The Auburn Tigers had the best quality win of any team in college football during the first week of the season. With a true freshman quarterback in Bo Nix, they have a lot to be proud of, beating the Oregon Ducks on a late touchdown. Gus Malzahn may have an elite team this year after that impressive victory.
Again, teams should never apologize for close victories over Power Five programs on neutral fields, particularly ones who figure to have winning records this season. So Auburn has everything to be proud of, and while Nix and JaTarvious Whitlow both looked great, the defense is the real story, as they limited Heisman candidate Justin Herbert to 242 yards and one touchdown.
There is a strong case to be made to put them at No. 1 in our SEC Power Rankings with that victory. After all, the quality of a win does take precedence over how impressive a team looks, and Auburn did have the biggest quality victory. It really makes the top five teams on this list all interchangeable for now.
Auburn now gets a major break with two easy home games against the Tulane Green Wave and Kent State Golden Flashes. But then their schedule gets tougher with the Texas A&M Aggies and Florida Gators, both on the road, in two of three games. The Mississippi State Bulldogs at home in between aren’t a slouch either.