Iron Bowl 2010: Alabama-Auburn preview notes

Want some interesting tidbits for this week’s game between Alabama and Auburn? The game notes prepared by the University is a good place to start.

Alabama (9-2, 5-2 SEC) vs. Auburn (11-0, 7-0 SEC)
Friday, November 26, 2010 • 1:30 p.m. • CBS at Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) • Tuscaloosa, Ala. (courtesy of UA Media Relations)

THE GAME: Alabama concludes the 2010 regular season with the 75th Iron Bowl on Friday, November 26, at Bryant-Denny Stadium on CBS. The ninth-ranked Crimson Tide square off with the No. 2/2 Tigers at 1:30 p.m. (CT) on Senior Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama leads the series 40-33-1 after back-to-back victories over the Tigers. The Tide posted a 26-21 come-from-behind victory a season ago in Auburn after a 36-0 win the last time the two teams met in Tuscaloosa in 2008. Auburn is coming off of a bye week with an 11-0 record on the season and 7-0 mark in the SEC after beating Georgia on Nov. 13. The Tigers are the last of six SEC teams to have a bye before playing Alabama and the seventh straight game a team has had a bye before facing the Tide. The game will be televised on CBS with Verne Lundquist on play-by-play, Gary Danielson as the color analyst and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sideline. Eli Gold and Phil Savage will handle the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Barry Krauss on the sidelines. Westwood One will have the national radio broadcast.

HEAD COACH NICK SABAN: Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) is in his fourth season with the Crimson Tide. He was named the school’s 27th head coach on January 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 37-10 record (42-10 including five vacated wins in 2007) at Alabama while leading the Tide to two SEC Western Division championships, one conference title and one national championship. Saban holds a career record of 128-52-1 (133-52-1) as a collegiate head coach, while also serving at Toledo, Michigan State and LSU. Saban won his first national championship as head coach of the LSU Tigers in 2003, guiding the Tigers to a 13-1 record that season. Overall, Saban has coached four conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC, 2003 SEC and 2009 SEC) and 10 of his 13 teams have played in postseason bowl games with the Tide appearing in a bowl game each year under Saban’s direction. Saban is also one of two coaches (Urban Meyer, Florida) to win two BCS National Championships and the first to accomplish the feat at two different schools.

RANKINGS: Alabama checks in at No. 9 in this week’s Associated Press poll and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll and the Harris Interactive. Auburn is ranked No. 2 in all polls including the AP, USA Today, BCS and Harris polls.

ALABAMA-AUBURN SERIES: The Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers meet in the 75th Iron Bowl on Friday, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2010, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Alabama holds a 40-33-1 lead in a series that dates back to the 1893 season. The Crimson Tide and Tigers first met on Feb. 22, 1893, at Birmingham’s Lakeview Park with the Tigers claiming 32-22 victory in the inaugural meeting. Alabama snapped a six-game series losing streak with a 36-0 win in 2008 in Tuscaloosa and followed that up with a come-from-behind 26-20 win in Auburn last season on its way to the school’s 13th national championship. This is the eighth meeting between the two schools at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The first two meetings took place in 1895 and 1901, but the series went another 99 years before it returned to Tuscaloosa at the end of the 2000 season. Auburn owns a 6-1 series lead in games played at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

MORE SERIES LORE: Just about everyone knows of the rich history and tradition associated with the Alabama-Auburn series, but some people may not be aware that the rivalry was discontinued for more than 40 years in the first half of the 20th century. A few seemingly minor disagreements between the teams resulted in the series being cancelled in 1908. It was not resumed until the 1948 season. Though there are myths about fighting and other violence necessitating a dismissal of the series, the truth is that the only problems between the two teams emerged over the referee and per diem money for the players. In winning the 1906 game, Alabama used an offensive formation that Auburn head coach Mike Donahue declared illegal. After Alabama implemented a similar formation in 1907, Auburn insisted that their next meeting be officiated by an umpire from outside the South. Alabama thought this request to be unnecessary and that became the first matter of disagreement between the two schools. The second conflict, which was over per diem, essentially amounted to $33. Each team was allowed 22 players on its roster. Auburn wanted each player to receive $3.50, while Alabama thought the amount should be only two dollars. After arguing for several months over these two matters, the teams finally reached a compromise and decided not to play in 1908. By this point, however, their schedules had been set for the season, and neither team’s opponents were willing to move. Alabama suggested playing the game after Thanksgiving, but Auburn’s Board of Trustees would not allow them to play beyond the holiday. Thus, the game was not played in 1908, and it was not placed on the schedule the following year. Attempts to revive the game in 1911, 1919, 1932 and 1944 all failed. Finally, in the spring of 1948, behind the initiative of Alabama President John Galilee, an agreement was reached to resume the series in Birmingham that fall. Prior to the game, student body presidents Gilis Cammock of Alabama and Willie Johns of Auburn participated in a symbolic “burying of the hatchet” ceremony at Woodrow Wilson Park in Birmingham. The two teams rekindled their rivalry at Legion Field on December 4, 1948, and have played annually since then.

UA-AU WINNER GETS “FOY TROPHY”: On July 13, 1948, the two circles of Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honor society from Alabama and Auburn joined together to sponsor a trophy devoted to sportsmanship between the two universities. The ODK-James E. Foy V Sportsmanship Trophy is a tradition which symbolizes the good relationship between the two schools. Originally the trophy was displayed in Birmingham in Loveman’s store window the week prior to the football game between the two universities. Then, in a parade preceding the game, the trophy would be carried in a convertible with the Omicron Delta Kappa presidents from each school on either side. The parade was stopped in the 1960s but the trophy has continued to be awarded every year. The trophy is now awarded to the winner at halftime of the Alabama-Auburn basketball game on the winner’s home court. The trophy remains in their care until the next year’s presentation takes place. In January 1978, the trophy was dedicated to Dean James E. Foy V upon his retirement as the Dean of Student Affairs at Auburn University. He began serving in that position in 1950 after serving as Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Alabama.

IRON BOWL RANKINGS: For the 26th time since 1980 at least one team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 entering the annual Iron Bowl. Neither team was ranked in 1982, 1998 and 2003. Alabama is No. 10 in the current AP poll and is ranked entering the Iron Bowl for the 37th time in history. The Crimson Tide is 26-10 against the Tigers when ranked in the AP poll. Auburn has been ranked a total of 26 times in Iron Bowl history and has compiled an 18-8 record when ranked in the AP Top 25. The highest ranked team owns a 40-10 record in the series since 1955.

TELEVISED GAMES: The 2010 Alabama-Auburn game will be the 36th televised game in the series, dating back to the series’ first televised game in 1964. Alabama owns an 19-16 record in the previous 35 TV games. The Alabama-Auburn game is being televised for the 17th consecutive year and for the 29th time in the last 30 years this season from Tuscaloosa. CBS Sports will televise its 12th Iron Bowl this season.

SABAN VERSUS AUBURN: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 4-4 in his career against the Auburn Tigers, including last year’s 26-21 win in Auburn and the 36-0 victory in 2008 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban made his Alabama debut in the Nov. 24, 2007, Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Saban was 2-3 against the Tigers while the head coach at LSU from 2000-04.

IRON BOWL COACHING RECORDS: Former Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant holds the Iron Bowl record for most games coached (25) and most wins (19). Here is a look at the all-time Iron Bowl coaching records entering the 2008 season.

All-Time Wins (Alabama-Auburn Series)
Coach (School) Years Total Wins
Paul Bryant (UA) 1958-82 19
Shug Jordan (AU) 1951-75 9
Tommy Tuberville (AU) 1999-06 7
Pat Dye (AU) 1981-92 6
Gene Stallings (UA) 1990-96 5
Red Drew (UA) 1948-54 5

