Alabama-Auburn game notes

The most anticipated day in this state's sports lore takes place this Saturday as the Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2, 6-1 SEC) hosts arch-rival Auburn Tigers (7-4, 4-3 SEC) in the annual battle for state's bragging rights.

The Crimson Tide enters the game coming off a 31-0 win at No. 14 LSU in Baton Rouge. Alabama's win at Baton Rouge clinched the best record in the SEC Western Division for the Crimson Tide. The Tigers dropped a 24-21 heartbreaker at home to Georgia, who scored in the final minutes to clinch the SEC Eastern Division title.

The 2002 version of the "Iron Bowl" will kickoff at 2:40 p.m. (CST) from Bryant-Denny Stadium and will be televised nationally by CBS Sports for the third consecutive year. Handling the announcing duties for CBS Sports Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Jill Arrington (sideline).

The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny Stabler (color analyst) describing the action. Tom Roberts will once again work the sidelines for the network broadcasts.

Alabama Quick Notes:

  • UA (6-1) has clinched the best record in the SEC Western Division and can match Georgia for the league's best overall record with a win over Auburn...
  • Bama is 0-3 against Auburn in Tuscaloosa and has never scored against the Tigers on its own campus...
  • The highest ranked team has posted a 39-5 (.886) record in Iron Bowl games since 1955...

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and is part of an elite college coaching group with 150 or more career wins. Currently, there are only seven active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione joined that group following a 42-7 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 19. In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl. He is 16-7 (.696) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 154-72-2 (.678) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville is 53-39 (.576) in eight seasons as head coach. At Auburn, Tuberville has compiled a 28-19 (.596) record in four seasons' on the Plains. Before taking over at Auburn, Tuberville served as head coach at Ole Miss (1995-98).

Franchione vs. Auburn

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 1-0 against the Tigers following last year's 31-7 win on the Plains.

Tuberville vs. Alabama

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville will coach his fourth Alabama-Auburn game this Saturday afternoon. He is 1-2 (.333) in the series after last year's 31-7 loss at home to the Crimson Tide. In 2000, Tuberville directed the Tigers to a 9-0 win here at Bryant-Denny Stadium as AU clinched the SEC Western Division title. Tuberville lost his Alabama-Auburn debut on the Plains in 1999, losing 28-17.

In all, Tuberville is 2-8 (.200) in his career against the Crimson Tide, including an 1-6 (.143) mark as head coach at Ole Miss (1995-98) and Auburn (1999-Present). Tuberville was also 0-4 (.000) against Auburn while at Ole Miss.

Tuberville was an assistant to Larry Lacewell at Arkansas State when the Crimson Tide beat the Indians 34-7 in 1982. As an assistant at Miami under Dennis Erickson, Tuberville split two meetings with Alabama. In the 1990 Sugar Bowl, Miami beat Alabama 33-25 to claim the national championship. In the 1993 Sugar Bowl, No. 2 Alabama beat No. 1 Miami 34-13 to win the national title.

The Series

Alabama leads the all-time series with Auburn, 37-27-1 (.577) in a series that dates back to 1893. This year's game will mark the 66th meeting between these two state rivals. Alabama and Auburn have met every year since 1948, when the series was resumed after a 41-year absence. The Crimson Tide has never beaten the Tigers in Tuscaloosa (0-3) and has been shutout in all three games.

Game Captains

Alabama will announce the 2002 permanent captains early this week and they will serves as game captains against Auburn and Hawai'i.

Seniors Play Final Home Game

The Auburn game marks the final home game for 22 Alabama seniors. Coach Fran has mentioned numerous times that this is a "special groups of seniors that is laying the foundation for the future of Crimson Tide football."
  • Compiled a 29-18 (.617) record.
  • 1999 SEC Champions with a 10-3 record.
  • Beat Florida twice during 1999 season, including 40-39 win at the Swamp to snap Gators 31-game home winning streak.
  • Only senior class in school history to win twice at Auburn, winning in 1999 (28-17) and 2001 (31-7).

Tide-Tiger Fast Facts

  • Since 1956, either Alabama or Auburn has been ranked in the final Associated Press poll.
  • Alabama and Auburn have never had losing records in the same season.
  • In the previous 66 meetings, Alabama has outscored Auburn, 1,297 to 1,084. The average score of the Alabama-Auburn game is 19.65 to 16.4 in favor of the Crimson Tide.
  • The team leading at halftime has won 72.3 percent (48 of 66) of the games in this series. Auburn has led at halftime in each of the last three seasons, winning only the 2000 meeting in Tuscaloosa. In 1999, the Tigers led 14-6 at the half, but lost 28-17 after a 20-point fourth-quarter by the Crimson Tide. In 1998, the Tigers took a 17-14 lead into the dressing room, but lost 31-17.
  • The game has been tied at the half seven times, with Alabama winning six of those games.
  • There have been 22 shutouts in the series, with Alabama winning 14 of those games, the most recent 17-0 in 1992. Auburn's last shutout was a 9-0 win last year in Tuscaloosa.
  • The two teams have played five one-point games, including two of the last three years. Auburn is 4-1 in games decided by one point.

