Defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker says Auburn isn't scared of second-ranked Alabama, but it should be. The Tide aren't Louisiana-Monroe. They aren't New Mexico State. They aren't Alabama A&M. With the Tigers as the only obstacle standing between it and a berth in the SEC Championship game, don't expect Bama to ease off the throttle, especially after allowing Auburn's historic comeback the last time the Iron Bowl was in Tuscaloosa. Alabama 48, Auburn 10.
Brent Maze, Hartselle Enquirer:
Gene Chizik has only one chance to save his job and that's by playing the ultimate role of spoiler for Alabama, knocking the Crimson Tide out of the SEC title game, the BCS title hunt and a BCS game. And while Alabama says the right things at press conferences, it is in fact looking ahead to Georgia. The Tigers will need Cody Parkey to hit a last-second field goal to help Auburn get the upset. Auburn 22, Alabama 21.
Joe Medley, The Anniston Star:
It's hard to find one position where Auburn, circa 2012, is better. Look for Alabama to get out to a big lead early and rest its starters for bigger fish fries to come. Alabama 38, Auburn 7.
Kirk McNair, 'BAMA Magazine:
Who would have dreamed that "looking ahead" would be a factor in the Alabama-Auburn game, but the Crimson Tide must guard against championship game possibilities. Against what has been a surprisingly disappointing Auburn team. Bama can expect to get the best the Tigers have, but that would not appear to be enough. Alabama 35, Auburn 10.
Ken Rogers, Dothan Eagle:
After last week's craziness, things should calm down a bit. The rest of college football has given Nick Saban's team a second chance. Auburn is going to play hard, but the Crimson Tide should at least be able to take advantage of its opportunity and clinch the West. Tide fans won't have to wait for late-night results to celebrate this week. Alabama 38, Auburn 17.
Jon Solomon, Alabama Media Group:
Pick a score, any score. The teams are separated by seven wins for good reason. The past nine times Alabama or Auburn entered the Iron Bowl separated by at least five wins, the more successful team won in a shutout. Average score: 27-0. Auburn's collapse has been so historical, surely it's worth another two touchdowns at the Iron Bowl. Alabama 41, Auburn 0.
Bran Strickland, The Anniston Star:
There's part of me that believes the world will come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. I also think there's intelligent life on other planets, and maybe even Bigfoot in the Talladega National Forest. However, there is not one single fiber of my being that thinks Auburn has a chance on Saturday. And I think it's going to be ugly, too. End-of-the-world ugly. Alabama 47, Auburn 6.
Mike Szvetitz, Opelika-Auburn News:
You can hold on to the record books this year, no need to throw them out when Auburn travels to Alabama on Saturday for their annual rivalry. The Tigers are about to wrap up the program's worst season in 60 years, while the Crimson Tide is right back in the middle of the BCS title race. The programs are going in opposite directions and that will be made apparent in the 77th Iron Bowl. Alabama 42, Auburn 10.
Christopher Walsh, Bamaonline.com
It's just hard to imagine that Auburn, which didn't score a touchdown in last year's game, will be able to do much offensively. The Tigers rank worse than 100th nationally in passing offense, scoring offense, total offense, turnover margin and sacks allowed. Also, Alabama controlling its own destiny again for the national championship will have the Crimson Tide fired up. Alabama 42, Auburn 10.
Ryan Wood, Opelika-Auburn News:
Something fluky could happen for Auburn to get a field goal. Beyond that, it will be all Bama. The Tide will start preparing for Georgia at halftime. Alabama 38, Auburn 3.
John Zenor, Associated Press:
Auburn hasn't given many signs of life against the best SEC competition this season. Alabama unquestionably has the edge in every matchup except perhaps special teams, but the Tigers at least should put up a fight with pride on the line. Alabama 38, Auburn 10.