According to the ex-coach, his 1981 push to move the Iron Bowl out of Birmingham and onto the campuses of Auburn and Alabama wound up providing a bigger boost to the Tide than to the Tigers.
“(Paul Bryant) said, ‘I guess you’re going to want to take the Auburn-Alabama game to Auburn. I said, ‘We’re going to take it to Auburn.’ He said, ‘Not as long as I’m coaching.’ I said, ‘You ain’t going to coach forever.’ He said, ‘We’ve got a contract through ’88.’ I said, ‘We’re going to play ’89 in Auburn,’ and we did…
If you look at what’s happened since ’89, I would say that it’s a great thing for Auburn but Alabama has really benefited more from it than Auburn because it got their games out of Birmingham. Now the Alabama fans have a gameday experience that they couldn’t have in Birmingham around Legion Field — tailgating and getting back on campus. Look at the facilities that they’ve built since 1989. I’m sure it’s just like it is at Auburn, they have benefited from an academic standpoint also because of all the money that football generates.
It’s been good for both schools. It’s the way it should be now.”
Good for both schools, but better for Alabama. According to Dye. And thanks to Dye.