A final Iron Bowl game prediction for Alabama football at Auburn with much more than bragging rights hinging on the outcome.
The Bama Hammer staff has drilled deep into a most important Iron Bowl for Alabama football. So far three Bama Hammer Contributors have predicted three Crimson Tide wins. The average margin of victory in those three predictions is a tidy seven points. Will that be enough to positively influence the CFB Playoff Selection Committee?
Even more interesting than the predicted final scores is the analysis explaining what each of our contributors expects will happen in the game. Each post is a great read no Alabama football fan should miss. They are linked below the ad block that follows this paragraph.
The loss of Tua Tagovailoa to Alabama football changed this year’s Iron Bowl. Separate from all the hoopla the rivalry creates, it is fair to project Tua and the Tide were at least 2 touchdowns better than the Tigers.
Now, oddsmakers say the two teams are within 3-4 points of each other. If, and it is a big if, Mac Jones performs to his expected ability, the Crimson Tide should win by a touchdown or more. The BIG unknown is how Mac will respond in a most hostile environment, against perhaps the best defensive front in college football.
On the other side, my guess is Gus believes his team can run against a not-great Alabama football, front seven. If the Tigers can, including using Nix on the ground in select situations, the game will be as close as the oddsmakers predict. The Tide’s freshmen linebackers, Shane Lee and Christian Harris need to be solid and not miss assignments. It sounds like D.J. Dale will either not play or not be near 100 percent. The Tide’s too frequent lapses in solid tackling will not work, especially against Boobie Whitlow.
Auburn will have some success on the ground, perhaps with an explosive play or two. I do not expect the Tide will let Bo Nix win the game with his feet. Discipline and attention to assignment detail will be essential to the Tide.
When the Alabama football offense settles in, I expect it to move the ball through the air and on the ground. Likely because Nick Saban will direct it, Sark will ease Mac into the game. Before the first quarter is over, I think Mac will operate with the full playbook. Auburn cannot consistently cover the Tide’s four, super wideouts. Sark will have to be creative to ensure Mac has time. I expect he will get enough pass protection to torch the Tigers for some big plays.
I think the Crimson Tide does what is needed to provide a statement to the Selection Committee.
One reason I make such an optimistic prediction is because the Crimson Tide cannot afford to just win. My 14-point, win prediction also matches the winning margin I believe is needed for the Selection Committee to not rank Utah or Oklahoma above the Crimson Tide in the final Playoff ranking.
Another Bama Hammer Contributor, Chris Dodson shares my optimism.
There haven’t been many Iron Bowls where it has felt like Alabama is the more vulnerable team. While Auburn has lost more games than the Tide, they at least haven’t had the injury bug bite them and have played consistently throughout. Mac Jones is going to have to win in a hostile environment and win with style if Alabama even wants to hope for a Playoff shot. I think Auburn will get worn out by the 4th and Bama takes the win 38-24.
It is hard to process it has been 30 years since the Iron Bowl was truly an Iron Bowl. In fact, given Pat Dye pulled the game away from Legion Field, no Aubie should be allowed to say the words ‘Iron Bowl,’