Alabama Football: Ranking the 5 best Iron Bowl games of the Saban era

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 29: Quarterback John Parker Wilson #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

4. 2008

Alabama 36, Auburn 0

This game is important for many reasons. For starters, it’s always a big deal to shutout your rival in such a big game. However, it also was Nick Saban’s first win against Auburn as Alabama’s head coach. This ended up being Tommy Tuberville’s final Iron Bowl as well, meaning he ended with a loss. It would have been nice for Auburn fans if he got to continue his winning streak to seven games, but that was not in the cards.

Auburn came into 2008 with plenty of expectations, but they struggled all season. This game ended up being no different, and it kept the Tigers from being bowl eligible. Quarterback Kodi Burns only ended up with 113 passing yards, and the running game was even worse.

Alabama’s passing game barely worked against Auburn Julio Jones was the only receiver with multiple catches, and even he was held to 36 yards. However, the running game helped chew clock and put points on the board. Glen Coffee averaged over 7 yards a carry, Mark Ingram had a couple of touchdowns, and the entire team ended up with 234 rushing yards.

It wasn’t thrilling, but this game set a message. Auburn had Alabama’s number for many years, but this is where Nick Saban cemented his legacy in the Iron Bowl. Alabama took control of this rivalry as they built their dynasty from the ground up.