SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Iron Bowl 2017: Auburn beats #1 Bama; shakes up playoff race

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Stunner sends Saban back to T-town with loss

Posted: Nov 25, 2017 7:32 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2017 9:32 PM

(ABC News/ESPN) This wasn't your typical in-state grudge match.

That in itself would have been enough when Alabama and Auburn met Saturday afternoon. But the 82nd edition of the Iron Bowl offered so much more than bragging rights.

This game decided which team would win the SEC West, which would move on to play for the conference championship and which would survive in its quest to reach the College Football Playoff. It meant, well, everything. "The Iron Bowl was always big," Alabama coach Nick Saban said earlier in the week, "... but this one is especially big."

And as Jordan-Hare Stadium shook and rattled and roared from kickoff until the final seconds, there was no mistaking that this rivalry game delivered. On the final weekend of the regular season, both teams were aggressive, leaving everything on the field in a back-and-forth battle of top-10 teams.

In the end, with emotions running high, Alabama was the team that blinked. On the road, amid ear-piercing noise, a fumbled field goal attempt cracked open the door for Auburn and Jarrett Stidham, and the Tigers kicked it in, winning 26-14.


Stidham, who transferred to Auburn before spring practice from Baylor when former coach Art Briles was fired, played the best game of his life during the most important game of his team's season. He was accurate and confident throwing the football, completing 21 of 28 passes for 237 yards. But more than that, he was a playmaker, evading an almost constant barrage of blitzers, escaping the pocket and picking up important yards. His 16-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter swung the momentum to a place where Alabama couldn't recover.

Down 12 points with roughly 10 minutes left, Saban's team imploded. Facing third-and-4 inside Auburn territory, a bad snap led to a fumble. Then on fourth down, another bad snap and another fumble. Alabama got a do-over because Auburn had a 12th man on the field and Jalen Hurts found Robert Foster in the flat for what looked like a sure first down. But Foster didn't turn upfield and was stopped half a yard short of moving the chains.

The Alabama defense then appeared to force a three-and-out, only an offside penalty turned what would have been a punt into a first down and an opportunity for Auburn to further salt away the game.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who hadn't beaten rivals Alabama or Georgia since 2013, found a way to knock off both, and both were ranked No. 1 at the time the teams played. In doing so, Malzahn has gone from being on the hot seat to maybe being the hottest coach in the SEC.

For his Tigers, the dream of becoming the first two-loss team to reach the playoff is very much alive. Next up: a rematch with Georgia in the SEC championship game. Auburn beat the Bulldogs by 23 points at home earlier in the month.

For Alabama, all is not yet lost, although it might just be a glimmer of hope at this point. The Tide's playoff dreams are now in the hands of teams like Wisconsin and Ohio State and Miami and Clemson and more.

The Iron Bowl gave us the winner of the SEC West. Time will tell whether it can deliver the winner of the SEC and, maybe, the playoff.

Huntsville
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 65°
Florence
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 65°
Scottsboro
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 133433

Reported Deaths: 2349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19306349
Mobile13233291
Montgomery8748177
Madison770978
Tuscaloosa7418116
Lee579261
Shelby578750
Baldwin514149
Marshall389244
Etowah340247
Calhoun340140
Morgan323926
Houston276423
Elmore259647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair226337
Walker225383
Talladega210628
Limestone203319
Cullman186818
Dallas175926
Franklin175229
Russell17322
Autauga171525
Lauderdale167333
Colbert162926
Blount158015
Escambia157725
Jackson154011
Chilton152431
Dale134644
Covington133427
Coffee12988
Pike11799
Chambers114442
Tallapoosa113885
Clarke107017
Marion95429
Butler91139
Barbour8517
Winston71812
Marengo70519
Lowndes65227
Pickens64514
Bibb63810
Randolph62713
Hale61928
Lawrence60522
Bullock59714
Geneva5864
Cherokee58315
Monroe5808
Clay5547
Washington55113
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52732
Henry4835
Macon47920
Fayette4358
Sumter43219
Lamar3572
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3356
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 186798

Reported Deaths: 2277
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30397449
Davidson26194297
Hamilton926392
Knox911575
Rutherford911388
Williamson513936
Sumner475093
Wilson341243
Putnam317038
Montgomery301543
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29046
Bradley288317
Madison278060
Sevier255315
Blount246123
Maury228923
Washington223234
Robertson218835
Sullivan209332
Hamblen187325
Tipton176617
Trousdale16517
Gibson158620
Hardeman154625
Wayne14896
Bedford131717
Dyer131413
Dickson123014
Cumberland116918
Fayette116718
Coffee115612
Anderson115311
Henderson115121
Weakley114519
Carter114128
Loudon11316
Greene111839
Obion11129
McMinn109424
Jefferson108514
Macon103320
Warren10197
Monroe101017
Lawrence100311
Hardin99115
Lauderdale94915
Franklin9458
Haywood93316
Lake9192
Roane8643
Carroll84918
Bledsoe8484
McNairy82418
White8069
Cheatham80510
Rhea79111
Hawkins78016
Cocke7379
Marshall7335
Overton7085
Smith69710
Johnson6622
Henry6129
Chester60510
Lincoln5961
Giles57617
Hickman5535
DeKalb55013
Crockett52919
Marion5167
Decatur4956
Fentress4623
Claiborne4384
Campbell4243
Polk38010
Grainger3603
Union3451
Benton3349
Jackson3145
Morgan3103
Cannon2810
Unicoi2811
Grundy2635
Humphreys2433
Sequatchie2262
Meigs2213
Clay2155
Scott2082
Houston1981
Stewart1822
Lewis1791
Moore1611
Van Buren1590
Perry1490
Hancock1073
Pickett1072

Community Events