BCS Rankings 2010: Breaking Down the Auburn Tigers
The first BCS rankings are out, and Auburn is in a spot where many didn't expect them to be: fourth in the country, rather than fourth in the SEC West.
With only Oklahoma, Oregon and Boise State ahead of them, Auburn fans have got to be smiling widely. Auburn is the highest-ranked team in the SEC and in perfect position to contend for the national championship—something it hasn't won since 1957.
How They Got to This Point
Auburn began the season No. 21 in the AP poll and not expected to contend.
After a whitewash win over Arkansas State, 52-26, the Tigers went into Starkville on a Thursday night and beat Mississippi State, 17-14. MSU, by the way, is 5-1 outside of that Auburn game.
No. 16 Auburn then came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat Clemson in OT in a game featured by ESPN's College GameDay. After that, Auburn beat No. 12 South Carolina, 35-27, in Cam Newton's breakout game.
No. 10 Auburn pasted Louisiana-Monroe, 52-3, before surviving upset-minded Kentucky, 37-34.
No. 7 Auburn made a statement on national TV, scoring a whopping 65 points against Arkansas in a 22-point victory that was closer than the final score.
No doubt, the best win for Auburn is the 65-43 shootout win over Arkansas.
It felt like more than a football game with all that scoring. There was so much scoring that CBS didn't go to commercial break the final seven minutes. It was that long.
Newton went 10-for-14 for 140 yards and rushed for 188. Auburn gave up 566 yards to Arkansas, but the defense made the plays when it needed to to keep the season alive. Auburn's scoring 65 points is the main reason they jumped all the way to No. 4 in the BCS.
The Tigers earned an .846 average in the BCS, putting them at fourth, trailing Boise State by 26 points and leading TCU by six. Oklahoma totaled .921, checking in at No. 1.
Auburn was ranked fifth by the Coaches' Poll and Harris Poll, but the computers combined to put the Tigers at No. 3, with their highest ranking being No. 2.
Too High or Too Low?
They're right where they should be but then again, they should probably be ranked ahead of Boise State.
This is the type of ranking Auburn football is used to having, not something called "NR."
Oct. 23 - vs. No. 6 LSU
Oct. 30 - at Ole Miss
Nov. 6 - vs. UT-Chattanooga
Nov. 13 - vs. Georgia
Nov. 26 - at No. 8 Alabama
The LSU game will surely be a very tough game, but one to look out for is Ole Miss. It's in Oxford.
Jeremiah Masoli is a dual-threat QB, and the Rebels actually have been decent since they lost to Vanderbilt. If Auburn isn't careful, they could be upset.
Obviously the Iron Bowl looms large as well, and Tuscaloosa is a very tough place to play.
This Auburn team is close. They are like a family. This wasn't the case in 2008. This team has bonded with a winning mindset, and it's shown in Auburn's close, down-to-the-wire games.
As these close games keep piling up as wins, the confidence of this team is growing. There was a lot to like about the win over Arkansas. Gene Chizik has got to be the front-runner for coach of the year.
The Tigers are the fourth-ranked team in the country as Cam Newton has taken the country by storm. At this rate, the Tigers may be No. 1 in the near future.
Where do I see Auburn going? Unless somebody finds out how to stop Newton, not even Auburn's secondary can stop Auburn from a title berth.
Prediction: Tostitos BCS National Championship Game against Oregon.
Call me biased, but I have yet to see how you can stop Newton. Like Tim Tebow, he will will his team to victory any Saturday against any team. Until proven otherwise, this could be Auburn's best team in a long time.