No. 2 Alabama welcomes struggling rival Auburn - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No. 2 Alabama welcomes struggling rival Auburn

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By JOHN ZENOR

AP Sports Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -So much has changed since the last time Alabama welcomed Auburn into Bryant-Denny stadium.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide were victims of the largest comeback in Iron Bowl history two years ago. Alabama is the team with flourishing Southeastern Conference and national title aspirations going into Saturday's game.

The Tigers bear little resemblance to the team that Cam Newton rallied from 24 points down two years ago on their way to a national title.

With everything left to play for, Alabama is a 31.5-point favorite in what shapes up to be one of the biggest mismatches the Iron Bowl rivalry has seen.

The Tide's Damion Square says he expects Auburn "to come play some bigtime football."

Embattled Auburn coach Gene Chizik says it will take a "near-flawless" performance to win.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)