Taking a look back at the Iron Bowl in the 2010s

A by-the-numbers look at the Iron Bowl this decade from 2010 up to 2018
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Nov. 29, 2019 at 7:43 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the decade closes, so will yet another chapter of the Iron Bowl as Auburn and Alabama meet inside Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Over this decade, the Iron Bowl has seen its fair share of history, college and future NFL superstars, and Heisman winners. This takes a look back at each of the Iron Bowl games across the 2010s and how important they were to not only each team, but the game of college football.

Before diving into the individual games respectively, first a breakdown of the statistics between Alabama and Auburn.

  • There have been 9 Iron Bowls this decade (2010-2018).
  • Alabama holds the lead with a 6-3 record (By default Alabama can only, at worst, finish at 6-4 for the decade).
  • Alabama holds the longest winning streak in the rivalry this decade (Alabama won three straight from 2014-2016).
  • There have been five times this decade (prior to Saturday) when the Iron Bowl has brought together two ranked teams - 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 (Saturday will be the sixth).
  • Alabama has lost as the No. 1 team twice (2013 and 2017), but has also won as the No. 1 team twice (2016 and 2018).
  • Auburn has wins as the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 teams (these wins constitute all three of Auburn’s wins this decade).
  • Alabama has wins as the No. 2 team (four times).
  • Auburn has lost as a ranked team twice (2014 as No. 15 and 2016 as No. 16).
  • Alabama has lost as a ranked team three times (2010 as No. 9, 2013 as No. 1 and 2017 as No. 1).
  • Two of Auburn’s three wins this decade have come in Jordan-Hare Stadium and both were in odd-numbered years (2013 and 2017). Auburn’s 2010 win came in Tuscaloosa.
  • Three Heisman Trophy winners have played in the Iron Bowl this decade - Alabama’s Mark Ingram II (2009 Heisman Trophy winner; played in the 2010 Iron Bowl game) Auburn’s Cam Newton (2010 Heisman Trophy winner) and Alabama’s Derrick Henry (2015 Heisman Trophy).
  • Gone on to play in SEC Championship game eight times this decade - 2010, 2012-2018 (2019 marks the first time since 2011 that the winner of the Iron Bowl will not play in the SEC Championship game.)
  • Won the SEC Championship Game seven times this decade - 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 (Auburn lost 28-7 in 2017 to Georgia).
  • Gone to the BCS National Championship/College Football Playoff game seven times this decade - 2010, 2011*, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 (The asterisk notes when Alabama won the Iron Bowl in 2011 but did not play in the SEC Championship Game, but still played in the BCS National Championship Game; Alabama won the Iron Bowl in 2014 but lost in the College Football Playoff Semifinals to Ohio State)
  • Made the College Football Playoff four times this decade - 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 (Alabama all four times; Auburn’s loss to Georgia in the 2017 SEC Championship Game cost them their CFP shot)
  • Won the BCS National Championship/College Football Playoff Championship game five times this decade - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017* (The asterisk notes Alabama won the CFP Championship in 2017 despite losing the Iron Bowl. Auburn’s loss in the SEC Championship Game propelled Alabama into the CFP. The only time that the Iron Bowl loser has positively benefited from losing the Iron Bowl this decade.)
  • Lost in the BCS National Championship/College Football Playoff Championship game three times- 2013, 2016, 2018 (Auburn lost to Florida State in the 2013 season. Alabama lost to Clemson in the 2016 and 2018 seasons.)

Cam Newton brings the Tigers back in Tuscaloosa - What an Iron Bowl to kick off the decade. Cam Newton and the Tigers against Julio Jones and the Crimson Tide. Auburn entered as the No. 2 team in the country taking on a No. 9 Alabama team that had won the BCS National Championship game the season before. Alabama led 24-0 in the second quarter before Newton and the Tigers would come furiously storming back. After an Alabama field goal with 8:01 remaining in the second quarter, Newton and the Tigers outscored the Tide 28-3 the remainder of the game. Newton finished with 216 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, including the memorable touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen with 11:55 remaining in the game to tie the score at 27. Wes Byrum’s extra point would give Auburn the 28-27 advantage. Newton also rushed for another score. Auburn forced an Alabama turnover on downs with 30 seconds left to secure the victory.

Auburn would go on to defeat South Carolina in the SEC Championship game and later win the BCS National Championship 22-19 over Oregon.

