Auburn 42, Texas A&M 17: What It Means For The College Football Playoff
Auburn had to battle a bit to get the job done, but it cranked up a big win over Texas A&M to set up a huge finishing run. What does it all mean for the College Football Playoff?
Final Score: Auburn 42, Texas A&M 27
Prediction: Auburn 27, Texas A&M 20
Line: Auburn -15, o/u: 52.5
Auburn did what it had to on the road against a relatively desperate team.
With the season slipping away after a blowout home loss to Mississippi State, Texas A&M needed to come up with a good performance. Instead, Auburn rolled to 21 second quarter points on the way to a strong win to keep looking the part of the top two-loss team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Jarrett Stidham didn’t screw up on the road. He completed 20-of-27 passes for 268 yards and three scores, and ran for 27 more yards. This wasn’t the most explosive of games for the Tigers, but Stidham hit on his third down throws, they dominated the time of possession, and they kept answering every time A&M had a little momentum. Stidham was good, the Texas A&M quarterback play wasn’t.
Texas A&M has an offense. Trayveon Williams ran for 103 yards and Keith Ford was okay on the ground, but it doesn’t matter – the Auburn D did its part. All the CFP committee will see is a double-digit win on the road against an okay SEC team. The defense was good enough – there wasn’t anything about this game to get into a twist over.
No turnovers, three penalties. It was a tight, good performance for the Tigers. They didn’t beat themselves to let A&M come up with any easy points and plays. With the tougher competition coming up, Auburn will have to be nearly perfect.
What Does It All Mean For The College Football Playoff Race?
It’s exactly what the Tigers had to do.
The win over Texas A&M was the perfect response to being the top two-loss team in the first College Football Playoff rankings, and now the No. 14 team squad has everything in place to be a part of a larger discussion.
There wasn’t any problem, with the big number put up on the road impressive enough to warrant a move up at just the right time.
With losses coming among the top 13 teams, Auburn should be able to move to just outside of the top ten and in a position to make a whole lot of noise next week.
Beat Georgia, and then the national discussion about whether or not a two-loss team could get into the CFP changes.
Beat ULM and then Alabama to close things out, and then it’s off to the SEC Championship with the potential for a resume good enough challenge any one-loss team in the final four race.
The win over Texas A&M was just a step, but it was a good one.