I’ll admit it, the Iron Bowl is a big deal

Published 4:29pm Thursday, November 28, 2013

It’s taken months of educating by friends, co-workers and a diligent girlfriend, but I can finally admit what you already know; Alabama versus Auburn is the game of all games.

At least this year.

I know that to everyone lucky enough to be born and raised in the state of Alabama, this is common knowledge.

It’s the Iron Bowl. It’s the rivalry.

It’s the day that defines a season. It’s the game that defines the careers of coaches and players alike.

With coaches like “Shug” and “The Bear”, the Iron bowl is steeped in history most rivalries can only dream of.

But in the frozen tundra known as the Midwest, there is a rivalry — nay, a battle —that will also be renewed on Saturday.

At 11 a.m. central time, the third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will step off their buses and onto the field at Michigan Stadium to take on a rag-tag team of Wolverines aimed at knocking off their highly-touted rivals.

Ohio (as Michigan coach Brady coach calls them; refusing to use their full name) is good. They have not lost a game since head coach Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus.

That School Up North (As Meyer refers to Michigan) is struggling. With 7 wins and 4 loses, many feel the Wolverines should find themselves without any hope by halftime.

But this, just like the Iron Bowl, is not any old Saturday.

This is the rival. This is The Game.

Michigan and Ohio State have squared off 109 times and the Wolverines hold a 58-45 advantage in the series, while the Crimson Tide lead their overall matchup with the Tigers 38-33-1.

And just like the game in Ann Arbor, past matchups and current national rankings will have the same effect on Saturday’s Iron Bowl: None.

We know the Crimson Tide is a cohesive unit with one of the greatest coaches of all time. Nick Saban’s numbers are undeniable. The conference championships, the national titles… the process.

But how will first-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn fare in his first Iron Bowl? Can he pull off one more miracle this season?

In Ann Arbor, Brady Hoke’s Wolverines take on an Ohio State team that has done nothing over the last two years but win the games they were supposed to — all of them.

But that won’t matter when the whistle blows on Saturday morning.

Undeniably, the eye of the college football world will be focused squarely on Jordan-Hare Stadium this Saturday. Much is riding on this game.

Who will go to the conference championship? Who will go to the national championship? Who will bruise their way to another year of bragging rights?

I can’t wait to watch Saturday’s Iron Bowl and see the yearlong passions of fans on both sides come to a sure-to-be incredible crescendo.

Whomever you will be cheering for this weekend, I wish them the best of luck and I hope you get to celebrate long into the night.

Oh, and if Michigan wins, don’t hold me responsible for my behavior.

Go Blue. Hail to the Victors.

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