1949 -- Auburn 14, Alabama 13
1972 -- Auburn 17, Alabama 16
1982 -- Auburn 23, Alabama 22
1996 -- Alabama 24, Auburn 23
1997 -- Auburn 18, Alabama 17

UA-AU Winner Gets "Foy Trophy"

On July 13, 1948, the two circles of Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honor society from the University of Alabama and Auburn University 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 their home court. The trophy remains in their care until 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.

Tide and Tigers on the Tube

The 2002 Alabama-Auburn game will be the 28th televised game in the series, dating back to the very first televised game in 1964. Alabama owns a 17-10 (.634) record in those previous 27 games. In addition, the Alabama-Auburn game has been televised 22 times in the last 23 years, with the 1993 game being the exception. The first televised game in this historic series was aired by NBC Sports in 1964. Since then the game has also been televised by ABC, ESPN and CBS.

Tide and Tigers at Various Sites

The Alabama-Auburn football rivalry as had only four homes in its 67-year existence, including Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Auburn. The city of Birmingham, the state's largest city, has served as host for the annual showdown 53 times, including every year from 1904-88. The Alabama-Auburn game has been played four times in Montgomery, the state capital. Auburn (four) and Tuscaloosa (three) have also served as hosts for this event. The first meeting in Montgomery took place during the 1893 season, with Auburn winning 40-16. The two teams last played in the state capital in 1903, with the Tide claiming an 18-6 victory. Tuscaloosa played host to the event in 1895 (40-0), 1901 (17-0) and 2000 (9-0), with Auburn winning all three games.

Birmingham: UA leads, 33-18-1
Montgomery: Series Tied, 2-2
Tuscaloosa: AU leads, 3-0
Auburn: AU leads, 4-2

Iron Bowl Rankings

Since 1955, Alabama or Auburn has been ranked entering the Iron Bowl every year with the exception of 1982 and 1998.
  • Alabama has been ranked 34 times entering the game. Bama is 24-9 (.727) in those previous 33 games.
  • The 2002 game marks the first time since 1999 that Alabama has entered the Auburn game ranked in the Top 25. The Crimson Tide is ranked 9th in this week's AP poll. UA was ranked 8th entering the 1999 games.
  • Auburn has been ranked 22 times entering the Alabama game. The Tigers are 14-8 (.636) against Alabama when ranked in the Top 25.
  • The 2002 game marks the first time since 1999 that Auburn was unranked entering the Iron Bowl.
  • The highest ranked team has posted a 35-9 (.795) record in the series since 1955.

Successful Debuts

Dennis Franchione became only the sixth coach in Alabama history to win his first Alabama-Auburn game. In addition, Coach Fran joined Red Drew (1948) and Gene Stallings (1990) as the only UA coaches to win their first Alabama-Auburn game since World War II.

The 2001 season marked the fourth time in five years a coach has made his debut in the traditional series rivalry. In 1997, Alabama coach Mike DuBose coached his very first Alabama-Auburn game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Alabama squandered a fourth-quarter lead and lost 18-17 in the game's final minute. In 1998, Auburn interim coach Bill Oliver, a former defensive coordinator at Alabama, coached his only Alabama-Auburn game at Legion Field. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville made his debut in the series in Auburn in 1999 and Coach Fran will debut this year on the Plains.

  • Terry Bowden (1993) is the only Auburn coach since World War II to win his first Alabama-Auburn game.
  • Alabama and Auburn both made coaching debuts in 1997 (DuBose) and 1998 (Oliver) in this series. The last time coaches debuted in back-to-back seasons was Auburn's Ralph "Shug" Jordan in 1957 and Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1958.
  • The last Alabama head coach to win his first Alabama-Auburn game was Gene Stallings in 1990. The last Auburn coach to win his debut was Terry Bowden in 1993.
  • Here are the results of Alabama and Auburn coaches in their first Alabama-Auburn football game.
  • Alabama coach Dennis Franchione enjoyed a successful debut in last year's Alabama-Auburn game, leading the Crimson Tide to a 31-7 win on the Plains. The 31 points and the 24-point margin of victory by Alabama are the second-most points and victory margin by a first-year coach against Auburn.
  • Former UA coach Red Drew led the Crimson Tide to a 55-0 win over Auburn in his first game in 1948, which also happened to be the renewal game in the series that was halted in 1906.

Auburn Game Is Not Finale

For only the fourth time since the series was renewed in 1948, Alabama will not end its regular season with its arch-rival Auburn. The Crimson Tide will close out the regular season next weekend in Honolulu against the University of Hawai'i.
  • The 2002 season also marks the second consecutive year the Crimson Tide will not end its season with the Tigers. Alabama closed out the 2001 season with a makeup game against Southern Miss (Nov. 29) at Legion Field. The UA-USM game was scheduled for Sept. 15, but was postponed due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
  • The 1988 season ended with a makeup game with Texas A&M (Dec. 1) in College Station, Texas. That was postponed due to Hurricane Gilbert on Sept. 15th.
  • The Alabama-Miami game was rescheduled twice in 1963. The game was moved in the summer to accommodate television and was later postponed until Dec. 14 due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

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