Raiders.com College Football Matchup Of The Week

Prior to donning the Silver and Black each Sunday, many of the Raiders players were wearing different colors Saturday, playing for their college teams and representing their respective universities.

This time of the year in particular college rivalries run deep, so we're here to highlight some of the matchups between current Raiders teammates, but former college football foes.

The Matchup:

For this week's Raiders.com College Football Matchup of the Week, we head to Alabama for one of the premier rivalries in all of college football – the Iron Bowl.

In this year's installment, Amari Cooper's No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Jordan-Hare stadium to take on Neiko Thorpe's Auburn Tigers.

Background:

Once again, Nick Saban has the Crimson Tide in the conversation for the National Championship, but in order for them to remain in play for the College Football Playoff, Alabama will have to take care of business on the road in an incredibly hostile environment.

Heading into the matchup with their in-state rivals, Alabama is 10-1, with their lone loss coming at the hands of Ole Miss in mid-September.

The Crimson Tide are paced by running back, and Heisman Trophy-hopeful, Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 1,526 yards and 21 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, the Auburn Tigers would love to play spoiler after their 2015 season didn't go quite as planned.

The Tigers currently own a record of 6-5 and could just never manage to string a few wins together to make themselves relevant in the ultra-competitive SEC.

However, a win against their bitter rivals would go a long way in easing the pain of an unsuccessful campaign.

Alabama leads the all-time series 43-35-1.

A Walk Down Memory Lane:

Cooper:When Cooper's career in Tuscaloosa came to an end, he was ranked as the most productive wide receiver in program history.

He appeared in 40 games, making 30 starts, and set school records with 228 receptions, 3,463 receiving yards and 31 receiving touchdowns in his career.

Cooper also ranks near the top of the SEC's record book in every major receiving category and was the first Alabama wide receiver to win the Biletnikoff Award.

He was also a member of the 2012 National Championship team.

Thorpe:During his four years as a Tiger, Thorpe appeared in 51 games, recording 174 total tackles and 9 interceptions.

He also has a National Championship to his name, as was a member of the 2010 team that ran the table, going 14-0, en route to being named BCS National Champions.

Prediction:

You can throw the records out when these two bitter rivals get together each year.

The two teams from the state of Alabama seemingly play memorable games each year, regardless of what their records or national standing are.

This year, the Crimson Tide need to secure a convincing win over Auburn to keep their College Football Playoff dreams alive, and I think they'll be able to do just that.

Derrick Henry is one of the best running backs in the country, and Alabama's steady ground-and-pound approach will just be too much for the Tigers defense to handle for 60 minutes.

24-10, advantage 'Bama.

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