And the BCS National Championship Goes to: Auburn?
by Paul Grossinger
When my friend looked at the draft of this article, he told me I had graduated from sensationalist to insane. “What kind of crap are you spewing now?” was the comment. The implication: how could Auburn, coming off a losing season that saw Tommy Tuberville sacked, even be in the discussion for the BCS title?
Ultimately, everything in college football really comes down to schedule. And Auburn, finally ranked after starting the season 5-0, might have the softest in the SEC until late November. Over the next two weeks they play Arkansas and Kentucky, both likely wins at home. After that, they do face LSU in Baton Rouge; a game that I would normally mark down as a loss except that LSU will be coming off a grueling three week stretch (they ground out tough wins on the road against Mississippi State and Georgia already) in which they still have to face number one Florida this coming week. While LSU is ranked fourth in the nation and is strong at home, they will be quite tired by the time they play Auburn and, if their last second win over unranked Mississippi State two weeks ago is any judge, will be vulnerable to a high powered Tiger squad.
Following LSU, they face an Ole Miss squad that dropped the ball against South Carolina on the road and a gimmie against Furman. Potentially, they could roll into Georgia on November 14th at 10-0. Their last game, against Alabama on the 27th, figures to be a tough get even at home but, when one considers that the Crimson Tide will be away against Auburn, all things are possible.
I know, I know, its’ early and Auburn has a lot to prove before this article could be considered anything aside from insane musings. Consider, though, the power of schedule: is it so hard to imagine that the most talented team the Tigers have fielded since-you guessed it-their undefeated season in 2004 has the wherewithal to overpower an LSU team beaten by a rough month on the road and surprise the Crimson Tide at the end of the season? As strong as the Tide look, it bears remembering what a rested Utah squad did to them in the Sugar Bowl last year.
While it is still an unlikely road, even at 5-0 for the moment, it bears thinking ahead to what Auburn could do this season.