Jeff Whitaker understands Auburn's situation going into the Iron Bowl. He's aware of the criticism that has been heaped on coach Gene Chizik and that the Tigers are huge underdogs going into the game with No. 2 Alabama.
The Auburn defensive tackle just doesn't need the extra motivation.
''It's Alabama-Auburn. We're not afraid because of your record or because they're Alabama,'' Whitaker said on Tuesday. ''If there's one place that's not intimidated and afraid, it's going to be Auburn, no matter how the country looks at them. If there's one place and one team and look at them and say, `They're just guys,' it's Auburn.
''They're doing a good job over there. We show respect for that. This rivalry was going way before me, you, coach (Nick) Saban, coach Chiz. We'll just keep this thing rolling.''
The Tigers (3-8, 0-7 Southeastern Conference) are 31.5-point underdogs for Saturday's game in Tuscaloosa. The Tide (10-1, 6-1) is playing for a shot at SEC and national titles.