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Alabama is 45-35-1 all-time against Auburn, plus 15 facts from 81 years of Iron Bowls

A brief series history of a nasty rivalry.

Alabama v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Saturday’s Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn is the 82nd football meeting between the two schools. The record so far favors Alabama: 45-35-1.

Some Iron Bowl facts:

1. Historically, this series has been one of spurts.

  • Auburn was 6-1 from 1893-1902, the first games in series history.
  • Alabama was 8-2-1 from 1903-1953.
  • Auburn was 5-0 from 1954-1958.
  • Alabama was 19-4 from 1959-1981.
  • Auburn was 6-2 from 1982-1989.
  • Auburn was 6-0 from 2002-2007.
  • Alabama is 7-2 since 2008.

You’ll notice there’s one slice missing in there, from 1990-2001. Alabama was 8-4 in that stretch, which is the closest thing to parity in any of the arbitrary timeframes I just laid out. The teams have spent alternating stretches dominating each other for years at a time, and we’re currently in the midst of what’s (mostly) been a Bama boom.

2. In Auburn wins, the average score is 26-13.

3. In Bama wins, the average score is 27-9.

4. The average margin for every game: Bama 21, Auburn 16.

5. The exact all-time scoring margin: Bama leads, 1,675-1,307.

Auburn only needs a 368-point win this weekend to get even.

6. 2017 marks the 70th consecutive year the teams have played.

That streak started in 1948. Before that, the schools had a layoff from 1907, after which they couldn’t agree on terms to continue the series.

7. The game has been played in four different cities.

  • Birmingham: 53 times
  • Auburn: 13 times
  • Tuscaloosa: 11 times
  • Montgomery: 4 times

Alabama was 34-18-1 in Birmingham, the site of the game for most of its history. The game hasn’t been there since 1998. The Tigers are 8-5 at Jordan-Hare Stadium (the site of 2017’s game) and 7-4 in Tuscaloosa.

8. Total points have ranged from 3 to 99.

The low was a 3-0 Bama win in 1960. The high was 2014, a track meet that featured 1,169 yards of offense in a 55-44 Tide triumph.

9. Of the 81 Iron Bowls, 24 have included shutouts.

That’s 30 percent. Bama has pitched 16 shutouts, Auburn eight. The last was a 49-0 Tide romp in 2012.

10. National titles are often on the line, directly or indirectly.

Auburn’s two championships came after Iron Bowl wins. Ten of Bama’s titles have come after beating Auburn. Neither team has won a title after losing to the other.

It’s possible that this streak ends in 2017. It would require Alabama to lose this game, make the Playoff anyway, and then win the title from there.

11. The series has featured five Heisman winners.

Auburn QB Pat Sullivan (1971), Auburn RB Bo Jackson (1985), Auburn QB Cam Newton (2010), Alabama RB Mark Ingram (2009), and Alabama RB Derrick Henry (2015).

12. Neither team is the other’s most frequent opponent.

Auburn’s played Georgia, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, and Florida more than it’s played Bama. The Tide have played Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State more than they’ve played Auburn. That’s all because of the 1908-1947 layoff.

13. The last time Auburn won by more than one score was 2005.

That was a 28-18 win at Jordan-Hare.

14. Auburn hasn’t been favored since 2007.

The Tigers were 6-point home favorites that year, per Odds Shark.

15. But this is the closest spread since 2010.

That year, the Tide were 4.5-point favorites at home. Auburn won, 28-27.

This year, the Tide are favored by 4.5 again.