Paul Finebaum is as familiar with the Iron Bowl as any media figure around, and he understands which way it was heading before Auburn made a change at head coach.

Since Cadillac Williams has become the interim coach, fan interest and player effort has skyrocketed, and the Tigers have 2 wins at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That’s why Finebaum declared on his regular segment on WJOX and “McElroy and Cubelic In the morning” that Williams made a significant difference for this week’s game against Alabama.

“Carnell Williams has saved the Iron Bowl,” Finebaum said. “This was a game that, quite frankly, not that many people were looking forward to. And guys, I don’t want to rain on the parade, the Iron Bowl, I’ve covered enough of these things where I feel like I have some knowledge of it. This was looking like one of the worst Iron Bowls in modern history. What Carnell has done is he’s given it a purpose.”

Finebaum added that Williams has exceeded every imaginable expectation and believes that Williams should be considered again as a legitimate candidate for the full-time job.

“I hope we don’t just get some window dressing from the school,” Finebaum said, and added that he’s irked when people say they hope Williams is retained by the next staff. “That’s not what we’re talking about here, Cole. We’re talking about him getting a fair shot at the job, not a wink and a nod and saying, ‘Carnell, you’ve done a really nice job and we will certainly ask the new coach to hold you a spot.'”