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Deep Inside the Numbers: The Iron Bowl

NCAA Football: Clemson at Auburn
A Great Cloud of Witnesses
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

First, a poem.

We ain’t got no SEC friends

That’s why we scored off your kick, you short little gremlin.

West Georgia, Elephant Killas

First off, Houndstooth sucks, so does the town you claim

West Georgia’s finest coming to win this game

You claim to be a dynasty, but we won the conference twice

We bust your best teams, ruined McElroy’s life

Remember, if Hurts tryna run: weak backs get stripped

Nick Saban short and angry like Lilo’s friend Stitch

Sensei coming and he’s running for your jewels

Auburn got you mad like a Clemson route rubbing you

you know the rules

Brian Daboll, go ask Mike Shula how we’ll leave ya

eat that offense up, leave you in pieces

job be deceased

J Pruitt, we got something you ain’t seen

Johnson snaps backup backers knees, rest in peace

Let them Tide fans know it’s on tonight

This time we’ll keep our trees alive

Updyke still owes us a few bills

We’ll take it out on your backup guard, deal?

Walmart is still Bama’s bookstore

They’re a classy bunch just like alum Roy Moore.

Shot one of us, but you punks didn’t finish

Now you’re gonna lose the West to Jarrett Stidham

(Serve ‘em an L 8), Hit ‘em up

Yeah I went with 2Pac because this is when we get to unleash the hate we store up all year and Hit Em Up is the Nuclear Option. Win or lose—and y’all, Auburn is going to win—we leave the stadium knowing how awful Alabama fans are. They make life miserable for so many people. We all can visualize that one Alabama fan who makes us want this win the most. Close your eyes for a second and picture him or her. Think about him sitting in his houndstooth lazy boy, throwing peanut shells on the floor while looking at his Daniel Moore painting. Don’t you want to win this game, just for him?

A few years ago I was leading a group of students around the world for my job. I had just left the only actually tough section of the trip, I felt awful because I was on no sleep, and I was trying to get a bunch of 18-year-olds to successfully navigate a large international airport. One of my students had just said something that made my blood pressure take off like in a cartoon, so I yelled at him to take a seat, and then I looked across the terminal. There, sitting in the Nairobi International airport was a man in a houndstooth hoodie complete with Mullet-A crimson hat.

I can not describe the rage I felt in that moment. Not only was I about to explode on my 18-year-old angels, but I was also now subject to staring at some idiot ten thousand miles away from the nearest Wal-Mart. What was he doing there? Luckily for me, it was February of 2014 when I saw this particular Bammer in Africa, so I knew I had Chris Davis in my back pocket in case he saw the Auburn cap atop my head.

We all have stories like that. We all have days ruined by a Bammer. I’ve gotten to the point with this game where I’m not sure it’s worth playing it every year. Even when we win, it brings out a side of me I wish didn’t exist. I turn all Baker Mayfield when Auburn gets a win over the Tide. That said, since we seem to keep playing this game every year maybe I should embrace that side of me. Maybe we should all just get so Barned Up we can’t see straight and challenge every toddler we see in a Tide shirt to a fight. Is that sinking to their level? Not quite. Hey, the state of Alabama isn’t the Garden of Eden. Over the past few months it has been in the news for the wrong reason over and over. This game on Saturday isn’t going to change that. We should embrace our true feelings.

Someone asked me once if Alabama was the New York Yankees of college football. I was in a weird mood and answered yes. They asked if that made Auburn the Red Sox, and I said, “No, If Alabama is the Yankees, then Auburn is the Army of the Lord.” It doesn’t make any sense, or does it? Auburn exists to cut them down when they get high and mighty. Auburn is the judgement and wrath against iniquity. Auburn is the Jules Winnfield of the SEC, wandering the earth until its time to erase Alabama national title hopes, or to remind them they are fallible, all the while reciting Bible verses.

For my stats this week I am going to bow to the master, Mr. @joshdub_ who is the Auburn Statistician of Record on the twitter streets. If you haven’t been following him all season, just know he has been doing a better job of what I have been trying to do.

Looks good so far.

Looks even better.

Ok now I’m confident in the victory of good over evil.

Regardless of the opponent, regardless of the year, Auburn has never lost in this situation. Never. From the time the first amphibian crawled out of the primordial soup and declared he was man, to the Camback, to the Kick-Six, to today, Auburn has never lost its 12th game when riding an 11 game home win streak. From the eighth day when God Almighty declared the forward pass legal and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in Rugbyland, Auburn has never lost in its 82nd matchup with a team.

“But Crow, it’s Bama,” you say. “They are really good and Saban has our number.”

Thanks, Josh. I couldn’t have said it better myself. When Auburn is really good, it beats Alabama. Nick Saban has beaten Auburn teams when they are without a competent QB, going through coaching upheavals, and then randomly in 2014 when Auburn was super weird. He doesn’t beat the good ones. In case you want to “Well, actually” your family at Thanksgiving:

Auburn has a competent QB, Auburn has a running back who has averaged more than 4 yards per carry against Alabama in his career. He is currently leading Power 5 teams in Touchdowns. If Kerryon Johnson can get over four yards per carry against the Tide on Saturday, it will free up Stidham to take shots deep. Auburn can run and can stop the run, which makes them a formidable matchup for Alabama.

I like Auburn’s chances a lot in this game, because I gave in to my Barned Up self a few weeks ago. Nothing is gonna stop us now.

Ride or die, let the Aubie Pirate flag fly.