rhythm of wins and losses that resembles the basic dance step,
1, 2, 3, Alabama, Alabama, Auburn.
4, 5, 6, Alabama, Alabama, Auburn.
1, 2, 3…
In any dance someone leads and the other follows. Alabama leads the Iron Bowl Waltz winning two to Auburn’s one in the six seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, from 2008 – 2013. Since Alabama won Iron Bowl 2014, does that mean if this waltz goes on, the Crimson Tide would win again in Iron Bowl 2015?
Can Auburn trip up the Tide to keep them from waltzing right in to another CFB Playoff?
The two most recent Auburn Iron Bowl victories were decided by 7 points total and each followed a year that Alabama won the National Championship.
In 2010 Auburn was the highest scoring team in the SEC, led by Cam Newton and averaging 41.2 points per game. The 2015 Tigers are ranked 10th in the SEC and score 27.1 points per game and the most scored, 30 points, was in only one game in regulation time this year.
No resemblance to 2010.
In Iron Bowl 2013 in the final second of the game with the scored tied, via a returned missed field goal, “The Kick Six,” Auburn beat an Alabama team that had the number one defense in the SEC. Iron Bowl 2015 also features an Alabama defense ranked number one in the SEC and number three nationally. Auburn was ranked number 5 in the nation and beat number 1 Alabama that year. But Auburn walks into Iron Bowl 2015 unranked.
Iron Bowl 2015 shows no resemblance to that one either.
In both of the two closest contests since this waltz began, 2009 and 2010, the losing team was ahead by at least two touchdowns during the course of the game. Those Iron Bowls propelled the victor to an SEC Championship and a BCS National Championship, Alabama in 2009 and Auburn 2010.
Iron Bowl 2015 most closely resembles the 2009 matchup.
Statistically and by the beauty test, Alabama had a similar team in 2009 compared to 2015 and was ranked number two nationally. Resembling this year, Auburn came into the 2009 game with 4 losses. The Tigers were scoring a little better in 2009 than they are this year, but the defense was equally dismal to the grim defensive play this year, ranked in the bottom half of teams nationally.
Doom and gloom has replaced the boom at Auburn this year, and nobody expects them to chase Bama out of the dance hall, but nobody walking into Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2009 expected the close call, which almost stopped Nick Saban from his first national championship at Alabama either. It was so close it took an ESPN correspondent, two NFL running backs, a Heisman trophy winner and an NFL record-breaking wide receiver to stage a ball-hogging fourth quarter comeback.
Auburn scored on its opening possession, kicked and recovered an on-side kick and scored again. Iron Bowl 2009 was 14 – 0 in Auburn’s favor before anybody’s seat was warm. By the half it was tied 14 all. Third quarter Alabama scored a pair of field goals, but Auburn found the end zone and the extra point put them ahead by one. The stage was set, 21 – 20 going into the 4th quarter for a season saving comeback starring Alabama QB Greg McElroy; a pair of running backs, freshman Trent Richardson, Heisman winner Mark Ingram; and Julio Jones who needs no further introduction.
Alabama’s final drive
McElroy completed his last 7 of 7 passes for 62 yards. Jones made four catches on the winning drive, three for first downs. Freshman RB Trent Richardson carried the ball for 5 runs and caught a 17 yard pass. Greg McElroy threw the 4-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to fullback Roy Upchurch, who said he “was yelling at everybody, ‘Put me in! Put me in!’” Auburn had the ball with 1:24 remaining, just enough time to throw an interception in the end zone to Rolando McClain, earning him 2009 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
An Iron Bowl with records so closely resembling this year with bead-popping drama,
Ohhhh, could it happen again this year?
It could, only there’s a twist in the waltz , that more resembles dirty dancing than the box step Grandma liked to teach.
Of the 1, 2, Alabama wins, one of the two steps was a shutout, 2008, 36 – 0 and 2012, 49 – 0. Since Iron Bowl 2014 was the highest scoring Iron Bowl in history, 55 – 44, if the dance goes on, this year Alabama will win the dance-off in another shutout. Both years that Auburn left scoreless in the Iron Bowl, the Tigers went into the Iron Bowl with 6 or more losses and Alabama was undefeated in the 2008 regular season and had one loss to Texas A&M in 2012.
Iron Bowl 2015 has some similarities to the hyperventilation game, 2009, but also resembles the teams that played in the two shut out games.
The rhythm is going to get you.
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From our “House United” to you,
Roll Tide! and War Eagle!