Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze has two wins over Nick Saban in five attempts, which gives him the distinction of being called a “Crimson Tide killer” since most don’t even come close to approaching the 40% winning rate against college football’s modern, and perhaps all-time, coaching G.O.A.T. With that said, AL.com’s Matt Stahl added a key caveat tempering expectations about AU knocking off Alabama in 2023: Freeze’s victories all came in a pre-COVID, pre-NIL era of college football.
“New boss Hugh Freeze earned a reputation as a Crimson Tide killer at Ole Miss before leaving in disgrace, but that was a different era of college football and Nick Saban,” Stahl wrote of Freeze’s success against Saban relative to the rest of the college football world.
Freeze acknowledged Saban during AU’s SEC Media Days 2023 session on July 18 when AL.com’s Joseph Goodman told him that an SEC coach had praised him for his ability to adjust in the second halves of games, having hoped it was the Crimson Tide coach that had said that. Due to Freeze’s new job’s location and his past upsets over Saban, the 2023 Iron Bowl, and all those that will follow, was a major topic of conversation.
Auburn football players discuss the Iron Bowl at SEC Media Days 2023
Several Auburn football players discussed the Iron Bowl at SEC Media Days 2023, opening up about how college football’s biggest game is actually won well before kickoff in the last week of November in Tuscaloosa or on the Plains.
“Iron Bowls, it can happen,” Tigers tight end Luke Deal prefaced before saying, “You can win or lose the Iron Bowl at any moment, not just in the game. We need to build that momentum throughout the season.” Offensive lineman Kameron Stutts, who was with AU for the program’s last Iron Bowl victory, echoed a similar sentiment.
“Just showing up every day and taking advantage of every opportunity,” Stutts said. “We’re focused on these last two weeks of summer and then we’ll take it one game at a time. When we get there, we’ll be excited for that game.”