BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) — When you think of college football, you think of the Fall. When you think of the Iron Bowl specifically, you probably think of late November. Yet, the very first Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn actually took place in February. It was February 22, 1893 to be exact, 120 years ago.
While the annual meeting between the Tide and Tigers wouldn’t get the name Iron Bowl until the 1950s, that first game was played right in the heart of Birmingham’s iron industry at Lakeview Park.
An estimated crowd of about 5,000 people watched that first game. Auburn won 32-22. Even after that first game the rivalry was well on its way to becoming the most intense in the country. A disagreement arose between the two schools as to whether the game should count as the last game of the 1892 season or the first game of the 1893 season.
To this day, the two schools record the game differently. Alabama’s records show the game as the final game of the 1892 season. Auburn counts it as the first game of the 1893 season.
The Iron Bowl has been played in four different cities, Birmingham, Montgomery, Auburn and Tuscaloosa. Alabama currently leads the series, 42–34–1.