ESPN College GameDay 2017: Week 13 Location Hosts, TV Schedule and Predictions
The ESPN College GameDay crew had a tough decision on its hands with so many rivalries on deck in Week 13 but settled on the SEC for a showdown between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 6 Auburn Tigers. It's not hard to see why. The fate of the SEC West swings in the balance of the matchup—and there are College Football Playoff implications. Keep in mind the winner of the Iron Bowl has gone on to play in the title game seven times over the past eight years. At home
The ESPN College GameDay crew had a tough decision on its hands with so many rivalries on deck in Week 13 but settled on the SEC for a showdown between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 6 Auburn Tigers.
It's not hard to see why. The fate of the SEC West swings in the balance of the matchup—and there are College Football Playoff implications. Keep in mind the winner of the Iron Bowl has gone on to play in the title game seven times over the past eight years.
At home, Auburn's eye-popping offense will look to run Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide out of Jordan–Hare Stadium, besting yet another No. 1 team on the way to a date with Georgia in the SEC title game.
Before the broadcast and game get underway, let's take a look at the details surrounding both.
College GameDay Week 13 Info
Date: Saturday, November 25
Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon; game is at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Jordan–Hare Stadium
Watch: ESPN, Game on CBS
Live Stream: CBS Sports Network
Normally, welcoming Saban's Crimson Tide to town would classify as an intimidating affair.
Not for these Tigers.
Auburn already faced a No. 1 team this year as recently as Week 11, smacking around Georgia in 40-17 fashion. Jarrett Stidham casually threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, while Kerryon Johnson did what he does out of the backfield, rushing for 167 yards on 32 totes, helping Auburn outgain Georgia 488-230.
To date? Stidham has completed 67.8 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns against four interceptions, and Johnson has averaged 5.3 yards per carry on the way to 1,172 yards and 16 touchdowns. They are backed by a defense that has coughed up more than 20 points all of three times.
"We do have experience, playing the No. 1 team two weeks ago when we played our best game, and we're going to have to do that again," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said, according to Stats LLC (via ESPN.com). "Our crowd was unbelievable the last time that we did this, and I expect it to be the same."
Interestingly enough, these battle-tested Tigers seem to have a little history going for them as well, as Paul Finebaum of SEC Network pointed out:
Paul Finebaum @finebaum
Nick Saban has never beaten an Auburn team that finished the season with 9 or more wins. The Tigers are currently 9-2. #IronBowl https://t.co/pWuHMvaAP42017-11-20 20:50:26
That isn't to say Saban's side is in trouble here. The Crimson Tide are 11-0 for a reason, with the journey starting with the 24-7 laugher of a blowout against the then-No. 3 Florida State. The momentum has only snowballed, including a 24-10 dismissal of the then-No. 19 LSU and a 31-24 road escape of the then-No. 16 Mississippi State.
Alabama doesn't ask Jalen Hurts (14 touchdowns, one interception) to do too much as a passer because of a dominant running game that leads the SEC in yards per game, at 270.3, and sheer per-carry average, at 6.03.
So it goes when Hurts can run for 686 yards and eight touchdowns on a 5.8 per-carry average and Damien Harris leads the way with 855, 11 and 8.2.
Call it a war of wills in the trenches, as the Iron Bowl should be. It's only fitting the result will once again play a big role in the title game.
College GameDay @CollegeGameDay
You ready, Auburn?It's one of the biggest games of the year and we're headed to the Iron Bowl. https://t.co/c0o244DqxV2017-11-19 03:43:04
It's hard to hate the Tigers here at Jordan–Hare Stadium, yet as OddsShark reported, the Crimson Tide sit as five-point favorites.
In a way, it isn't hard to see why. The Tigers have lost two games. And while one against 10-win Clemson makes sense, the fact the Tigers lost to the same LSU team Alabama breezed past suggests the Crimson Tide could walk into town and beat Auburn at its own game.
Yet times have changed in a hurry. These Tigers knocked off Georgia in dominant fashion, and the home-field advantage is impossible to ignore. Not only that, but Auburn has the better player in the backfield and a better chance at making headway through the air.
In another classic, look for Stidham to make himself a household name with a versatile game while pulling off the upset late.
Prediction: Auburn 30, Alabama 27
Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.