The cultural importance of College football in the South is embodied in the Iron Bowl, the annual meeting of Auburn University and the University of Alabama. The rivalry stretches back to February 22, 1893, when the teams first met at Lakeview Park in Birmingham. The teams stopped playing each other after 1907, but the rivalry was renewed in 1948 with several dramatic games over the years. In 1971, with both teams undefeated, the Tide ran away with a 31-7 rout. The next year, the underdog Tigers pulled off a 17-16 victory in the famous “Punt Bama Punt” game. In 1985, Alabama kicked a dramatic 52-yard game winner and in 2013 Auburn knocked off the undefeated Tide with a 100-yard touchdown return of a missed Alabama field goal attempt. In a state where football attains the status of a religion, the Iron Bowl has served as a public outlet for the long-standing and complex rivalry between the two universities and their fans.
Photos courtesy of: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Auburn University, Getty Images