The Iron Bowl is ironclad in its superiority of rivalries.

Nothing can penetrate its prestige.

Alabama vs. Auburn, in all its Southern glory, features a state split into 2 rich factions, and you live in one or the other from the time you’re born to the last breath you draw.

The people of Alabama might as well put “Alabama” or “Auburn” on their drivers’ licenses, just to set the record straight when a cop pulls them over or when they’re paying for medicine at the pharmacy.

Because it helps define them. It really does. It is who they are and who they stay, proud and true, to the bitter end. Win or lose, bragging rights or not, depending on the year.

There is a special pride in being a fan of either program, in being part of The Rivalry, in being part of the 365-day state war.

That’s especially true when the Iron Bowl produces a classic game for the ages, or even just a classic finish, like in 1982 when Bo Jackson went “Over the Top” or in 1985 when Van Tiffin drilled “The Kick.”

But it’s also true when the Iron Bowl has the audacity to do the opposite — when a blowout breaks out in late November or early December in Bryant-Denny or Jordan-Hare. The game starts, it is played, and it ends unceremoniously, with a huge margin of victory for 1 side and a huge lump of coal for the other.

Naturally, this happens from time to time. The Iron Bowl is a beautiful thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect thing because nothing is perfect.

Oh yes, there have been Iron Bowl blowouts. Plenty of them, so here we unveil the 10 biggest blowouts in Iron Bowl history. You’ll notice that most of these lopsided wins go the way of the Crimson Tide, but not all of them. The Tigers have had their days in the sun, too, when most everything has gone right.

You’ll also notice that there are 12 games on this list, not 10, because the 10th-biggest blowout featured a 3-way tie, so our list is a little longer than normal.

1. 1948: Alabama 55, Auburn 0

The biggest Iron Bowl blowout of them all is predictably owned by the Crimson Tide, but it isn’t even a great Tide team that owns it. In ’48, coach Harold Drew’s team went just 6-4-1 and was a very average 4-4-1 in the SEC. But Auburn was simply that bad, going 1-8-1 overall and losing all 7 of its SEC games. On Dec. 4 at Legion Field, that average Tide team took no mercy on the Tigers in the most lopsided Iron Bowl of all time, played before 46,000 fans.

This was as rude a welcoming back to the rivalry as Auburn could’ve received, as the series resumed after a 41-year hiatus. Alabama led 21-0 by halftime and was just getting started. The Tide tacked on 6 touchdowns in the 2nd half, scoring 3 in the 3rd quarter and 3 more in the 4th quarter. Bama didn’t leave any quarter idle in this blowout in Birmingham.

Some of the stars of this all-Alabama show included names like Gordon Pettus, Butch Avinger, Ed Salem, Clem Welsh, Rebel Steiner, Howard Pierson, Larry Lauer, Tom Salem and Don Spurrell, who capped the rout with a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was Alabama’s 4th win in its final 5 games to end the season, and it was a heck of a pill for Auburn to have to swallow after such a long time apart from its hated rival.

2. 2012: Alabama 49, Auburn 0

More than 60 years after administering that 55-point beatdown, it was more of the same in the Iron Bowl as Nick Saban’s powerhouse Tide continued to regain momentum with this win, coming 2 weeks after a stunning home loss to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. That momentum would continue to snowball over the next 2 months, and Bama took it all the way to the finish line with another pounding, this time over Notre Dame, in the national championship game for its 3rd crown in 4 years.

The Iron Bowl was just a speedbump for the Tide on this day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Auburn was the perfect foil for Alabama and most everybody that season, as the Tigers stumbled to a 3-9 record and lost all 8 of their SEC games. The following day, Auburn fired head coach Gene Chizik and his entire staff after the Tigers’ worst season in 60 years — 2 years after winning a national title.

The staunch Crimson Tide defense didn’t allow the Tigers to get past their own 41-yard line for the entire game as Alabama recorded its 4th shutout of the season. On offense, A.J. McCarron, Amari Cooper, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon spent the crisp, sunny afternoon running (and throwing) circles around the overmatched Tigers defense. By halftime, it was 42-0 and the Tide were already looking toward the SEC Championship Game and Georgia.

