Nick Saban earns over seven million dollars per year if all the incentives in his contract are achieved. The next agreement should have a clause to include come-from-behind halftime speeches. Trailing 26-21 after 30 minutes, the psychological state and national championship aspiration of his program was in jeopardy. Auburn (8-4, 4-4, #14) had scored more points against the Tide defense in one half than anyone had recorded in an entire game this season. West Virginia in an Alabama (11-1, 7-1, #1) neutral site win in Atlanta (33-23) and Ole Miss in a road loss at Oxford (17-23) both chalked up 23 points. Bama took control in the final two quarters to come from behind in the 55-44 victory over Auburn on Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa before a sold out crowd of 101,821.
The competitiveness of the 2014 edition of the Crimson Tide was challenged according to Saban. His team responded with 361 yards of offense and a 34-point second half. Defensively, the Tide slowed down the Tiger offense by allowing 247 yards. He addressed the media after the combined highest scoring ever Iron Bowl offensive explosion in series history. The 99 point total eclipsed the prior mark of 75 reached in the 1969 game played at Legion Field in Birmingham, a 49-26 Auburn win. Alabama and Auburn combined for a record 1,169 yards tonight. The Tigers finished with 630 yards and the Tide had 539. Ironically, the previous high of 1,074 occurred in the 1969 game (Auburn 541, Alabama 533). Alabama holds a 43-35-1 lead in the series. Nick Saban has won at least 11 games in six of eight seasons as the Tide head coach (2008-09, 2011-14). Alabama has 18 11-win seasons in school history. The 55 point total tied the Alabama school record for points against Auburn in the series equaling the amount scored in the 1948 shutout.
Alabama is the SEC Western Division Champion for the fourth time since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. They will play Saturday on CBS at 3 PM CT in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome against the SEC Eastern Division Champion Missouri Tigers (10-2, 7-1, #17) for the league title.