As you might expect, Bill Connelly’s Auburn preview is a fun read (“You’ve got to be able to say this, Auburn fans: We were lucky as hell last year.“). What you might not expect is how much weight is being given to Auburn’s schedule this season.
Let’s put it this way: Auburn travels to Manhattan, Kan., on a Thursday night on national television, to face a raucous crowd and a team that has specialized in slowing Baylor down more than most. And that’s perhaps Auburn’s fifth-hardest game in 2014.
Let’s put it another way: in this year’s Football Outsiders Almanac 2014, Auburn is projected ninth in the country, with the No. 6 offense; the Tigers’ projected record: 8-4. At ninth in the country. Auburn is given a five percent chance of matching or exceeding last season’s 11-1 mark and, again, at ninth in the country, a seven percent chance of finishing 6-6 or worse.
Well, dayum. I don’t see Auburn finishing anywhere in the vicinity of scraping by with bowl eligibility. Then again, Bill makes me wonder if the narrative about this year’s SEC West hinted at yesterday in my post about the Athlon article may have some legs.