To fans, especially those that live in the state of Alabama, the Iron Bowl is the biggest event of the year. It means a year of gloating or a year of pain, therefore a lot of thought and talk goes into the game each year. But to the players, the game as a whole different beast. While it may appear that it doesn't affect them as much as the common fan, the three guys below may prove otherwise.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Tommy Trott, Andrew McCain, and Kodi Burns were kind enough to answer three simple questions for the Blogle and give us a little bit of insight into their careers and what this game means to them.
Favorite Iron Bowl you played in?
Tommy Trott: If you'll let me claim my Redshirt Freshman year (Honk if you sacked Brodie) as a year I "played" in the Iron Bowl, then I was fortunate to finish my Auburn career with a 3-2 record against Alabama (I never like typing those two numbers consecutively, reminds me of a certain night in Starkville in '08). So, obviously, I got to experience both the highs and lows that often come with an Iron Bowl.
"Honk if you sacked Brodie" was a great way to get it started. "Fear the Thumb" was awesome because theres nothing quite like shutting up a Bryant Denny crowd. Holding six fingers in the air was a blast too. Being laid up on my brothers couch a few days after ACL surgery while watching us get absolutely beat down 36-0... not so much.
Rick Muscles (@rickmuscles) is an Alabama fan and Ole Miss season ticket holder. He has written for Everyday Should Be Saturday, Friends of the Program, Roll Bama Roll, and has also done a few Other Sidelines for me (last season, summer). He also does a little podcast called Friends with Muscles (I was on it once or twice). In real life he's a recovering alcoholic claims adjustor who loves to lift weights and see rock concerts.
1. How bad does Alabama have to play and how good does Auburn to play for the Tigers to win the Iron Bowl this Saturday?
Auburn has to play as well as it would feel to have Louis CK tell you jokes while Brooklyn Decker put her t----s on your head and gave you a back rub. Bama will have to play worse than a haircut from Muhammad Ali.
Not saying miracles don't happen but the Mayan apocalypse ain't happening until next month.
2. Do you fear a slight letdown this week considering that Alabama fans don't care about beating Auburn, instead only caring about winning championships?
I do fear a let down. Bama is coming off a big weekend despite playing Western Whichever ACC State. Everyone in town seems to be looking ahead to Miami. Not sure it will affect the game though.
Cory Brinson (UGACory from TheBlawgHouse.com) is a college football writer and twitter personality (@theblawghouse) that writes mainly about Georgia football. Cory writes with an X's and O's perspective and, while a big Bulldog fan, still writes using the facts of the game, not opinions (his words). You may remember him from last year when he was part of one of the most commented-on posts of the season.
1. Has Mark Richt lost control of anything in your life?
Ha, a zinger from the start... I would only expect it from you, Blogle. Actually, thank God, no - unless in some strange scenario that we happen to win out, then he may cause me to lose control of my finances to head to a National Championship game. Luckily, though, the reason that meme is funny is because (knock on wood) we haven't had too much trouble lately.
2. What's the reason for Georgia's inconsistency this year?
I'd say the two reasons we have been inconsistent are the offensive line and the defensive cohesion.
Teddy Feinberg is the Sports Editor at the Las Cruces Sun-News and has been covering New Mexico State football the past six years. He can be reached on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg while his work can be found at lcsun-news.com or on his blog, crucessports.blogspot.com.
1. What has been one positive from the Aggies' 1-7 season?
The biggest bright spot came last week when the Aggies held Louisiana Tech to 28 points (a 28-14 NMSU loss). The Bulldogs entered the game averaging 56 points per game (No. 1 in the nation in scoring offense) and imagining them scoring 60 to 70 was not difficult. But the Aggies looked like a different team on the defensive side of the ball, covering and tackling better than they have all season. In truth, the Aggie defense has gradually gotten better their last three games, but their performance against Louisiana Tech was nothing short of shocking and astounding.
2. Who are two players that Auburn fans need to look out for?
Wide receiver Austin Franklin is a natural-born athlete who could play at multiple schools. After a tough season last year, cornerback Jeremy Harris has come around and has been a standout in recent weeks, covering some of the WAC's top receivers.
