The SEC must protect these two Auburn rivalry games at all costs

When Oklahoma and Texas join the SEC in 2024, there will be changes concerning the football scheduling format.

While it has not been determined how the SEC will schedule conference games, but the most popular rumor is the 3-6 format, where each team will play nine conference games with three permanent opponents, and six rotating ones. Because of this, some rivalries are in jeopardy.

Will Backus of 247Sports recently published a list of his top-eight SEC rivalries that need to be protected and two of Auburn’s fiercest rivalry games made the list.

One of the top rivalries on the list is the fierce Iron Bowl that is played annually between Auburn and Alabama. The Crimson Tide holds a 12-game advantage over Auburn by leading the all-time series, 49-37-1. Alabama has also won three games in a row in the set, but there have been memorable games played between these two hated rivals including the Cam Back, The Kick Six, Punt Bama Punt, and The Kick. It seems obvious that this one would be protected, but no one knows until the deal is officially set.

The Iron Bowl has more memorable moments throughout its history than most rivalries. Every college football fan, from casual to hardcore, knows of the Kick 6, when Auburn’s Chris Davis caught a short Alabama field goal on the last play of the game and housed it from 109 yards away in 2013 to snap a two-game Alabama winning streak. In 2019, Alabama missed a field goal late in the fourth quarter and then handed Auburn a fourth-down conversion thanks to a costly penalty, as the Tigers won 48-45. The loss that year also eliminated Alabama from playoff contention for the first time since its inception in 2014.

Next on the list is the rivalry that has remained the most consistent throughout Auburn’s history, the rivalry with Georgia that is dubbed The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. There have been many classic games played between these two teams. Two of both programs’ most successful coaches also played for the rival team. Recent history has not been on Auburn’s side, however, Backus feels that Auburn’s new era under Hugh Freeze could change that.

This is called the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry for a reason. In fact, Auburn-Georgia can contend for the title of South’s Oldest Rivalry, which is currently held by North Carolina and Virginia. Both sets of rivals have met 127 times throughout their respective histories, which ties for the second-most among all rivalries nationally. Georgia has won nine of the past 10, so some may forget how exciting this showdown can be, but the two teams traded blows prior to the start of the 2010s. Maybe new Tigers coach Hugh Freeze can inject some heat back into this one.

According to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, the conference football schedule will have a clearer outlook by the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, Florida, which will take place in Destin, Florida in early June.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire