"It'd mean a lot," Thompson notes. "We think about it and it's in the back of our mind all of the time. You don't want to lose any game, but this is a special one. It's a big in-state rivalry and it's big for the program, for the coaches and the players. Not to lose against them would be big. It's in the back of our minds and that's what we aim for.
"There are signs around just like with any program," he adds. "(Strength and condition coach Kevin Yoxall) Coach Yox talks about it while we're doing workouts. The coaches talk about it and it's a huge game just like they probably talk about us all year long and prepare for us."
Alabama plays Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday as a tune-up, while Auburn has its first off week of the season. The time off may give the Tigers an opportunity to get a little more game plan in, but this game is more than just a one week or two week preparation, says Thompson.
"It's a yearlong thing so you're building up to that point," he explains. "It's not like a week of preparation. It's a year of preparation. You're just really excited and when you get in the game you put it altogether and you play your hardest every down and every play and you try to make big plays. That's what it's all about."
Thompson redshirted in 2003 and has played a role in each of the last three. This season as a senior he has 47 tackles, which is sixth on the team.
"All of them so far have been pretty good," he jokes. "There hasn't been one that I hadn't liked for sure. As long as we win, that's my favorite game, and we've won everyone since I've been here."
However, he adds that an Iron Bowl victory as a senior would be the best. "Going out on a win would be huge."
It will be the final time for the Auburn seniors to take the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium. A victory would tie them with the 2006 seniors for the most, 41, in school history, and a bowl win could set the new standard at 42.
The Iron Bowl is set for 7 p.m. CST on ESPN on Saturday, Nov. 24.