It is an intense rivalry because it matters to fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers. How much does it matter?
“It really is life and death for a lot of people,” Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy said.
“They’d say, ‘Just beat Auburn,'” McElroy said. “That’s all you hear. Especially in the last couple of weeks. I was in Birmingham this week eating with Rhodes scholar candidates … and people would come up to me and say, ‘Just beat Auburn. Don’t worry about the Rhodes scholarship, just beat Auburn.'” You can read more about the Iron Bowl game and other important SEC rivalries in the AP story that follows: