NCAA College Football Week 13 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

No Laughing Matter: Auburn vs Alabama

Week 13 predictions for every D-I/FBS college football game

By Ryan Fowler - WhatIfSports.com
November 22nd, 2010

Each Monday morning, Whatifsports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2010 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Locks and Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those player's are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

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Game of the Week: Auburn at Alabama

Over 117 years before Wrigley Field's valid attempt to stir up nostalgia by hosting a college football game inside a ballpark, only to become entangled in a controversial wall of ivy, Lakeview Park welcomed Alabama and Auburn in the first Iron Bowl.

Now for those critical of the layoff between a team's final game and bowl game, the Cadets' (they would later become the Tide) inaugural regular season ended on December 10, 1892. Over two months would pass before they would meet the Tigers in the Iron Bowl on February 22, 1893.

Alabama, who had learned how to play the game less than a year earlier, entered the Iron Bowl with a roster that consisted of a future Speaker of the House (William Bankhead) and future state governor (Bibb Graves). As is the case today, politics and sports don't really mix and the Tigers won the first Iron Bowl 32-22. The Cadets finished their first season with a 2-2 record, boasting wins over a local high school and Birmingham Athletic Club.

Fast forward to present day, 74 Iron Bowls later, and Auburn versus Alabama is arguably one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. The stakes are higher than usual this week as both teams enter the game ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 1994. Alabama (4th) took down Auburn (6th) that year, 21-14.

To the surprise of many, the Tigers possess the higher ranking and possible ticket to the BCS National Championship if they can pull off another SEC win Friday in Tuscaloosa. The Tide's only incentive is to play the role of spoiler as their SEC title hopes were dashed by LSU and chance to defend their national title by South Carolina.

The play of quarterback Cam Newton, not to mention his ability to ignore the 800-pound, $180k elephant on the field, will dictate the Tigers' play on offense. Although he's known for his elusiveness in the open field, Newton became the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for 2,000 and rush for 1,000 yards. The Tigers 42.8 points-per-game is 5th best in the country and based on their defensive prowess in SEC play, 43 points may not be enough.

Auburn has trailed in seven out of their eleven victories and in three of those wins they trailed by double-digits. Their pass-defense ranks second to last in the SEC and with Julio Jones ready to exploit their secondary, the Tigers are in for their stiffest test to date.

Known for his defensive ingenuity, Nick Saban is no doubt concocting a game plan to contain (spy) Cam Newton, thus forcing his supporting cast to step up and make plays. His third ranked defense is surrendering less than 13 points-per-game (12.8). Auburn has scored 20-plus points in all but one game this season (17, Mississippi St.).

Alabama enters the game with a balanced offensive attack. Greg McElroy has passed for over 2,300 yards and 17 touchdowns, while the rushing duo of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson has run for over 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns. The previously mentioned Julio Jones, who may enter the NFL Draft, has caught 65 balls for 885 yards with six trips to the end zone.

Using our college football simulation engine, we "played" the 75th Iron Bowl 101 times and it's the Alabama Crimson Tide winning 59.4-percent of the time by an average score of 30-28.

Iron Bowl Fun Fact: About 5,000 fans watched the first Iron Bowl in 1893. This Friday, inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, 101-thousand and change will enjoy the 75th edition of the Iron Bowl.

College Football Week 13
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
Virginia Cavaliers 5.016Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies95.037 
South Florida Bulls19.820Boxscore
@ Miami (FL) Hurricanes80.231 
Florida Gators43.629Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles56.431 
North Carolina State Wolfpack78.236Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins21.826 
South Carolina Gamecocks87.134Boxscore
@ Clemson Tigers12.921 
North Carolina Tar Heels89.134Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils10.915 
Boston College Eagles43.621Boxscore
@ Syracuse Orange56.423 
West Virginia Mountaineers56.425Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers43.623 
Cincinnati Bearcats59.430Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies40.626 
Louisville Cardinals60.423Boxscore
@ Rutgers Scarlet Knights39.620 
Michigan Wolverines 5.017Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes95.040 
Northwestern Wildcats22.822Boxscore
@ Wisconsin Badgers77.234 
Indiana Hoosiers30.724Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers69.330 
Michigan State Spartans58.426Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions41.625 
Iowa Hawkeyes95.042Boxscore
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers 5.09 
Western Michigan Broncos50.521Boxscore
@ Bowling Green Falcons49.520 
Central Michigan Chippewas59.927Boxscore
@ Toledo Rockets40.123 
Buffalo Bulls80.228Boxscore
@ Akron Zips19.816 
Ohio Bobcats91.130Boxscore
@ Kent State Golden Flashes 8.913 
Temple Owls92.636Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks 7.415 
Northern Illinois Huskies95.043Boxscore
@ Eastern Michigan Eagles 5.08 
Oregon State Beavers 7.922Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal92.138 
Arizona Wildcats16.824Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks83.237 
UCLA Bruins23.820Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils76.230 
Washington Huskies23.320Boxscore
@ California Golden Bears76.729 
Notre Dame Fighting Irish55.429Boxscore
@ USC Trojans44.628 
Auburn Tigers40.628Boxscore
@ Alabama Crimson Tide59.430 
LSU Tigers48.034Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks52.035 
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets58.430Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs41.627 
Kentucky Wildcats60.425Boxscore
@ Tennessee Volunteers39.621 
Mississippi State Bulldogs66.332Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels33.726 
Wake Forest Demon Deacons77.226Boxscore
@ Vanderbilt Commodores22.817 
Idaho Vandals44.634Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs55.435 
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs93.631Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans 6.415 
Boise State Broncos94.148Boxscore
@ Nevada Wolf Pack 5.931 
Hawaii Warriors95.052Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies 5.08 
Houston Cougars19.831Boxscore
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders80.239 
Colorado Buffaloes23.315Boxscore
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers76.729 
Oklahoma Sooners48.535Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys51.537 
Texas A&M Aggies73.333Boxscore
@ Texas Longhorns26.725 
Missouri Tigers95.039Boxscore
@ Kansas Jayhawks 5.015 
Tulane Green Wave54.526Boxscore
@ Marshall Thundering Herd45.523 
UAB Blazers72.332Boxscore
@ Rice Owls27.726 
Southern Methodist Mustangs73.333Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates26.725 
Southern Miss Golden Eagles77.241Boxscore
@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane22.831 
UCF Knights95.043Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers 5.012 
UNLV Rebels 5.012Boxscore
@ San Diego State Aztecs95.041 
Brigham Young Cougars25.723Boxscore
@ Utah Utes74.332 
TCU Horned Frogs95.053Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos 5.06 
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers25.724Boxscore
@ Troy Trojans74.335 
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns31.724Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks68.328 
Florida Atlantic Owls36.623Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders63.428 
Arkansas State Red Wolves58.431Boxscore
@ Florida International Golden Panthers41.627 
Kansas State Wildcats68.830Boxscore
@ North Texas Mean Green31.222 

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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