I intentionally didn’t write about the Iron Bowl in the days leading up to it. I know better. On top of the fact that we insist in the state of Alabama that everyone must “pick a side” – the only thing die-hard fans detest more than the opposing team is someone who says that this rivalry doesn’t matter – we all know one other thing about the Iron Bowl: you never know what’s going to happen in this game. Chris Davis, Jr. proved that again last night.
In the days before the game, I had been browsing the internet and searching news sources for predictions. Every “expert” that I found picked Alabama from the Bleacher Report to Bammers on Facebook. Some foresaw blowouts, others a closer game. Even many Auburn fans were pre-consoling each other: “Even if we lose to Bama, it’s already been a great season . . . compared to last year.” Only one writer that I found – from an unlikely source – stood by Auburn: Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal. In “Hey Auburn, You’re Our Last Chance,” she writes to the Auburn players and coaches:
Your Tigers host Alabama on Nov. 30, and could be the only thing standing between the Crimson Tide and yet another appearance in the national title game—which, I think we can agree, is getting a bit tedious. That’s why you need to prevent it from happening. You need to take back the state of Alabama.
Well, by the time we went to bed last night – those of us Auburn fans who did make it to bed last night – we were all shocked by that sudden outcome that resulted from the Alabama coach’s insistence that he had a right to run one more play. Auburn probably has prevented it from happening.
As sweet as this victory is for Auburn,especially after our dismal last season, the defeat is far more bitter for Alabama. The Crimson Tide were on their way to a historic third national championship in a row— which they may still achieve. (I won’t count them out, even though they’re #4 as of December 1.) AJ McCarron is likely to win the Heisman. The insistent and precise decision-making of Nick Saban, a truly great coach, led to the scenario that led to the defeat. Though I may rib my friends in red-and-white a little bit next week, I will keep in mind that the wounds this time are pretty deep.
But, because I have to: Waaaaar Eagle! Hey!
See y’all in Atlanta next weekend!