Auburn got their first win of the 2012 season on Saturday, but many will consider it a loss because of the way Auburn won.
Sure, Louisiana-Monroe beat Arkansas last week (Arkansas lost to Alabama 52-0 today). At the end of the day, a Sun Belt team took Auburn to the brink of defeat in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn was not looking ahead to LSU, either. Not after what the Warhawks did last weekend and all of the attention they've been receiving nationally.
After defending Gene Chizik just this week, does Chizik have a defense for today's performance? Even if Auburn can be defined as a young team, recruiting classes that ranked at the top by nearly every recruiting agency should be able to take care of a team from the Sun Belt.
After today's performance, and how the schedule sets up, it may be a while before Auburn gets their next win. Will it be three games? Four games? Longer?
The next five games for Auburn are against LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M before their homecoming game against New Mexico State. Which game of those five gives Auburn the best chance to win?
Defending SEC Champion LSU comes into Jordan-Hare next weekend for Auburn's SEC home opener. Should we waste space on asking if this will be a win? If you insist.
LSU has one of the top defenses in the country and they now have a quarterback who can throw it downfield in Zach Mettenberger. The Bengal Tigers rank in the top five in the country in total defense (prior to their game vs. Idaho). Through the first two games, LSU has only surrendered 102 yards rushing.
We saw what happened last week when opponents shut down the Auburn run game. People will not be putting their money on Auburn next weekend.
Chance that LSU is Auburn's next win: Yea, right.
The Tigers have a much needed week off to regroup before playing Arkansas on Oct. 6th in Auburn. You could use the logic that since Auburn beat ULM and ULM beat Arkansas, then Auburn should beat Arkansas.
Not so fast. Arkansas will have Tyler Wilson back by October 6th, and—with Auburn's questionable secondary—that should not be a game counted on as a win. Auburn should be able to move the ball and score on the Arkansas defense, but Tyler Wilson may continue his habit of picking apart the Auburn secondary.
Auburn gets Arkansas after the Razorbacks go to College Station and take on the Aggies. This could possibly be Auburn's next win based on how Arkansas has played so far this season, but it should not be signed, sealed, delivered.
Chance that Arkansas is Auburn's next win: Just maybe!
If the Tigers can't pick up a victory against Arkansas, the Tigers next shot comes when they travel to Oxford for a game against Ole Miss the next weekend. We will know a lot more about what kind of team Ole Miss is after they take on the Longhorns tonight.
So far on the season, they are 2-0 and have put together good offensive performances in the first two games.
What appeared to be circled as a win before the season is not as certain any more. This will only be Kiehl Frazier's second road start (assuming he is still starting), and the first road start did not give any Auburn fans reason to be confident.
Chance that Ole Miss is Auburn's next win: No way Auburn loses this one.
If Auburn does fall to Ole Miss, they look to get their next win against Vanderbilt on October 20th. Vanderbilt has a very talented quarterback in Jordan Rodgers. No one needs to be reminded of Auburn's recent history in Nashville. The Tigers lost in Nashville on their last trip in 2008.
Vanderbilt lost a hard fought game to South Carolina to open the season and then lost to Northwestern. They walloped Presbyterian today to pick up their first win.
Auburn should turn around their recent history in Nashville with a win in Music City this year.
Chance that Vanderbilt is Auburn's next win: Probably.
Things are really bad by now if Auburn has not won since ULM. This would put the Tigers at 1-6 heading into Texas A&M and having to win the rest of their games to achieve bowl eligibility.
The Aggies will be making their first trip into the state of Alabama as a member of the SEC on October 27th. The Aggies played Florida tough in their SEC contest, but beyond that, we do not know much about them. They picked up their first win of the season this weekend against Southern Methodist, 48-3.
Kevin Sumlin does bring an offensive scheme that's been successful everywhere he's been so far. This will be A&M's first road trip in a hostile environment. Their only other SEC road trip is to Oxford to play Ole Miss. Auburn should be able to take care of the Aggies this year.
Chance that Texas A&M is Auburn's next win: Definitely.
So Auburn's best chance to get their next win is Ole Miss. If this is correct, Auburn will be 1-4 heading into Oxford. They will be 2-4 at the halfway point of the season. With Alabama and UGA remaining on the schedule, the Tigers may struggle to achieve bowl eligibility.
Will a 6-6 season be enough for Auburn to hold onto Gene Chizik? Probably, but he has not done anything to help his cause this month.
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