Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Auburn Tigers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Auburn Tigers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Auburn Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
Yo, Auburn. Thanks SO much for THAT.
Now we all have to deal with a whole slew of UCF types who think they actually won a national title.
No, 2017 Auburn, didn’t win the SEC Championship, or go to the College Football Playoff, or win the national championship. But it did beat Alabama – which, of course, is the full-stop argument-ender when it comes to in-state bragging rights at least until November 24th.
And because of the Tigers’ loss to UCF in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Nick Saban eventually got suckered in/trolled into punching down and saying something grouchy about who the real national champion is.
So who’s really the big winner?
Assuming we’re all still alive many, many years from now, someone will go back and point to 2017 Auburn Tigers as one of the most interesting case stories in the early years of the College Football Playoff era.
The close-call loss at Clemson was more than acceptable, and the 27-23 loss at LSU wasn’t enough to provide the knockout blow to SEC or national title hopes. Because of the blowout win over Georgia, and the win over Alabama, Auburn would’ve almost certainly been the first two-loss team to get into the College Football Playoff had it taken care of the Bulldogs for a second time in the SEC Championship.
Had that happened, Alabama would’ve likely played Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, and Auburn would’ve faced Clemson in a rematch in the Sugar, which would’ve raised a whole slew of historical mind-blowers with three possible redo games – Georgia, Clemson and in the national title, Alabama – in the same season.
In theory, did Alabama deserve to get into the CFP over the Auburn team that actually won the head-to-head battle and the West?
Shouldn’t Georgia have been the No. 1 overall seed in the CFP, considering Clemson lost to Syracuse and the Bulldogs avenged their loss?
And because of the wins over Alabama and Georgia, and because Alabama beat Georgia, and because UCF beat the team that beat the two CFP National Championship teams …
2018 Auburn might be in for the same sort of all-around fun.
It has to face Washington to start the season – the Huskies are good enough to potentially roll through the Pac-12 and be CFP good for the second time in three years. And it has to go to Georgia, and it has to go to Alabama, so no matter what, Auburn will be a major player in the race to the four-team tournament.
The offensive line has to be better than the one that Clemson wore as a hat and struggled so much with its consistency. But if it comes together fast – again, good luck with that Washington team – the rest of the skill parts are there to blow up big. Jarrett Stidham is just the quarterback to make it all happen.
The defense that was so amazing at times last year should be every bit as strong, even after losing a few key parts. As long as the pass rush shows up, it’s going to keep teams to 17 points or fewer on a regular basis again – it did that eight times last season – letting the offense do the rest.
Is it a good enough team to beat Georgia and Alabama on the road? If the CFP is about the four best teams, and Auburn loses twice, and those two losses are to …
Or, Auburn could just win the SEC Championship this time and take care of business itself.