Over the decades, players from Alabama and Auburn have combined to produce some of the most memorable moments in college football history in the annual game between the longtime rivals, the Iron Bowl.
In addition to great moments from star players, the Iron Bowl has produced heroes not widely known outside of the two fanbases, such as Van Tiffin, Terry Beasley, Lawyer Tillman and Roy Upchurch,
These moments and the players involved, are what made this game one of college football’s best rivalries, if not it’s greatest.
10. The Run in the Mud 1967
Ask any Alabama fan what quarterback Kenny “The Snake” Stabler’s greatest moment as a Crimson Tide football player and it had to be the run in the mud against Auburn in the 1967 Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide were down to the Tigers in the fourth quarter at a rainy and muddy Legion Field 3-0, when Stabler scrambled for a 47-yard touchdown that would seal the victory for the Crimson Tide 7-3.
9. Punt Bama Punt 1972
Leading 16-3 late in the fourth quarter, Alabama lined up to punt. Auburn’s Bill Newton blocked the punt while his teammate, David Langner scooped up the loose ball and scored. Later in the quarter, Alabama punted again. Again, Newton blocked the punt and again, Langner picked up the loose ball and scored a touchdown. Without scoring a single offensive touchdown, Auburn erased a 16-0 fourth quarter deficit to stun the Tide. This would not be the last time special teams was a key factor in this game.
8. Bo over the top 1982
Alabama won the next nine Iron Bowls after Punt Bama Punt. The streak would not get to 10, though, thanks to future Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson. With Alabama winning in the fourth quarter, Auburn mounted a drive, largely behind Jackson’s running. It culminated on a fourth-and-goal from the one, with Jackson leaping over the Alabama defense (and his own offensive line) for a game-winning touchdown. Auburn’s 23-22 win was also legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s final Iron Bowl.
7. Wrong Way Bo 1984
Alabama went into the 1984 Iron Bowl at 4-6 and looking to salvage a bad season with a win over the Tigers. The heavily-favored Auburn team trailed throughout and was down 17-15 in the fourth quarter, facing a fourth-and-goal from the one. Running back Brent Fullwood was stopped on the play, largely because Bo Jackson went the wrong way on a block. With That play helped the Tide seal their victory after two straight losses.
6. The Kick 1985
Behind eventual Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, the favored Tigers led late in the fourth quarter. Alabama quarterback Mike Shula got the Tide in range for a Van Tiffin field goal attempt from 52 yards out. Tiffin’s kick was good, giving the Tide a 25-23 victory.
5. The Drive Part 1 2009
Alabama was undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country heading into the 2009 game. The Tigers took a double-digit lead in the first half, but Greg McElroy led the Crimson Tide on a huge comeback. Trailing 21-20 and facing a fourth-and-goal, Alabama coach Nick Saban took a huge gamble, opting to go for it. The risk paid off. McElroy found running back Roy Upchurch for a touchdown. That gave the Tide a 26-21 lead, which stood as the final. Alabama went on to win its first national championship under Saban.
4. The 1989 Iron Bowl
The 1989 Iron Bowl was Auburn’s first true home game in the series, which had previously been played mostly at Birmingham’s Legion Field. According to reports, 20,000 fans showed up before the game for the “The Tiger Walk” as Auburn players entered the stadium and they wouldn’t be disappointed. Although the Tide had the early lead, the Tigers stormed back in the second half to take the lead and never looked back, going on to an historic 30-20 victory.
3. The Camback 2010
One year after 2009, the rolls were reversed. Auburn was looking to preserve its undefeated season going and went on the road to play an Alabama team looking to be a spoiler. The Tide jumped out to an early 24-7 lead in Tuscaloosa. But eventual Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton brought the Tigers back for a 28-27 win. Auburn not only won that game, but went onto its first national championship since 1957.
2. The Kick 6 2013
The 2013 Iron Bowl appeared headed for overtime when Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon went out of bounds. But after review, one second was put back on the clock, giving the Tide a chance at either a Hail Mary or a long field goal. Nick Saban opted for the long field goal. Alabama’s normal kicker, Cade Foster, was 0-for-3 on the day and with that, Saban sent Adam Griffith on for the long attempt. Griffith’s kick briefly looked like it had a chance but ultimately drifted wide and fell short.
Awaiting the short kick was Auburn’s Chris Davis, who returned the kick. Only two Alabama players had anything close to a reasonable chance to stop Davis. He came close to going out of bounds at around midfield, but stayed in. From there, it was academic. Jordan-Hare Stadium went crazy as Davis crossed the goal line. Alabama’s undefeated season and chance at a third-straight national championship ended, while a dream run for Auburn kept going with one of college football’s greatest plays.
1. The Drive Part 2 2021
Auburn fans are probably going to be a little peeved that the Kick 6 is not No. 1 on this list but here is the reason why: The Kick 6 was basically a miracle play, while Bryce Young’s drive in the 2021 Iron Bowl was a masterpiece that showed off the skillset of the young quarterback.
The Tide had been struggling throughout the game and Young just couldn’t get things going until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter when Young marched the Tide down the field for the game-tying score to send the game into overtime where the Crimson would win it 24-22. The victory kept Alabama’s hopes alive for a playoff spot and sealed Young’s Heisman victory.