Ask Farrell: Thoughts on the Iron Bowl

Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell,
Rivals Articles


This is Thanksgiving weekend, also known as Rivalry Weekend in the college football world.

Virginia Tech-Virginia. Texas Tech-Texas. Iowa-Nebraska. Missouri-Arkansas. Washington State-Washington in the Apple Cup. Ohio State-Michigan. Clemson-South Carolina. Wisconsin-Minnesota in what could be the start of a big-time rivalry between Big Ten West powers.

Notre Dame-Stanford. Oregon State-Oregon. Vanderbilt-Tennessee (and before you laugh, don’t forget the Commodores have won three straight in that series).

There are more. Florida-Florida State. Texas A&M-LSU in a game that could have huge recruiting implications for five-star RB Zachary Evans and others. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State.

And then the biggest one of them all, the grand slam of college football rivalry games, Alabama-Auburn.


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This is a rivalry that has maybe the most memorable play in college football history – the Kick Six. This is Harvey Updyke poisoning trees at Auburn. This is a rivalry that boasts maybe the greatest college football coach of all-time in Nick Saban coming to Jordan-Hare this weekend with a team that is on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff.

This game has everything. Alabama’s quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is done for the season, so former four-star Mac Jones will be in charge again, ready to unleash a receiving corps that might be the best in the country.

On the other side will be former five-star quarterback Bo Nix, who has been solid at home but held scoreless through three quarters by Georgia before igniting a fourth-quarter rally that fell short a couple weeks ago.

The Iron Bowl also features Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who is seemingly constantly on the hot seat as Alabama enters this game winners of seven of the last 10 against the Tigers.

Despite Alabama’s success in this series over the last decade, the line is sitting at a curious minus-3 for the Crimson Tide. And if a line looks too easy, perhaps Auburn could pull the stunner on Saturday afternoon.

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell how he sees this game playing out and whether Alabama will get in the top four of the College Football Playoff?


Alabama will win this game and just watch, the Crimson Tide will somehow sneak into the College Football Playoff. They’ll remain No. 5 heading into the SEC title game, LSU will blow out Georgia and the committee will ignore Oklahoma and Utah as conference champs to get Alabama in.

"Should that happen? Nope. But I think it will. Jones is a good quarterback and the Alabama defense will give Nix fits and have him running all over the place. Alabama wins big.”


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