Alabama would exact its revenge the very next season behind 203 rushing yards from Trent Richardson. AJ McCarron threw for three touchdowns as the Crimson Tide dominated the Tigers.

Alabama did not play in the SEC Championship Game, but would still play in the BCS National Championship against LSU, defeating the Tigers 21-0 to win the title and avenge an earlier-season loss to LSU.

For a second consecutive season Alabama rolled over the Tigers. McCarron would toss four touchdowns in the win while Eddie Lacy would run for 131 yards and score two rushing touchdowns. Auburn would be held to just 163 total yards.

Alabama would defeat Georgia 32-28 in the SEC Championship game and go on to defeat Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS National Championship.

THE KICK SIX. Besides the Cam Newton comeback, who could forget this game. Alabama, with one second remaining in the game, opted to attempt a 57-yard field goal instead of letting the game go into overtime. Chris Davis returned the kick over 100 yards for the touchdown with time expired, downing the Crimson Tide and propelling the Auburn Tigers into the SEC Championship Game.

Auburn would go on to defeat Missouri 59-42 in the SEC Championship Game, but would fall to Florida State 34-31 in the final BCS National Championship.

A blow-for-blow affair with touchdown after touchdown being scored. The highest-scoring Iron Bowl in history ended with Alabama’s victory. Blake Sims tossed four touchdowns for the Crimson Tide while Nick Marshall threw for 456 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers. Sammie Coates Jr. (Auburn) and Amari Cooper (Alabama) each eclipsed 200 yards receiving and had multiple touchdown receptions.

Alabama would advance on to the SEC Championship game, defeating Missouri in the process. In the first year of the College Football Playoff, Alabama would lose to Ohio State in the semifinals.

Future Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry carried the ball 46 times for 271 yards as the Crimson Tide rolled over the Auburn Tigers. Auburn was outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter.

Alabama would return to the SEC Championship game and defeat Florida to secure its position in the College Football Playoff for a second consecutive season. Alabama would go on to win the CFP championship over Clemson 45-40 in an epic battle.

The longest winning streak for either team in the Iron Bowl this decade. Alabama held Auburn to 182 total yards as Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns.

Alabama and Florida would meet again in the SEC Championship Game and the Crimson Tide would roll to another win. In the College Football Playoff, Alabama and Clemson would rematch in the CFP Championship with Clemson coming out on the winning end in Tampa.

This win for Auburn over Alabama gave the Tigers their second win over a No. 1 team in the season (Auburn had defeated Georgia weeks before). Kerryon Johnson rushed for over 100 yards and a score and threw for another score as the Tigers pulled off another upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Jalen Hurts was held to just 112 passing yards for the Tide and star wideout Calvin Ridley caught just three passes for 38 yards. Alabama took a momentary 14-13 lead in the third quarter before a rushing touchdown from Johnson and a rushing touchdown from Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham put the game away. Auburn would advance to the SEC Championship Game, but lose to Georgia.

Auburn’s SECCG loss would open the door for Alabama who entered the CFP picture, defeat Clemson in the semifinals and advance on to defeat Georgia in overtime of the CFP Championship.

Much like the 2011 Iron Bowl, the 2018 Iron Bowl featured a strong response to losing the year before from the Alabama Crimson Tide. After bursting onto the scene in the College Football Playoff Championship game, Tua Tagovailoa followed that performance with one of the most prolific college football seasons a quarterback has ever had. Auburn hung around with the Crimson Tide in the first half, trailing by just three points, but Tagovailoa and the Tide pulled away in the final two quarters. Tagovailoa threw threw four of his five touchdown passes in the second half. The Heisman Trophy candidate would throw for 324 yards in the win. Alabama finished with 500 total yards of offense.

The Crimson Tide went on to defeat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and return to the CFP semifinals. Alabama would defeat Oklahoma in the semifinals to meet Clemson for all the marbles again. Clemson would defeat Alabama handily for its second title in three years.

Saturday’s matchup is a toss up. Literally anything could happen with Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix leading the Auburn offense and Mac Jones leading the Alabama offense in place of the injured Tagovailoa. Auburn touts a strong defensive unit while the Crimson Tide’s defense has been shaky all season. No. 5 Alabama is looking to hold on to its position in the College Football Playoff rankings while the No. 15 Auburn Tigers possess the ability to shake up the landscape yet again.

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