Alabama Coaching Records vs. Auburn (Win Pct.)
Coach Years Record
Jack Leavenworth 1905 1-0 (1.000)
J.W.H. Pollard 1906-07 1-0-1 (.750)
Paul Bryant 1958-82 19-6 (.760)
Gene Stallings 1990-96 5-2 (.714)
Red Drew 1948-54 5-2 (.714)
Nick Saban 2007-Present 2-1 (.667)
Ray Perkins 1983-86 2-2 (.500)
Mike DuBose 1997-2000 2-2 (.500)
Dennis Franchione 2001-02 1-1 (.500)
W.B. Blount 1903-04 1-1 (.500)
Eli Abbott 1893-95, 1902 1-3 (.250)
E.B. Beaumont 1892 0-1 (.000)
M. Griffin 1900 0-1 (.000)
G.H. Harvey 1901 0-1 (.000)
Mike Shula 2003-06 0-4 (.000)
J.B. Whitworth 1955-57 0-3 (.000)
Bill Curry 1987-89 0-3 (.000)

CROSSING ENEMY LINES: Auburn alumnus G.H. Harvey is the only person to serve as head football coach at both Auburn and Alabama. He coached Auburn to a 3-0-2 record in his lone season with the Tigers in 1893, included in that record was a 40-16 win over Alabama on Nov. 30 at Montgomery’s Riverside Park. Harvey also served as head coach at Alabama during the 1901 season, compiling 2-1-2 record, which included a 17-0 loss to Auburn in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 15, 1901. Harvey’s combined coaching record with Auburn and Alabama was 5-1-4 in 10 games as head coach. Bill “Brother” Oliver, who played at Alabama in 1960s and then later served as an assistant coach under Bryant and Stallings at Alabama, was Auburn’s interim head coach in 1998. Oliver took over midway through the season for Terry Bowden, who resigned in October, and coached the Tigers to a 2-3 record, including a 31-17 loss to the Crimson Tide.

ALABAMA SINGLE-GAME RECORDS VS. AUBURN: Below are the Crimson Tide’s single-game Iron Bowl records.
Most Pass Attempts: 55 by Scott Hunter (1969)
49 by Gary Hollingsworth (1989)
43 by Freddie Kitchens (1995)

Most Completions: 30 by Scott Hunter (1969)

Most Passing Yards: 484 by Scott Hunter (1969)
340 by Gary Hollingsworth (1989)
302 by Freddie Kitchens (1995)

Most Pass Receptions: 9 by Julio Jones (2009)
9 by David Bailey (1969)

Most Receiving Yards: 187 by David Bailey (1969)

Most Rushing Attempts: 42 by Johnny Musso (1970)
33 by Shaun Alexander (1999)

Most Rushing Yards: 233 by Bobby Marlow (1951)
221 by Johnny Musso (1970)
204 by Bobby Humphrey (1986)

Longest Field Goal: 52 by Van Tiffin (1985)

Longest KO Return: 107 by Ray Ogden (1964)
102 by George Ranager (1969)

NEXT GAME: Following the Iron Bowl, Alabama will await word on its college football record 58th bowl game appearance.

STADIUM RENOVATION: The latest expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium raised seating capacity to 101,821, making it one of the five largest on-campus football stadiums in the nation. The expansion is the fourth expansion of the stadium since 1988 and the seventh expansion in the stadium’s history. It consists of roughly 9,600 additional seats, 1,700 South Zone Club seats, two corner video boards, an upper concourse with concessions and restrooms, 36 skyboxes, the Crimson Tide Foundation offices, a Donor Hall of Recognition and an outdoor market featuring Zoe’s Kitchen, Yogurt Lab and a new university admissions office welcome center. UA’s first four home game crowds of 101,821 not only set a school record, but also set a new record for the most spectators to watch a football game in the state of Alabama.

McElroy Named a FINALIST for Campbell Trophy: Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy has been selected as a finalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame and recognizes the best and brightest from the college gridiron. The NFF announced 16 finalists, who are recognized as part of the 2010 NFF Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF’s Awards Dinner on December 7 at Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. In the classroom, McElroy has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times (2007-10), the President’s List (4.0 GPA) twice, the Dean’s List (3.5-3.99 GPA) four times and is a UA Rhodes Scholar nominee. He is currently pursuing a degree in sports management after finishing his undergraduate degree in marketing in just three years.

