Bragging rights takes backseat in pressure-packed Iron Bowl

War Eagle VII will kick off the 2013 Iron Bowl Saturday with a flight around Jordan-Hare Stadium. (

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Bragging rights are taking a backseat for a change in this Iron Bowl.

It's No. 1 Alabama versus No. 4 Auburn Saturday in a rivalry game that has reached epic proportions in the state beyond even the usual desire for 364 days of rubbing it in.

The winner of only the second Top-5 matchup in the Iron Bowl's 78-year history will play for the Southeastern Conference championship, and live on in the national title derby.

Crimson Tide receiver Kevin Norwood's prediction: "Oh man, it's going to be a battle."

The Tide stands as a 10.5-point favorite, but the Tigers have arguably been the biggest surprise of the season.

They've been routed two straight years.

Auburn tailback Tre Mason says the Tigers "are fired up and we like being the underdog."