(TUSCALOOSA, Alabama) — Everything will be on the line on Saturday when Auburn hosts Alabama in the Iron Bowl: an undefeated season for No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0) and a BCS bid for No. 4 Auburn (10-1, 6-1 SEC), pending a loss by No. 3 Ohio State and No. 2 Florida State.
The matchup marks the first time since 1971 that both teams come in ranked in the top five.
“The Iron Bowl is a great rivalry game, one that is recognized all over the country in college football. If you are a competitor, it’s a great opportunity to compete and to play in a game like this that means a lot to a lot of people on both sides,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said on Monday. “Our team has worked very hard to create an opportunity for themselves this year. The focus needs to be on playing your best football, which goes back to preparing the best, playing with the best fundamentals, having the best discipline, try to do the job the best you can against a very good team.”
Auburn is averaging 39 points a game and is 7-0 this season at home.
“Auburn has a lot of returning starters on their team. They have a lot of experienced players. They played extremely well all year long, especially their offense. Their offense is one of the leading offenses in the country,” Saban said of the team. “Gus (Malzahn) has always done a fantastic job with the offense with their ability to run the ball effectively and throw it when they need to, score the points that they have been able to score on a pretty consistent basis against just about everyone in this league. They have a good offensive line and good runners.”
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Jill Martin, CNN