This past summer, Gabe Bock answered a few questions about the Aggies for us. I asked him to do it again, but he gave some lame excuse about having a 10-day old baby or something. Like that's a big deal. So I asked him to recommend anyone else and he said... Olin Buchanan (@olinbuchanan) is columnist/assignments editor for TexAgs.com. He previously worked as a Texas A&M beat writer for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and the Austin American-Statesman. He also was a national CFB writer for Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports.
1. What is the first thing Texas A&M fans think of when Auburn comes up?
Winning a national championship with Cameron Newton.
2. Does the A&M fanbase expect anything other than win?
I think the fans of almost any team that's 5-2 would expect to beat a 1-6 opponent. Texas A&M fans almost always expects to win, but it has had enough disappointment in recent years that nothing is taken for granted.
Christian D'Andrea did our first ever Vanderbilt-based "Other Sideline" this summer. It was so intellectually superior to anything that I've ever read that I had to bring him back for more. Christian is a manager and editor at Anchor of Gold, and you can find him on Twitter at @TrainIsland... when he's not in study hall. He's not too high on the 'Dores, but high enough to pick them to win.
1. Prior to the season, the excitement level for Vanderbilt football was higher than it had been in a while, due to James Franklin's tireless PR efforts. Has the slow start put a damper on that excitement?
It has hurt in terms of whipping up casual fan interest in Nashville, but his efforts are still going a long way to expand the fan base. The Commodores will sell out back-to-back home games for the first time in ages on Saturday, and that's a great start towards building the kind of culture we need to see at Vandy in order to breed success. It also helps that Vandy's slow start has come against very good teams - their four losses are to Georgia, South Carolina, Northwestern, and Florida.
The 'Dores had a chance to win each of those games in the fourth quarter, with the exception of the Georgia blowout. Seeing this team be competitive - even when they're playing poorly - has helped that level of optimism linger.
Jake Adams of Rebel Nation is a lawyer, lifelong Ole Miss fan, sports junkie, and wannabe famous novelist. He answered a few questions about the Ole Miss Rebel Black Land Shark Bears for us last year and this summer as well. Considering that this is his third appearance the 'Blogle, I'd call him a regular. You can follow him on Twitter at @adamsjaken or on Facebook.
1. Come on. Just let us win. I mean, you're Ole Miss. You're supposed to lose. Please?
I always knew that's the way Auburn fans thought of this game.
2. But seriously, what's the excitement level like in Oxford for this game? Are fans expecting a win?
Ole Miss hasn't won an SEC game since October 2010. To say Ole Miss fans are "expecting" a win might be an overstatement. How about "cautiously optimistic"? The Rebels are favored. Auburn does look pretty bad. In any other setting the fans of a team playing Auburn this week would be within their rights to expect a win against the Tigers, but given how difficult an SEC win has been to come by for Ole Miss I think fans are just hopeful the streak will finally end on Saturday.
Flint Harris (@Flint_HolyTurf) is an Arkansas graduate that runs and writes for HolyTurf.com, a site all about the passion of college football, specifically the SEC and Big 12. Like most Arkansas fans, he's pretty down on his Razorbacks right now. So much that he wants that scumbag Bobby Petrino back on his sidelines. It hurts me to see him like this (I mean the guy loves Momma G's and Toomer's lemonade), but I hope it continues for one more week.
1. Would you take Bobby Petrino back right now?
Where do we sign? Yes, yes, yes. Look, Petrino made some awful mistakes off the field, but he is not our father, pastor, etc…he is a football coach. He is paid to win football games, and he was doing that. You don’t hear Bama fans complaining about Saban being a jerk do you? What will make it worse is Petrino will go somewhere else in the SEC and win, while Arkansas struggles to turn it around.
2. What's the number one problem that Arkansas has right now?
Good question. Petrino did have one clear coaching downfall: recruiting. He was so good at developing players and coaching them up he could win with less talented players, but there is a dearth of talent on the roster. This season is a waste, but there is not a ton of hope for great young players. Make no mistake about, this is a total rebuilding project.