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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

At least we'll always have the Iron Bowl - won't we?

I'm not sure who needs to hear this, although the list would have to start with Finis St. John IV, Stuart Bell, Greg Byrne and Nick Saban. The thought may never have occurred to the University of Alabama's chancellor, president, athletics director and head football coach, busy as they are with their own business, but let me offer some friendly advice in the wake of Black Friday in the Pac-12.

No Iron Bowl, no peace.

That's not a threat. It's a promise of forceful protest, the kind that brought UAB football back to life, should the need ever arise. It's a reminder that in the league where it just means more, in the state where it means the most, nothing matters quite as much as Alabama vs. Auburn.

All those natties that built all those statues outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium are nice, but if you want to find the soul of college football in the Heart of Dixie, the search begins and ends on that fall day each year when the Tide and Tigers knock each other down, help each other up and lift the entire state.

No other game feels like it, and no other feelings linger like the ones that thrill you, crush you, move you when you witness it. The best example of it may be this: Bo Jackson's pedestal doesn't stand quite as tall if he doesn't go over the top at Legion Field to end nine years of Auburn anguish under Alabama's thumb.

You may be wondering why I'm waxing poetic and nostalgic about a game that won't be played again until Nov. 25th, but there's no time like the present to pay tribute to college football's greatest rivalry. The aftershocks of the latest wave of realignment threaten to end the kind of family feuds that made this sport matter. ...

Read the rest of Kevin's column on the time one side of the Iron Bowl rivalry wanted to play the game on a rotating basis. Only in the Lede.

Mutual respect among the players is one of the highlights of the best rivalry in college football. (Birmingham News photo)



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