By losing six times out of seven in 2012, one would believe that the Auburn Tigers do not have much left to play for in the remainder of the season.
As far as tangible goals, this is the case.
Although Auburn is not mathematically eliminated from a bowl berth, no one believes there will be any bowl trophies lifted over Gene Chizik’s head at the end of the season.
The Tigers still have plenty left to play for in 2012.
After a rough start, the Tigers are playing for 2013 and beyond. The way that the players play now can have a big impact on the chances they receive in the future.
How players play for the remainder of the year could determine their position on the depth chart once spring practice begins in just a little over four months.
The experience that these players get now (especially the underclassmen) will be invaluable in their years on the Plains.
Auburn is also playing for pride.
Although the results have not been what it wanted over the first six games, each and every one associated with the Auburn program wants to prove that they are not going to give up just because the ball has not bounced their way.
Moseley says when a team's struggling like this, "It reveals who you are as a person and a player." #Auburn—Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAEricksonAU) October 23, 2012
While a lot of Auburn fans are ready for Gene Chizik and the rest of the Auburn coaching staff to be shown the door, to many players these coaches are their father figures.
With a 1-6 record, there isn't a coach on the Auburn coaching staff that should feel confident in being on the Auburn sidelines in 2013.
No one on the roster wants to see someone they care about and have developed lifelong bonds with lose their job. Good performances and passionate play can possibly save the jobs of the men who recruited them and convinced them to come to Auburn to play football.
And finally, Auburn can play for the fans who stick by their team through thick and thin.
With four consecutive games in Jordan-Hare Stadium remaining on the schedule, the Tigers can play in a way that makes the Auburn Family proud.
Auburn fans are undoubtedly agitated about the teams current standing. That will not stop them from getting in their RV’s and driving down to Auburn or setting up their tailgates as early as Thursday to come support their team.
They will line up before the game and show their support for the football team during Tiger Walk.
Students will be in the student section two hours before kickoff and cheers will erupt when the pre-game video begins to play.
There will be an electricity in the air when the public address announcer instructs everyone to turn their attention to the Northeast corner of the stadium for a special presentation that will include Spirit or Nova flying majestically over the crowd before capturing it’s "prey" at the 50-yard line to cheering fans.
When the game is over and those fans know that Auburn left everything on the field, they’ll say, “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!”
While Auburn may not achieve the goals that it set out to when the season began, there is still plenty for the Tigers to play for in 2012.