November 26th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

SI.com: Frenzied rivalry, drama at Auburn-Alabama game

The Auburn Tigers QB cam Newton is likely to be at the center of the drama and playmaking when Auburn clashes with Alabama.

The Iron Bowl rarely lacks a punch, but for the first time in over a decade the rivalry game could have a major impact on a national level.

Both schools are ranked for the first time since 2005, meaning the 75th playing of college football’s most frenzied rivalry could have BCS ramifications when No. 2 Auburn and No. 11 Alabama square off this afternoon (2:30 p.m., CBS).

As SI.com’s Bill Trocchi points out in his Game of the Week column, the Tigers (11-0) need a win to keep their national championship dreams alive while the Crimson Tide (9-2) could use an upset to boost BCS dreams of its own.

But this game means much more than just deciding which bowl game the two schools play in. Trocchi writes the Iron Bowl is about, “the passion, the pageantry, the 365-day obsession that pits neighbor versus neighbor and coworker versus coworker in the state of Alabama.”

It also pits some of college football’s most electric talent against one another. Auburn boasts Heisman candidate Cam Newton under center, while Alabama features a slew of NFL prospects, including the running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.

Although Newton and the Tigers have looked unstoppable on offense this season, Trocchi says the Crimson Tide has a strong chance to spoil Auburn’s perfect season thanks to a strong home-field advantage.

“Alabama’s defense will feed off the frenzied crowd and keep Newton relatively under control, while its offense will be able to score on a suspect Auburn defense,” writes Trocchi.

So what’s his prediction for Friday’s thriller?

“’Bama will wreck its rival’s perfect season. Alabama 34, Auburn 31.”

With the Iron Bowl serving as today’s first course of sports, here is some of the later action to catch on Black Friday (all times Eastern):

No. 24 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Villanova (5:00 p.m., ESPN
These two teams square off on the hardwood for the first time in 39 years when they meet in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game a Madison Square Garden.

No. 4 Boise State vs. No. 19 Nevada (10:15 p.m., ESPN)
The undefeated Broncos take on its toughest test of the season when they travel to Nevada (10-1) to face the Wolf Pack and its pistol offense, which is averaging 51.5 points per game this season.

BY THE NUMBERS

$48 – The average price of an NBA ticket this year, a 2.5 percent decrease from 2009. The NBA saw a 2.8 percent decrease the year before. The Lakers have the highest ticket average at $95 while Memphis boasts the lowest at $23.

$4,250,000 – The size of Tennessee quarterback Vince Young’s roster bonus for the 2011 season, according to a Fanhouse report. The bonus could help keep the embattled QB on the Titans.

5-7 – Record of the Texas Longhorns, who fell short of bowl eligibility after losing 25-17 to No. 17 Texas A&M on Thursday. The Longhorns played for the national championship last season and began this year in the Top 25.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. PooceeBall

    Don't care about cunny ball

    November 26, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. BAMAGRAMMA

    WE CUT OUR TEETH ON SEC FOOTBALL–WE PICK OUR TEAM AT BIRTH...WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON SPORTMANSHIP AND CHARACTER SAD TO SEE ONE OF AL'S HOME TEAMS IN SUCH A DRAMA WITH TALK OF DISHONESTY IN ACADEMICS, PAY TO PLAY SCHEMES AND PROBABLY DEEPER ALLEGATIONS FORTHCOMING. BE SURE NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE–YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT. LlIFE LESSONS ARE LEARNED THRU SPORTS AND USED THRU OUT FUTURE YRS, PRAY FOR A SAFE GAME FOR BOTH SIDES. ROLL TIDE ROLL –GO BAMA

    November 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Coop

    If Auburn wins, does Newton get a bonus?

    November 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bizprof

    Gary Danielson said on TV that they were the best team money could buy.I will second that.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pacer fan

    The Pacers were selling lower section seats for $35 at the Black Friday sale at the mall. The lines were long so maybe this is the right price of an NBA ticket.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |