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
AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 27: Roy Upchurch #5 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

1. 2009

Alabama 26, Auburn 21

This is possibly one of Alabama’s greatest Iron Bowl victories of all time. It certainly has one of the best moments, but we’ll get there in a moment.

Alabama came into this game with the hopes of another undefeated regular season, but they had to travel to Auburn to make it happen. We’ll never truly know if Alabama could have afforded to lose this game, but Auburn hoped to end Alabama’s title hopes in this Iron Bowl, and they came pretty dang close.

Practically nothing was working in this game. Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram was held to 1.9 yards a carry, and backup Trent Richardson was hardly doing better. The passing game was effective, but it did not appear to be enough as the game approached its end. Auburn was up by a touchdown, and the Crimson Tide was getting nowhere on offense. That was the case until The Drive happened.

With only eight minutes left, Alabama had a 15-play drive that started at their own 21-yard line. It included three third-down conversions and ended with a touchdown from Greg McElroy to Roy Upchurch.

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This win preserved the perfect season, gave Alabama confidence as they went into the SEC Championship, and ended up being one of the greatest games in Iron Bowl history.