Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Nov 2010

ESPN: Keys To Alabama-Auburn

In the most recent FO piece on ESPN Insider, Bill Connelly breaks down keys to the Iron Bowl. There are a few -- red zone play, passing downs, pace of the game, first quarter execution -- but it comes down to this: the longer this stays a competitive contest, the more Alabama gains the upper hand.

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 23 Nov 2010

1 comment, Last at 23 Nov 2010, 3:27pm by Jeff Fogle

Comments

1
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:27pm

"the longer this stays a competitive contest, the more Alabama gains the upper hand."

For non-Insider readers...can you give a brief explanation? Seems at odds with what Auburn did in the second halves of competitive games this season.

Trailing, or up by single digits at the half:
Auburn beats Clemson 21-7 in second half
Auburn beats South Carolina 21-7 in second half
Auburn beats Arkansas 38-22 in second half
Auburn beas LSU 14-7 in second half
Auburn beats Georgia 28-10 in second half

That's not a row of cupcakes obviously (and, it's all qualifiers from the season, not just the highlights).

Alabama's list would be a 17-3 win over Arkansas (strong), a 28-0 win over Tennessee (this was struggling Tennessee before Bray got his footing and covered four games in a row), and a 14-21 loss to LSU.

Would think of both as pretty strong closers (though 'Bama's loss to LSU and failure to rally at SC in a non-qualifer would raise concerns)...but it doesn't seem apparent why Alabama would have an edge given Auburn's 122-53 annihilation of highly regarded opposition in the second halves of close games (pro-rates to a 49-21 final score over a full game in that scenario).