Why The Iron Bowl Doesn’t Matter This Year
The Iron Bowl has meant everything to both Alabama and Auburn throughout it’s history. It usually means more to the team having the down year because it can really get the fan base and school up by ending the season on a high note.
But does the Iron Bowl really matter beyond that anymore? I mean, if you’re only playing to win the Iron Bowl at the end of the season let’s be honest, you aren’t having a very good season. This year an Iron Bowl would be huge for the “barners.” But will it matter much to the Tide?
Of course you want to win your big rivalry game. Alabama will always want to beat Auburn. But as far as the big picture is concerned this year, it doesn’t matter. Even if some miracle happened and Auburn got an upset win, Alabama would still be playing in the SEC championship game. They would still win it. And they would still be in the playoffs.
Some are arguing that the playoffs have made the Iron Bowl mostly irrelevant as far as a championship run is concerned. Sure you are still playing the game for pride, but with Alabama being clearly the best team in America, a loss to Auburn wouldn’t change their playoff trajectory at all.
ESPN analyst Brad Edwards told Paul Finebaum, “I think next week’s Iron Bowl is going to be the first casualty of the playoff era, in that you have a game that normally would be huge that now has almost zero playoff implications,” Edwards said. “Because of where Alabama is relative to everyone else, Alabama could lose to Auburn, and as long as they just win the SEC Championship Game the next week, they’re probably still going to be the No. 1 seed in the playoff.”
It’s not entirely true to say the Iron Bowl doesn’t matter this year. Of course it still matters to Auburn. What else do they have to play for? But for the defending national champions, it’s just a blip in the road. Win or lose they still control their path to an unprecedented 17th National Championship.
Oh, and just for the ‘barners’ reading this…The Tide is still going to roll all over you this year in Bryant Denny Stadium. So get ready for an ugly beat down. ROLL TIDE!