Auburn football named SEC program least impacted by Alabama’s success

In this day and age, even if you don’t know much about college football, you probably know about Nick Saban. Auburn football’s in-state rival has won six national titles and seven SEC championships since Saban took over the program in 2007.

For the past several years, the Tide has stayed on top of the college football world and the Southeastern Conference. While most teams and coaches never even have to worry about Saban and Alabama, six teams in the SEC have to play them every single year, including Auburn football.

Five Thirty-Eight’s Alex Kirshner created a metric called “Beaten at Saban’s Hands,” or BASH, in order to determine which teams in the SEC have suffered most from losing to the Tide. While Florida topped the list as the team that has been harmed most by Bama followed by Georgia and Tennessee, the team least affected by Nick Saban is none other than Auburn football.

Since 2007, UF has gone 1-7 versus UA in addition to losing four SEC championships to the Tide. The Gators’ overall BASH score was -20.6. Closely behind are the Georgia Bulldogs, who have gone 1-6 versus the Tide and also lost two SEC championships and one national title.

Auburn football is at the very bottom of the list with a BASH score of just -2.5. The Tigers go up against the Tide every year in the annual Iron Bowl, and since 2007 they’ve gone 5-9. Not only has Auburn beaten Alabama more times than any other SEC team since Saban’s arrival, but their recruiting rank has been on the rise in the past decade:

While almost the whole conference has seen its average recruiting ranking in the league drop since Saban got to Bama, Auburn’s rank has gone up from an average of 6.4 in the five years before Saban’s arrival to 4.9 in the decade and a half since.  But it’s notable anyway that Auburn has improved its lot in the talent acquisition game, especially as other Bama rivals, like Clemson and Georgia, have risen recently while recruiting heavily against Auburn.

Though there’s no question that Alabama has dominated college football in recent years, there’s a reason that the Iron Bowl rivalry is the biggest in the sport.