3. 1895: Auburn 48, Alabama 0

Even if this tilt was slightly before their time, Auburn fans can brag about this one forever. This was the 1st Iron Bowl ever played in Tuscaloosa and the guests from The Plains were extremely rude to their hosts. Auburn executed its pasting of Alabama that day at a place called The Quad, just a few years before Legion Field and many more years before Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare became the backdrops for the Iron Bowl.

Auburn only played 3 games that year, going 2-1, but made 1 of them count and made some history in the process. Alabama, meanwhile, lost all 4 of its games that season, including both of its conference games in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Let the record also show that when Auburn crushed Alabama that day, Auburn wasn’t even Auburn yet. The school was called the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Alabama.

That “Auburn” team was coached by a guy named John Heisman (yep, that Heisman), who was in his 1st season. Little did Tigers fans know then that the most prestigious award in college football would one day be named after their new coach.

4. 1957: Auburn 40, Alabama 0

The Tigers owned the Iron Bowl from the mid- to late 1950s, winning 5 in a row, and this one was the 4th of those. On Nov. 30 at Legion Field, an Auburn team that was ranked No. 1 in Ralph “Shug” Jordan’s 7th season held nothing back. The Tigers had their way all day and they kept right on going that fall, capturing the SEC title and the national championship, at least as far as the AP poll was concerned.

This was a bad Alabama team. Those Crimson Tide went 2-7-1 overall and 1-6-1 in the SEC in the final year of the Jennings B. Whitworth era. The following season, a guy named Paul “Bear” Bryant would take over and, well, you know the rest. But in ’57, it was all Auburn.

By halftime, the Tigers led 34-0 and that was basically that. Bill Atkins and Lloyd Nix led the way offensively for Auburn, and the Tigers added interception returns for touchdowns by Tommy Lorino and Jackie Burkett. Just 3 days after the victory, Auburn was recognized as the national champions by the Associated Press in its final poll of the season.

5. 1962: Alabama 38, Auburn 0

Right before Bama put it to Auburn on Dec. 1 at Legion Field, it lost its only game of the season at Georgia Tech as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Crimson Tide returned home and took out their frustrations on their in-state rival in front of 54,000 in Birmingham. A month later, Bama went down to Miami and pitched another shutout against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

The Tide didn’t win the national title that year, but they won most everything else. And they pounded a decent Auburn team that went 6-3-1 that year for their 4th straight Iron Bowl win, incredibly shutting out the Tigers in all 4 of those victories.

Bama started the onslaught on the 1st offensive play of the game when George Wilson ran 92 yards for a touchdown. Some quarterback named Joe Namath scored on a 17-yard run and Bill Battle recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to make it 21-0 at halftime. Namath added a 15-yard TD pass to Cotton Clark in the 3rd quarter and a 16-yard scoring pass to Richard Williamson in the 4th to finish off the Tigers.

6. 2008: Alabama 36, Auburn 0

The Tide served notice in the last Iron Bowl before Saban started winning national championships in Tuscaloosa. Bama wasn’t quite ready to win it all that year, falling to eventual national champion Florida in the SEC Championship Game a week later and losing to Utah a month later in the Sugar Bowl.

But the Tide was undefeated coming into the Iron Bowl. They also exorcised some demons in the blowout at Bryant-Denny Stadium, beating the Tigers for the 1st time since 2001. It had been 6 long years of Auburn victories, capped by a Tigers win in 2007 in Saban’s 1st Iron Bowl. That frustration all came crashing down in 2008 as the then-No. 1 Tide finally had enough.

It was only 10-0 at halftime, but Bama poured it on with 19 3rd-quarter points as quarterback John Parker Wilson and running back Mark Ingram led the way. Ingram would capture the Heisman Trophy the following season to help Saban win his 1st national title in Tuscaloosa. But in this Iron Bowl, Bama finally broke its losing streak to Auburn, finally beat the Tigers at Bryant-Denny and did both in a big way.

7. 1973: Alabama 35, Auburn 0

Bama’s blasting of Auburn this year both improved the top-ranked Crimson Tide to 11-0 and ended up launching a 9-game Iron Bowl winning streak that lasted into the early ’80s, almost until the end of the Bear Bryant era.

The only thing that the ’73 Iron Bowl win didn’t do was springboard Bama to a perfect season, as the Crimson Tide fell to Notre Dame by 1 point in the Sugar Bowl a month later. But the Tide were recognized as national champions by the coaches’ poll, while Notre Dame earned the national championship by way of the AP poll.

