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Iron Bowl 2013: A beginner's guide to Barnin' hard

Welcome to the place where hope springs eternal.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

There are a few among us who don't think that Auburn has a shot against the team from the northwest this Saturday. I beg to differ. Though a win may be statistically unlikely, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. If you are looking to Barn hard this week but would like a few tasty fact nuggets to back you up, just choose a few from this list. Keep in mind: These are NOT reasons why Auburn will definitely win this weekend. These are simply reasons to be optimistic that it could happen.

  1. Nick Saban beats up on bad Auburn teams but struggles against the good ones. In five games against Auburn teams that would finish with at least nine wins, Coach Saban is 0-5 in his career.

  2. Gus Malzahn has two weeks to prepare for this game. Gus is famous for putting together a few scripted drives to start a game and should be able to come in with a good gameplan.

  3. The 2009 edition of this game featured two teams that were WAY further apart in terms of talent. If that Auburn team could keep it close...

  4. TJ Yeldon holds onto footballs about as well as I hang on to money. (I'm broke.)

  5. While Alabama has a very good and very highly ranked rush defense, not one team on its schedule so far is in the top 20 nationally in rushing yards. Auburn is No. 1.

  6. Auburn is playing at home. In Jordan-Hare. In front of what will most likely be the craziest crowd in stadium history. With a new tunnel video that will feature Ricardo Louis. Place gon' be cray, y'all.

  7. Alabama has lost a November game to a ranked opponent in three straight seasons. It hasn't happened yet this month, so ...

  8. Auburn's nonsensical brand of no-huddle football may leave all of Nick Saban's players injured, from what we hear.

  9. Nick Marshall is a shark-eyed soulless football robot who doesn't feel the typical emotional swings of a football game.

  10. Some Alabama players might be worried about being low on cash and too focused on which assistant coach to ask for a loan.

  11. A.J. McCarron may be creeped out by Verne's pregame full-body massage offers.

  12. Auburn's defensive line has proven that it can get to the quarterback. As solid as A.J. is, he can be forced to make mistakes if he feels pressure

  13. Nova has been trained to spy on opposing coaches' playbooks during his pregame flight.

  14. Auburn's special teams unit is among the best in the nation and just might do something awesome at some point.

  15. Emerging Heisman candidates have been pretty awful under the national spotlight in recent weeks.

  16. Auburn is absolutely playing with house money here. Nothing at all to lose, so expect Gus to open the playbook and break out that triple-option reverse-sweep halfback pass that he's been dreaming about

  17. Cameron Artis-Payne should be the most well-rested running back in all of America.

  18. Because, quite frankly, we deserve it after what one of those cretins did to our trees.

  19. This is a rivalry game. THE rivalry game, actually. Anything can happen when there's this much hate involved.

  20. Because there's not a damn player on this Auburn who that doesn't believe they can go toe to toe with the Crimson Tide. They believe, and so should you.

Please feel free to add your own reasons for Barnin' optimism in the comments.

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