TUSCALOOS, Ala. — Dislike?
Neither are strong enough to describe former Alabama kicker Van Tiffin’s feelings toward Auburn.
“My dad hates Auburn, man,” said Leigh Tiffin, the son of Van and Alabama’s senior place kicker. “He really does. I don’t know if that was a Ray Perkins thing he picked up when he was here or what. I guess I’m not a big fan, either, but I never had that passionate hatred of them, I just saw them as another team. Maybe it’s something that goes way back to when he was growing up and Alabama was so good all the time. I don’t know, but that’s one team he doesn’t like.”
The feelings are likely mutual for Auburn fans toward the elder Tiffin. It was his 52-yarder in Legion Stadium that won the 1985 game on the final play.
It was one of the iconic moments in the rivalry that Leigh Tiffin said doesn’t come up very often when talking with dad.
“I think I’ve talked to him about it before and he told me that basically it was the only kick where he felt like it was almost an out-of-body experience,” Leigh Tiffin said. “It just happened so fast, it was a blur.”
Jones has Bama legacy, too
Tide redshirt freshman offensive lineman Barrett Jones is another Alabama legacy. His father Rex Jones played basketball under Wimp Sanderson so the Iron Bowl rivalry is built into the younger Jones’ psyche.
“You don’t really have to be told about the Alabama-Auburn game, it’s just something special,” Barrett Jones said. “It’s just a great college football game and has been for many years. I don’t think he really has to say much. You kind of figure it out once you hang around here for a while.”
Little expectation of upset
The sports writers and editors around the state aren’t bracing for an upset Auburn win.
A 10-point underdog in Las Vegas, Auburn has even fewer believers closer to home. Of the 25 writers and editors who responded to the Associated Press’ annual survey, all picked an Alabama victory.
And the predicted margin of victory is much wider than 10 points.
The average final score: Alabama 30.2, Auburn 13.2.