In the Iron Bowl, mighty Bama took advantage of a very average Auburn team that stumbled to a 6-6 season, only winning 2 SEC games. The Tide also got some payback from a 1-point loss to the Tigers the year before, taking a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter and never looking back. Bama’s Gary Rutledge had 2 rushing touchdowns and Randy Billingsley, Wilbur Jackson and James Taylor added TD runs to complement a dominant defensive performance at Legion Field.

T8. 1961: Alabama 34, Auburn 0

In the 3rd of 4 straight Iron Bowl shutouts, the Tide steamrolled Auburn on the way to an SEC co-championship, a Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas and another national championship with a perfect 11-0 record. It was the 1st of Bryant’s 6 national titles, effectively starting another era of Alabama dominance.

Auburn was OK that year, going 6-4, finishing middle-of-the-road in the SEC at 3-4, so it wasn’t like Alabama merely took advantage of another bad Tigers team. The Crimson Tide were just that good in ’61 and, yes, they were just getting started again, as everyone in the state and in college football would soon realize.

Billy Richardson’s touchdown run in the 1st quarter got the Tide rolling and they added 17 2nd-quarter points for a 24-0 halftime lead. Richardson also scored on a 6-yard run in the 3rd quarter to make it 31-0. It was another Iron Bowl win, another Iron Bowl shutout, and it was on to the Sugar Bowl for the Tide.

T8. 1950: Alabama 34, Auburn 0

Different year, different era even, but the same winning team and the same exact lopsided score. Alabama didn’t win any SEC or national championships that year, but did go 9-2 and took a No. 17 ranking into the Iron Bowl.

Meanwhile, the Tigers were downright terrible that season, going 0-10 overall and losing all 7 of their SEC games under 3rd-year head coach Earl Brown. Not shockingly, Brown’s 3rd season was his last, as Auburn fired him the following February.

Alabama avenged a 1-point loss to Auburn in 1949, scoring touchdowns in all 4 quarters. Bobby Marlow had the Tide’s first score on a 26-yard catch from Ed Salem in the 1st quarter, before adding TD runs of 7 and 2 yards in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Larry Chiodetti’s 31-yard run in the 3rd quarter and Jim Burkett’s 1-yard run in the 4th completed the domination of the woeful Tigers.

T10. 1966: Alabama 31, Auburn 0

1976: Alabama 38, Auburn 7

2018: Alabama 52, Auburn 21

We finish our list of Iron Bowl blowouts with that 3-way tie for the 10th-biggest one, and the lopsided one in ’66 gets the tiebreaker because it happened 1st. The other 2 31-point victories were also Alabama triumphs, a 38-7 stomping of Auburn a decade later in 1976 and an offense-dominated 52-21 rout of the Tigers in 2018.

The Iron Bowl steamrolling in ’66 also gets the nod over the other 2 wins because Bama won another national championship under Bryant that year, while in ’76 and 2018 the Tide were merely very good but not great, and certainly not champions. The 1966 victory was the 3rd in a row over Auburn in a streak that would grow to 5 with wins over the Tigers in 1967 and ’68. Bryant’s Tide won the SEC in ’66 with a 6-0 record, capped by that blowout of the Tigers at Legion Field, en route to an 11-0 finish and blowout of Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl to win the national crown.

The ’66 Iron Bowl win was also special because, well, you had Ken Stabler throwing a touchdown pass to Ray Perkins, so that’s yet another reason it gets top billing over the other 2 victories. Bryant’s 1976 team went 9-3, pounding Auburn and then UCLA in the Liberty Bowl. And Saban’s 2018 team won its 1st 14 games to get back to the national title game, where it was beaten badly by Clemson to fall 1 win shy of repeating as national champions.

This Saturday afternoon, there will be another Iron Bowl, the 87th edition, this time in Tuscaloosa. With Alabama not being the Alabama of old but still being pretty darn good, and Auburn feeling revitalized under Cadillac Williams but still 5-6, there could well be another Iron Bowl blowout like the ones on this list.

One fan base wouldn’t mind it, and the other one wouldn’t be able to stand it. Such is life in the wonderful, imperfect reality of one of the best rivalries in all of sports.