There aren’t many things, some diehard fans around here are sure to say, that can top a gorgeous gameday Saturday in the fall that is capped by an Auburn Tiger victory.
Whether it be in cool autumn air on the Plains or on road trips that spread Auburn power through the South, there isn’t much an Auburn fan likes better than a big win on gameday.
You almost can’t beat it, they’ll say.
But for them there is at least one thing that can top it:
To Auburn fans, the only thing better than a Saturday in the fall with an Auburn win is a Saturday in the fall with an Auburn win and an Alabama loss.
Auburn fans call it a ‘Double Eagle,’ when Auburn football wins and Alabama football loses in separate games on the exact same day. It’s ‘War Eagle’ twice, on the Auburn side of the fiercest rivalry in sports.
Compiling every ‘Double Eagle’ ever shows that it has happened 117 times in Auburn football history.
The most recent came on Oct. 4, 2014, when Auburn blasted LSU 41-7 at home and Ole Miss upset Alabama 23-17 in Oxford, Miss.
Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan coached Auburn to the most ‘Double Eagle’ days in history, with 30 coming in his time coaching the Tigers from 1951-57. He had a big leg up on the Crimson Tide especially early in his tenure, building Auburn into a national championship team while Alabama struggled against him under Harold Drew and Jennings B. Whitworth. Jordan coached Auburn to five straight Iron Bowl wins from 1954 to 1958, and coached Auburn to its half of the most ‘Double Eagle’ days in a single season on two separate occasions in 1955 and 1957.
Both years, the ‘Double Eagle’ happened on a whopping six gamedays.
Auburn’s national championship in 1957 led into Alabama in 1958 hiring Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.
Alabama’s other great, current head coach Nick Saban, is the reason Auburn hasn’t had many chances to celebrate the ‘Double Eagle’ since 2014. Under him, Alabama has won 10 games in 12 consecutive seasons, leaving little room for Auburn fans to celebrate twice in one Saturday.
It happened twice in 2010: On Oct. 9, 2010, Alabama lost to South Carolina before Auburn survived Kentucky 37-34 on the road. Later that season, Auburn’s blowout win over Tennessee-Chattanooga came on the same day as Alabama’s loss to LSU, on Nov. 6, 2010.
Auburn has only had the chance to celebrate one ‘Double Eagle’ Saturday under current head coach Gus Malzahn, which likely stands more as a testament to what Saban has built than an indictment on Malzahn. Nobody in the game has beaten Saban more than Malzahn, with his three wins tying Les Miles and making them the only two active head coaches holding three victories against Saban-led Alabama. But outside the Iron Bowl, Saban’s regular-season losses are rare.
Saban has only been a part of six ‘Double Eagle’ days, with three coming during his fledgling first year in 2007. Bryant suffered through 16.
Those 2007 ones came as Tommy Tuberville coached Auburn. He coached through 24 such days while Pat Dye coached through 20. Mike Donahue coached through 18.
These do not include head-to-head Iron Bowl games but instead include only the occasions in which Auburn won a game and Alabama lost a separate game on the exact same day.
Here is the definitive database compiling every ‘Double Eagle’ ever: