CFB's Big Names Give Iron Bowl Perspective To Football.com
By Dan Harralson
A big number of college football coaches have ties to either Alabama or Auburn and offered their perspective this week to Football.com.
What They're Saying: Iron Bowl
Tommy Tuberville (Cincinnati head coach, former Auburn head coach)
"It's a special game, especially for the fans, but it's really special for the players. The coaches really get involved. You feel the pressure. I was always anxious to get that game over with because you just feel the pressure of the entire Auburn family of, 'Hey, you've got to win this game for us, coach, we need bragging rights.' I know Gus (Malzahn) will feel that, as Nick Saban does. It doesn't make any difference what the records are, but this year is extra significance. It means so much to the landscape of college football of who wins this game in terms of BCS and championships."
Terry Bowden (Akron head coach, former Auburn head coach)
"I remember in my fourth and fifth year, as a 39-year old, I was little naive about the significance of the iron Bowl. You knew after the fact if you didn't win and I was very fortunate to get three wins. You have to keep your kids on the ground. It's so big and touches every person in that state."
Mike Riley (Oregon State head, former Alabama player)
"The 1972 game was bumper stickers when you walked out of the stadium. Punt Bama Punt, that game was awesome and I really enjoyed my rivalry games through my career. I coached at USC and the UCLA game, I was a graduate assistant at (Cal) Berkeley with the big game against Stanford all of that is awesome to be involved in. Being part of the Alabama and Auburn game is very special, unique and fun. I've been coaching at Oregon State a long time and you just love the Civil War and the thing about the Alabama/Auburn game, both states (Alabama and Oregon), comparing them to states like California and Texas, both are the biggest event in the state."
Dabo Swinney (Clemson head coach, former Alabama player)
"It was a privilege. I grew up in Alabama and like a lot of kids in the state, it was huge. A lot of emotions, great when you win and really tough when you lose. Just like it is here in the Clemson and South Carolina game, it's a privilege to be part of a game like that. It should be a great one for us and a great one for them. All four teams are playing at a high level. All four teams are Top 10-type teams. It's the way it ought to be in college football."
Jimbo Fisher (Florida State head coach, former Auburn assistant)
"The first two (Iron Bowls) I ever coached in were (against) the defending national champion with one loss in 28 games and we were undefeated and we won that one. The next year (1994) we were undefeated with one tie and they were undefeated and beat us by a touchdown. Great game. When you won you're more relieved. There's a lot on the line this weekend for those teams. It's one of the great rivalries in college football."
David Cutcliffe (Duke head coach, former Alabama student assistant)
"Whether it was Alabama and Tennessee or Alabama/Auburn, you understood what it meant. You have to take rivalry games and make them different. When I was at Ole Miss, LSU and Mississippi State was always more. At Tennessee we had Alabama and Florida. Here (Duke) with the proximity's of the four ACC schools, it's natural and we know it's a war."
Joey Jones (South Alabama head coach, former Alabama player)
"It's an exciting deal, especially when you have two teams that are playing as well as these guys are this year. I think that's the best thing for Auburn having a good year and i think it will be a heck of a ball game."