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Monday, October 27, 2014

Where do we go from here?


Lots of talk today about the upcoming playoff in college football. Just ahead of the 1st ever release of the rankings as seen by the CFP Committee, which, oh by the way, will be released Tuesday 10/28/2014.

The main topic of course, is who will the participants be in the 1st ever College Football Playoff. The answer is very cloudy at the moment, what with tons of games yet to be played. 

Our main concern is Auburn, and the teams that remain on our schedule, so we will take a look at some of things that need to happen for Auburn to be a part of these playoffs.

Opponents remaining on the schedule are a veritable Who's Who of college football. Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, and of course our Iron Bowl opponent :)

The chart below is furnished via AL.com and Joel A. Erickson
Remaining SEC games by team
Alabama
Nov. 8 - at No. 16 LSU
Nov. 15 - No. 1 Mississippi State
Nov. 29 - No. 4 Auburn
Auburn
Nov. 1 - at No. 7 Ole Miss
Nov. 8 - Texas A&M
Nov. 15 - at No. 9 Georgia
Nov. 29 - at No. 3 Alabama
LSU
Nov. 8 - No. 3 Alabama
Nov. 15 - at Arkansas
Nov. 27 - at Texas A&M
Mississippi State
Nov. 1 - Arkansas
Nov. 15 - at No. 3 Alabama
Nov. 22 - Vanderbilt
Nov. 29 - at No. 7 Ole Miss
Ole Miss
Nov. 1 - No. 4 Auburn
Nov. 22 - at Arkansas
Nov. 29 - No. 1 Mississippi State

Next up:
First in line is Ole Miss. As you can see by the previous chart the Rebel/Black Bears only have to play 2 conference games. Their loss to LSU this past weekend actually hurt Auburn as well as themselves. A win by Auburn over Ole Miss now, doesn't carry as much significance as if they had remained undefeated.

What benefits Auburn:
 Auburn needs to defeat Ole Miss, and for the Rebels to defeat Miss State in the Egg Bowl.

November 8th vs Texas A&M:
The Aggies are an enigma right now. Which team will show up against Auburn? The one that destroyed South Carolina, or the team that really didn't show up against Alabama?

What benefits Auburn:
A strong showing and a decisive victory.

November 15th at Athens, GA:
Georgia on the other hand, is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. They have two road games remaining vs. Florida this weekend, and Kentucky on November 8th. The 'Dawgs have lost to South Carolina, and played a close game at home against Tennessee. They have won the rest of their games handily.

What benefits Auburn: 
Georgia needs to play well vs. the Gators this weekend, and next week at Kentucky. A win by Auburn could knock UGA out of the East division lead and set up a rematch of the 2013 SEC Championship game. Only if the Mizzou Tigers can navigate their remaining schedule.

Iron Bowl:
I would rather not have to rely on the heroics of our fantastic special teams this year, although I would take a win by any means. 

What benefits Auburn:
As bad as this sounds, we need Bama to beat Miss State.
Beating the media, the referees, and this Alabama team is enough for me. What it does in the minds of the CFP committee is yet to be determined, but I'd guess it would go a long way.

As you can see, there is an awful lot of football still to be played. This post only covers a small amount of obstacles that this Auburn team has in front of it. There is of course Florida State, Notre Dame, Michigan State(whom I will pull for because of last season), and Oregon still to consider. 

Other teams with a chance to make the CFP are TCU, Arizona, Kansas State, and Baylor.

Auburn's defense needs to play more consistently. The offense looked especially good vs. South Carolina, but the defense lacked the killer instinct. Pass rush, and open field tackling needs to be a focus. Reverting back to old habits at this crucial juncture would be disastrous. 

Whatever lies ahead for this Auburn team, it's going to be a thrill of a ride. Where we end up, is anybody's guess.

WAR EAGLE!
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