Auburn has Georgia in its sights. Auburn fans not only have Georgia in their sights, they have Georgia in their sights.
OK, I'll elaborate a little bit. Auburn has the University of Georgia's football team in its sights. Auburn fans not only have UGA's team on their minds, they also have a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game on their minds.
Before the season, most figured the road to Atlanta went through Alabama, and Auburn would absolutely not win a division where LSU, Arkansas and Alabama played. Those thoughts could not be more wrong.
All Auburn has to do to cement its place in the SEC title game is beat Georgia Saturday. Obviously Auburn would like to also beat Alabama and win that game so it can go to the BCS National Championship Game. That's pretty obvious. Saturday, however, presents a simple mission: BEAT GEORGIA TO EARN YOUR PLACE IN GEORGIA.
Georgia has been a thorn in Auburn's side for some time. The rivalry used to be one where the home team never wins. The past four years, it's simply been one where Auburn never wins.
But Auburn has been streak-busting this year, right?
The Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak to LSU, a two-game losing streak to Arkansas, and a one-game streak against Kentucky. (Yes, Kentucky should probably not be beating Auburn like they did in 2009.)
Auburn has broken a 25-year streak of not having a serious Heisman candidate. The closest Auburn's come is Jason Campbell and Rudi Johnson, and neither of them even made it to New York. Auburn's Cam Newton has broken records left and right and still has potentially four games left.
This is the first Auburn team in six years to start 10-0. This is not your average Auburn team, unless you're a person who believes this is where Auburn belongs (I happen to be one of those people).
Georgia hasn't exactly had a season worthy of a banner. They are 5-5 after winning today over hapless Idaho State. They began 1-4 before a 4-1 stretch, the lone loss being to Florida.
Auburn, on the other hand, is looking directly at a national championship season. They're 10-0 and have been explosive and exciting in doing so. They've won their last four games by a score of 202-115 for an average of 51-29, which is almost identical to the score of Auburn's win over Ole Miss.
The SEC West race is simple at the top. For Auburn to win, it has to beat Georgia or Alabama and obviously a win over both would not only win the West, but put the Tigers in position for the SEC title game. For LSU to win (whom Auburn defeated), it needs to win out and it needs Auburn to lose to both Alabama and Georgia.
Alabama...well, that process is too complex and mind-boggling for me to even go into details. It took ESPN a novel to describe Alabama's dream scenario.
For Auburn's players, all that matters this week is beating Georgia. Auburn fans know, however, that a lot rides on this game. National championship hopes are obviously on the line. The SEC West is at stake. And Auburn looks for something it hasn't had against Georgia since 2005: Bragging rights.