Back where I belong: in the middle of Iron Bowl rivalry

Published 11:36 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My 27-year Iron Bowl drought is over.

For the first time since 1991, I’m back living in the state where college football’s biggest rivalry is played.

It doesn’t get any bigger than Alabama versus Auburn.

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I’m thankful for the opportunity to rejoin the battle between Roll Tide and War Eagles, two phrases usually associated with Alabama and Auburn, respectively.

When I moved to Selma at the end of May, I was constantly asked which side am I on?

My response was straight to the point: “I grew up in Tuscaloosa, so there’s your answer.”

Then I’d get met with “Roll Tide” and a handshake.

Since I’ve been with The Selma Times-Journal, I’ve occasionally had to write stories on Auburn fans and Auburn graduates. I don’t throw Alabama’s dominance in their faces. I’m not wired that way, I have a job to do. A good news story doesn’t care what college you attend.

The Iron Bowl often meant more than bragging rights statewide for the next 365 days.

A spot in the SEC Championship Game is usually on the line whenever the Crimson Tide and Tigers clash.

We all know Alabama clinched the SEC Western Division crown with a 26-0 over LSU on Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge, setting up a rematch against Georgia for the league’s biggest football prize.

Last year also carried that same theme, but on the national scale. Auburn beat Alabama 26-14 for the SEC Western Division title.

Georgia thrashed Auburn 28-7 to win the SEC title to land a berth in the College Football Playoff.

Alabama overcame the Auburn loss to earn the final playoff berth and eventually won the national championship.

The Crimson Tide is a whopping 24-point favorite and I’m sure that number will go down by kickoff Saturday afternoon.

I see the Crimson Tide headed toward that direction again. Unless Alabama makes mistakes, I see the Crimson Tide winning 35-18.