2. Iron Bowl: Auburn vs. Alabama
No. 16 on our list of 30 college football bucket list items is rolling Toomer’s Corner. However, there’s one fanbase that has no interest in such an activity: those that root for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
One of the most bitter rivalries in all of sports, the Auburn and Alabama football game is like no other. The hatred between fans in the Yellowhammer State has given rise to an odd set of celebrity, including Paul Finebaum, a journalist whose focus on the rivalry made him a popular radio personality, as well as Harvey Updyke, an Alabama fan whose name we know only because he was jailed after poisoning the hallowed Toomer’s Oaks and bragging about it on-air to Finebaum.
But more than the personalities that surround the game, the Iron Bowl traditionally pits two of the best teams in college football against one another. Collectively, the pair have combined for five national championships since 2009 (four by Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide), and the winner of the contest has gone on to represent the SEC West in eight of the last nine SEC Championship Games, including seven winners.
Alabama holds a 45-35-1 edge in the series, and has won three games in a row and four of five, including a 30-12 victory last year in Tuscaloosa. However, the one Auburn win in that span was one of the greatest in college football history, the famed “Kick Six” in which the Tigers returned a failed field goal 109 yards for a game winning touchdown as the final second ticked off the clock.
Like Ohio State-Michigan, a perfect bucket list would include trips to both Tuscaloosa and Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Each has a championship feel regardless of the location.