BCS Standings 2011: Breaking Down the Auburn Tigers
The No. 19 Auburn Tigers are ranked at No. 20 in the first BCS Standings that were released on Sunday night.
Auburn currently sports a 5-2 (3-1 SEC) record after defeating Florida on Saturday night.
The Tigers are in third place in the SEC West heading into this weekend’s game against undefeated LSU. The LSU Tigers are the top team in Sunday's BCS Standings.
How They Got There
Auburn entered the season after winning the BCS title in 2010. It had low expectations with plenty of key performers to replace including Heisman winner Cam Newton.
The Tigers got off to a rough start, narrowly avoiding a huge upset by Utah State. The rebounded with a narrow win over Mississippi State to begin SEC play.
Auburn’s FBS-best winning streak ended the following week with a second half collapse at Clemson. The Tigers then posted an underwhelming victory over Florida Atlantic before upsetting South Carolina on the road.
The Tigers then were blown out on the road at Arkansas before bouncing back with last night’s victory over Florida.
Best Win: South Carolina
The Tigers upset the then No. 10 Gamecocks on the road, 16-13. At No. 14, South Carolina is currently the only team ranked higher in the BCS standings that Auburn has defeated.
A few weeks later, this is still South Carolina’s only loss of the season. The Gamecocks could potentially reach the SEC Title game for the second straight year if they finish ahead of or tied with Georgia, who they defeated earlier in the season.
That goal will be much harder to reach now as superstar running back Marcus Lattimore is now out for the season.
BCS Ranking: No. 20
The Tigers were placed 20th in the first set of BCS Standings with an average of 0.2645.
Auburn will have two big chances to move up with games still to be played against first place LSU and second place Alabama.
The Tigers have already defeated South Carolina, ranked at No. 14, while losing to No. 7 Clemson and No. 9 Arkansas.
The Tigers’ remaining schedule is daunting, with the top two teams in the BCS schedule on the slate.
The first obstacle comes this Saturday as the Tigers travel to face LSU, first in the BCS Standings. After that, three of the last four games are at home, including the Iron Bowl matchup with Alabama. The Crimson Tide were ranked second in Sunday's BCS standings.
One pitfall to look out for is the trip to Georgia on November 12. The Bulldogs could potentially be looking for their eighth straight win when the Tigers visit. Georgia has a chance to win the SEC East if they continue to win combined with another SEC loss for South Carolina.
I project the Tigers to finish with a record of 7-5 (4-4 SEC). Auburn should get past Ole Miss and FCS Samford at home, but they have three very tough games with LSU, Georgia and Alabama still on the schedule.
A 4-4 conference record could leave the Tigers ranked around sixth through ninth in the final SEC standings. Obviously there are still many games to be played and the scenarios are still very much subject to change.
Possible bowl destinations with this record include the Gator Bowl (SEC No. 6), Music City Bowl (SEC No. 7), or Liberty Bowl (SEC No. 8).