The Auburn Tigers blew it for the rest of the SEC and the Power Five in general by not beating the UCF Knights in their bowl game last year. They allowed Scott Frost’s team to embarrass the NCAA by claiming a national title, and quite honestly, they have every right to since they went undefeated. Not getting a chance at the title is on the still imperfect system.
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Still, the Tigers finished the year on a two-game losing streak because before that, they got blown out by the Georgia Bulldogs. So you could see why they may need to drop a bit and not be at No. 3 in our SEC Power Rankings.
But here’s where we’re fair with out projections and our power rankings. Say what you want, but Auburn had the toughest finish to a season ever. Four of their final five games came against one of the two teams who played for the national championship, one of them twice, and against the only team to finish last season undefeated in FBS play. And they went 3-2 in that stretch.
As a result, this team certainly belongs at No. 3 here. They have Gus Malzahn returning, and they did win the SEC West. Three of their four losses last year were to College Football Playoff teams or the only undefeated FBS team, and the other was a fluke loss to the LSU Tigers.
Auburn enters this year looking to take another step. Well, things are rough for them right out of the gate. They open the season Saturday against the Washington Huskies, a game with huge College Football Playoff implications. Two weeks later, they face the LSU Tigers. So this program will know very soon where it stands with things. It could drop, fall, or stay here in these rankings.