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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Auburn & The 12 Team Playoff

photo by Tiger Pixel Pusher
@Tiger3P on Twitter

News has leaked recently that a 12 team playoff is the move within the CFB Playoff committee. Let me insert that this author has long clamored for more teams in the playoff for the national championship each season. 

Never in my wildest dream did I think the committee would be considering a 12 team playoff. One caveat leaked is these first-round games might be "on campus" games. 

That is a huge piece of information, and a tremendous incentive to have a good record which would mean an additional home game each season for any team that didn't make the Top 4 spots. 

Now to Auburn. It is far too early to know for certain if Coach Bryan Harsin will have Auburn in the playoff race any time soon. However, this author can dream, and dream big, so let's dive in.

Our first look will be at the upcoming season. 2021 will be the most difficult season for this staff and this team to climb the mountain and make the fall dance if you will. 

Punter at "X"
From Josh Dowdy @heartofauburn
available here:

First, Coach Harsin and his Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo are creating their offensive playbook. Included in this will be the language used for play-calling. Other items may include route designation for each receiver position. What the former staff called the "X" position may not be what this staff decides to name it. In fact, the two coaches creating this offense may not even have called this position the same thing prior to coming to Auburn. 

Obviously, I gave away my main concern with this season by mentioning the offense first. It is, in my opinion, the biggest question mark on the entire team. The questions start with the head coach and trickle down throughout the entire offense. 

I am confident the defense will be at the very least serviceable, and most likely very good. 

So, back to the playoff picture. Nobody knows when this new 12 team playoff will begin. When it does, Auburn "should never have a season they are not in the playoff picture. Unless it starts this coming fall. Let me expound.

Once the schedule was announced, and the university announced Auburn football games will be played at full capacity attendance, I went back through our opponents to see what I thought was plausible record-wise for this team. 

My firm belief is 8 wins should be the pivot point for this team. The only way I wouldn't be disappointed with a 7 win season would be a rash of injuries or each loss was by one score (6 points) or less. That would mean there is hope for the future. 

8 wins would be a good signal that things are trending up. Unless the losses are complete blowouts. Double-digit losses to 4 teams would not be a good indicator of improvement. Basically, that would be treading water, and we are all tired of treading water at this point. 

9 wins. Now, 9 wins would mean we took down someone on our schedule that everybody else has written us off as losing to. Whether it's finally winning at Redstick, or knocking off UGA or Bama. 

3 losses, even with one of the toughest schedules in the country probably wouldn't get Auburn in a 12 team playoff. 

Then again...


***editors note Minutes after this article was published, news broke that this 12 team playoff would begin at the end of the 2023 football season. 

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