McELROY JUST MISSES RHODES SCHOLARSHIP: Alabama senior quarterback Greg McElroy advanced as far as the finalist interviews in Birmingham, Ala., in his pursuit of a Rhodes Scholarship, but came up just short. He was one of two students at the University of Alabama that were endorsed by the University and one of 12 finalists in the seventh district. There are 32 Rhodes Scholarships assigned annually to students in the United States. States are grouped into 16 districts for the purpose of making these appointments. The state of Alabama is in the seventh district, which also includes the states of Florida and Tennessee. Two students from district seven were selected this past Saturday as Rhodes Scholars following the final interview process.

STREAKING AT BRYANT-DENNY: Alabama has won 20 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium dating back to the home opener against Tulane in 2008. It is tied for the second-longest streak in school history at Bryant-Denny Stadium with the mark of 20 set from Nov. 1, 1941, to Nov. 11, 1950. The longest winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium is 57 games from Oct. 26, 1963, to Nov. 13, 1982. During the current streak, the Crimson Tide is 11-0 against SEC competition and 5-0 against top 25 teams.

Longest Winning Streaks at BDS
57 Oct. 26, 1963 – Nov. 13, 1982
20 Nov. 1, 1941 – Nov. 11, 1950
20 Sept. 6, 2008 – Present
18 Sept. 28, 1929 – Sept. 28, 1935
16 Nov. 23, 1957 – Oct. 12, 1963
16 Nov. 9, 1935 – Oct. 12, 1940

BEATING THE BEST: Alabama is 13-4 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the past three seasons and 8-2 against AP top 10 teams. UA had reeled off nine straight wins against top 25 teams until the loss at South Carolina. The Crimson Tide’s 31-6 win over No. 7 Florida on October 2 was the Tide’s second straight win over a top 10 team and third top 25 victory in a four-week span. Alabama is 4-2 against the AP Top 25 this season.

Alabama vs. AP Top 25 Opponents (since the start of the 2008 season)
Date Team Opp. Rank Result
Aug. 30, 2008 vs. Clemson (at Atlanta, Ga.) 9 W, 34-10
Sept. 27, 2008 at Georgia 3 W, 41-30
Nov. 8, 2008 at LSU 15 W, 27-21 (OT)
Dec. 6, 2008 vs. Florida (at Atlanta, Ga.) 2 L, 20-31
Jan. 2, 2009 vs. Utah (at New Orleans, La.) 7 L, 17-31
Sept. 5, 2009 vs. Virginia Tech (at Atlanta, Ga.) 7 W, 34-24
Oct. 10, 2009 at Mississippi 20 W, 22-3
Oct. 17, 2009 South Carolina 22 W, 20-6
Nov. 6, 2009 LSU 9 W, 24-15
Dec. 5, 2009 vs. Florida (at Atlanta, Ga.) 1 W, 32-13
Jan. 7, 2010 vs. Texas (at Pasadena, Calif.) 2 W, 37-21
Sept. 11, 2010 Penn State 18 W, 24-3
Sept. 25, 2010 at Arkansas 10 W, 24-20
Oct. 2, 2010 Florida 7 W, 31-6
Oct. 9, 2010 at South Carolina 19 L, 21-35
Nov. 6, 2010 at LSU 11 L, 21-24
Nov. 13, 2010 Mississippi State 17 W, 30-10

MOSLEY WITH ANOTHER PICK 6: True freshman linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a Georgia State pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, Mosley’s second interception return for a touchdown this season. He also took an interception 35 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter against Florida to give Alabama a 31-6 lead over the Gators. Mosley, who earned his first career start at South Carolina, now has started three games, made 60 tackles on the season with a team-high seven pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.

Interception Returns for a Touchdown – Season
2 C.J. Mosley 2010
2 Rashad Johnson 2008
2 Cedric Samuel 1995
2 Antonio Langham 1992
2 Bobby Johns 1966
2 Hootie Ingram 1952
1 By many, last by Marcell Dareus 2009