Alabama Football: Greatest Crimson Tide streaks in Iron Bowl history

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: In a series that has been competitive for almost four decades, there were earlier Iron Bowl streaks of Crimson Tide dominance.

Alabama football fans remember all too well a few bizarre losses to the Auburn Tigers. Outcomes in 2019, 2013, 2010 and going back to the two blocked punts game in 1972, were decided unpredictably.

Those games and a relatively small number of upsets fuel the claim “anything can happen” in an Iron Bowl. History presents a different story. Over the 84 game series, the favorite usually wins. There are some oddities. Check out these facts provided by

  • Record when both teams are ranked: Auburn leads, 14-9-0
  • Record when both teams are in the top 10: Auburn leads, 5-3-0
  • Record when only Alabama is ranked: Alabama leads, 25-1-0
  • Record when only Auburn is ranked: Auburn leads, 11-5-0

Overall the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the series 46-37-1. The Alabama football program has played 13 schools, 30 or more times in its history. At 103 and 105 games, Tennessee and Mississippi State are the Crimson Tide’s most frequent opponents. With exception of Southern Mississippi (1947) and Arkansas (1962), games with the other 11 schools go back to 1917 or earlier.

The Alabama – Auburn series also goes back to the Crimson Tide’s early years. The first game was in 1893. Auburn held the upper hand in those early years, winning seven of the first nine contests. After that early Auburn dominance, the Crimson Tide won two of the next three games. The other ended in a tie. Following the 1907 tie, the already fierce rivalry took a bizarre turn. A dispute over game officials and a rather insignificant amount of money kept the 1908 game from happening. The teams would not play again until 1948.

The Crimson Tide leads the series with nine more wins, but the Auburn Tigers have had the most success of the Tide’s 13 frequent opponents. Alabama football has come out on top 55.4 percent of the time. Since Auburn’s home game moved to Jordan Hare Stadium in 1993, each team has won five away games. Auburn has not won in Tuscaloosa since 2010. Zero wins at Bryant-Denny, for Gus Malzahn as a head coach, is noteworthy.

Gus’ lack of away success will likely reach five games on Saturday, qualifying it for streak status. Alabama football win streaks in the overall series go way back. The Crimson Tide won nine straight in 1973-1981. In a 23-game interval, covering most of Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s Crimson Tide coaching career, his Alabama football teams lost only four games. Auburn’s longest win streak was six games in 2002-2007.

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Perhaps Saturday’s outcome, to a small degree, is in doubt. One thing is for sure. If the Crimson Tide wins, as expected, Gus Malzahn will have a whiny excuse.