The 2014 season concludes with a slate full of in-state rivalries that get the blood of fans boiling all over the nation. Most SEC teams will be clashing with cross-state foes outside of their conference. One game, however, carries more hatred than any other because it’s not only in-state but in-division, making it the game to watch as the regular season ends.
There is no love lost between these arch rivals, and no hatred in sports runs deeper than the one that exists between these two teams. This year’s edition will bring even more heat.
Last season the Tigers shocked the nation as Chris Davis remarkably caught a short field goal attempt in his own end zone and found himself 109 yards later scoring the winning touchdown, propelling Auburn into the SEC Championship game and ultimately the National Championship. Crimson Tide fans won’t soon forget that moment.
The events of last season have thrown a tanker’s worth of gasoline on an already blazing inferno. The 2014 game, aside from the natural hatred, will carry the fresh wounds of 2013 along with likely high-stakes into Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The fate of the SEC West is apt to come down to this game again this season. Both teams look to be strong and talented on both sides of the ball, making for another heavyweight bout for the ages.
The battle will be waged primarily in the trenches as both teams feature dominant running games. Nick Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne will be featured in the Tigers’ backfield while the Tide boast a three-headed monster in T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. If you like power football, this will be your kind of game.
The edge on offense goes to the Tigers, as they have a settled matter at quarterback with a Heisman candidate in Marshall.
On the other side of the ball, it’s hard not to favor a Saban/Kirby Smart defense. The Tide boast loads of talent with the likes of Landon Collins and A’Shawn Robinson leading the way. Both are proven commodities, albeit this season will be their first as the headliners of the defense.
The Tigers have talent but are mostly untested on defense. Advantage Crimson Tide.
This game is almost a toss-up. Both teams have the talent and coaching to win this game, but at the end of the day it is difficult to pick Gus Malzahn and the Tigers on the road. The Crimson Tide win another barn-burner, advancing to the Georgia Dome.
Final Score: Alabama 28, Auburn 27