Iron Bowls are always big. Bryan Harsin's first might carry a little more weight.

A Year 1 matchup against Nick Saban's Alabama is obviously not a must-win scenario. But the Auburn program really could use a strong performance right now.

(Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)

Eleven months ago, when Auburn made the surprising decision to hire Bryan Harsin from Boise State to be its next head football coach, there was a certain term that was referenced multiple times:

“Consistently compete.”

Eleven months and eleven games into Harsin’s tenure on the Plains, that term is still quite relevant as the Tigers prepare to face rival Alabama in this weekend’s Iron Bowl.

The first half of it, “consistently,” has been a mantra for Harsin and his staff since he arrived. He constantly mentions the importance of consistency, and the hire itself reflected that. Auburn might not regularly recruit at the highest levels in the SEC, so building a football team that consistently executes at the highest levels is the best bet to overcome those talent gaps.

In month No. 10 of Harsin’s tenure, the signs that Harsin was building that consistency was there. Auburn beat LSU on the road for the first time in 22 years. The Tigers made plenty of mistakes ag…

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