Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2006 Iron Bowl Week - Tuesday Edition

So, I'm going to focus only on the Auburn-Alabama game this week, although it is far from the most important game on the national scene. To the folks associated with the two schools, there is no game of greater importance that will be played this weekend, or, as a matter of fact, any other weekend.

To my readers that are interested in the Michigan - Ohio State game (and I can't blame you), check out the guys at the M Zone who are focusing their week on the game. They do a great job covering the Michigan football program and already have some good stuff up for this week's game.

Paul Finebaum hit the nail on the head in his column this past Saturday. Paul discusses that the Iron Bowl is irrelevant nationally. While Paul is dead on with his analysis, I think that is what makes this game so special. While others around the country are taking in the UM-OSU game, the state of Alabama will come to a halt as Auburn and Alabama collide. The game is more about state and local pride to folks in Alabama than what others on a national scale think. It's great to have the national eyes watching your game, but is the importance of the game really diminished by not meaning much on a national scale. I think not, because this game is all about state pride.

Just one other piece for today.....Kevin Scarbinsky in yesterday's Birmingham News wrote that Tuberville owes his popularity to beating Bama. I have no doubt that Tommy Tuberville is widely popular with the Auburn fan base not only for his stellar record against Alabama, but also because he is able to get under the skin of the opposing fans. Looking back at the widely popular coaches in the series, Bear was loved clearly because of his amazing record while at Alabama, but referring to Auburn as "that cow college" only endeared him even more in the hearts of Alabama fans. Pat Dye will always be remembered not for winning 4 SEC titles during his tenure, but putting Auburn on equal ground with Alabama and bringing the Iron Bowl to Auburn's campus. Tommy's record is impressive, but Auburn fans got so much pleasure watching Tommy T running around Pat Dye field holding four fingers in the air. Even Coach Fran knew how to win the Bama fans over as he always referred to Auburn as "that school down the road." With all the "fear the thumb" talk coming from the Auburn fans, this year's game is hugely important to show that once and for all, Auburn is no longer on equal ground with Alabama, but that Tuberville has clearly moved the Tigers beyond the Tide's shadow and is now casting their own shadow on the Tide.


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