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Steele: Talent Level Between Bama, Auburn “Not A 49-0 Difference”

gfx - they said itLast season Alabama won the SEC title and another BCS crown (the school’s third since 2009).  Across the state, Auburn cratered to a 3-9 record and got its head coach — Gene Chizik — fired.  The final regular-season game for both squads was their rivalry game, a contest the Crimson Tide won 49-0.  It was one of the least competitive Iron Bowls in years.

But don’t let that score fool you when it comes to the 2013 difference between the two clubs.  At least that’s college football analyst Phil Steele’s take:


“The talent level is not a 49-0 difference.  Last year was an Auburn team just trying to get out of the season and an Alabama team that wanted to dominate its rival.  There’s not that big of a gap between the two teams talent-wise.  I think Auburn can play more competitive this year and once they get to that level of being more competitive in the game, then all of a sudden the recruits get better.”


Of course, top recruits also have to be coached up, as Auburn fans learned last year.  Between 2010 and 2012, the Tigers finished in the top 10 of most national recruiting rankings all three years.



there is never a clear favorite for the Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl is played with emotions as well as talent. Just when you think you hung your star on a team the other one wins. auburn can pass the ball so it is up to bama's defense to tighten up. Bama's offense has been plauged with 1st half blues. It's any body's ballgame.


I think the main talent difference between the two teams from last year was in the upperclassman.  At the time of the game Auburn was already checked out but look how many underclassman had to play for them last year.  Tubs final recruiting class and Chiz first one were awful.  However, Gus will reap the benefits of all the underclassman playing early.  8-4 with decent qb play.


I can see the true talent difference not being 49-0.  Of course, that doesn't mean the talent difference wasn't 21-0 or something like that.  Auburn was an unusually bad football team last year.  They'll probably be better this year, but I don't think the difference will be that significant.  I could see them going 5-7 or 6-6, but still being blown out by the best teams they face.  They have a long way to go after what Chizik did to the program plus a lot of those highly rated prospects from those great recruiting years didn't stick around very long so that creates another hole to dig out of.


If you don't see the difference in talent between Alabama and Auburn you really should not be writing about college football. 


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