Pat Dye’s legacy as Auburn’s soccer coach is commonly tied to a one-liner at his introductory press convention in 1981 when a reporter requested him how lengthy it will take to beat Alabama.
“60 minutes,” Dye answered.
Dye, 80, died Monday. He had been coping with kidney-related points and examined optimistic for COVID-19 in the previous few months, his household mentioned. The affable coach was an everyday on radio stations in Alabama lately and nonetheless lived the Iron Bowl 24/7 like everybody else within the state.
It was all the time concerning the anticipation for the subsequent 60 minutes. Dye deserves credit score for respiration life right into a rivalry that was dormant earlier than his arrival in 1981. Alabama coach Bear Bryant had an 18-5 file in opposition to the Tigers, and the Crimson Tide owned an eight-game win streak within the Iron Bowl earlier than Dye’s arrival.
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Auburn was greater than 60 minutes away from beating Alabama at that time. That modified on Nov. 27, 1982, in Dye’s second season. That is when the Tigers marched on a game-winning drive that ended with a TD run that’s identified by 4 phrases.
Jackson’s TD broke a nine-game dropping streak to Alabama and despatched Bryant out with a loss in his last sport in opposition to the Tigers. That is a second that launched the rivalry into its present state.
Since 1980, one 12 months earlier than Dye’s arrival at Auburn, the Tigers and Crimson Tide’s sequence is knotted at 20 video games apiece. Dye completed 6-6 in opposition to Alabama, and one of the best rivalries require extra than simply in-state warmth. It requires a aggressive stability. Dye achieved that up till his departure in 1992, and it is perhaps arduous to consider that the Tigers have an 11-9 benefit since 2000 in opposition to the Crimson Tide.
Alabama vs. Auburn by decade since 1960
|1960s: Alabama 8, Auburn 2|
|1970s: Alabama 8, Auburn 2|
|1980s: Auburn 6, Alabama 4|
|1990s: Alabama 7, Auburn 3|
|2000s: Auburn 7, Alabama 3|
|2010s: Alabama 6, Auburn 4|
Even within the midst of Nick Saban’s dynasty, the Tigers beat their largest rival 4 occasions within the final decade — typically in spectacular style with much more legendary names.
Maybe none of that’s potential with out the influence of Dye, the coach who helped flip a one-sided regional rivalry into the most anticipated rivalry sport on the schedule. You’ll be able to argue it is nonetheless Ohio State-Michigan due to the nationwide model and its historical past, however the Buckeyes have a 17-Three benefit in opposition to the Wolverines since 2000 and are on their own-game win streak.
Within the current tense, The Recreation is in the identical spot the Iron Bowl was earlier than Dye arrived. Auburn-Alabama has grown with depth ever since. Dye lived that one-liner for the subsequent 40 years, and Auburn followers will do the identical for the subsequent 40 years searching for the subsequent spectacular victory in opposition to the Crimson Tide.
That, greater than something, is the coach’s legacy.
These “60 minutes” will final endlessly.