You remember the Bruce Springsteen hit, Glory Days? I imagine if you scoured the front porches of residents across the great state of Alabama, you could find thousands of loyal Tide and Tiger fans who could tell you stories of their favorite Iron Bowl memories. Their eyes would light up and their voice would raise an octave or two as they began telling of the glory days of one of college football's biggest rivalries.
How could they not get excited at the opportunity to brag on their team's greatest Iron Bowl moments? It seems like more often than not when Alabama and Auburn play, it carries major implications for both teams.
So humor me, let us do a little recent reminiscing about some of the glory days from games gone by.
It seems like just yesterday Cam Newton was leading the 2010 Tigers to a thrilling second half comeback win in Tuscaloosa to propel Auburn to an eventual national championship.
And who could forget last year’s Alabama team that needed the win over an 8 win reigning national champion Auburn team to secure their own spot in the SEC title game to play for a shot at a national championship appearance.
Don’t forget 2008 when Tommy Tuberville, who pretty much owned Alabama during his tenure at Auburn, was coaching for his job when the Tigers took on the Crimson Tide (side note: they lost 36-0 and Tuberville was fired).
Oh, and remember 2009 when Alabama came into the game needing to beat Auburn to have a shot at the national championship. They did; and eventually went on to win the title.
Man, those were the good ol’ days. Reminds me of the lyrics from a song,
“Glory Days, well they’ll pass you by. Glory Days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye”
Just like that, in a wink, two teams who are annually atop the SEC West standings are about as far away as the east is from the west.
Alabama has been the model of consistency and domination, having maintained a level of success that has yet to be duplicated in the college football landscape. They have two national championships in three years with a shot at another one this year. Nick Saban is arguably the absolute best coach in the entire profession. His relentless demeanor rubs off on his team and they play that way.
Auburn…well that’s another story. There is a lot of speculation regarding the state of the program. And specifically the head coaches position. Gene Chizik is no longer the favorite son on the plains of Alabama. Just two years removed from hoisting the Sears Crystal Ball as the top team in the land, there is a lot of talk as to whether or not he will be back as the leader of the Tigers next year. If his fate isn’t already sealed headed into this game, a win over Alabama would give him some leverage heading into the offseason.
So on one hand, you have a coach who is at the top of the profession and on the other you have one hanging on for dear life.
On one hand, you have a team that rarely loses its focus and plays with a tenacious passion that keeps opposing head coaches awake at night. On the other hand, you have a 3-8 Auburn team that has struggled to find any kind of identity and consistency what so ever.
On one hand, you have a team still in the national championship hunt thanks to losses last week by Oregon and Kansas State. On the other hand, the Auburn Tigers are making plans for the offseason.
Saturday in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers, for just one night, are going to try and get back to the days of old.
Just one problem, Bruce Springsteen will be nowhere in sight. Nick Saban will be, however, and the Crimson Tide do plan on showing the Auburn Tigers who is The Boss on Saturday.
All Auburn will be left with is singing the famous last line of the song, “Trying to recapture; A little of the glory of, well time slips away; And leaves you with nothing mister but; Boring stories of glory days.”
This one will get boring early. Alabama big.