Fitter, happier, more productive, not punting too much—the Auburn offense is beginning to come together. Mississippi State was supposed to be a huge test and ended up being nothing more than a bug on the windshield of the Auburn offense. Throwing it deep is one of my favorite ways to demoralize an opponent, and Auburn chucked it long over and over again against the Bulldogs. Jarrett Stidham had fewer total incompletions than completions over 30 yards. He has only thrown 12 incomplete passes since Auburn left Clemson, South Carolina. Our numbers are looking better and better, and I can’t help but give some of the credit to my More Than OK Computer, who we will once again consult to try to predict the outcome of the next Auburn matchup. We want no surprises.
From our formulas, we hope to find fortune in our football fracas against a Rebels team fraught with defensive frailty.
TO THE COMPUTER
Auburn has played Ole Miss a surprisingly few times for an SEC West team. The Tigers and Rebels have matched up 41 times, with Auburn leading the series a lopsided 30-11. Ole Miss has only beaten Auburn six times since 1970, and hasn’t beaten Auburn in back-to-back years since 1952. Gus Malzahn’s Auburn teams have beaten Ole Miss six out of seven tries since he took over as a coordinator. The only defeat was in 2015 and is still part of an ongoing NCAA investigation. When Malzahn beats Ole Miss, his teams score lots of points. Auburn hasn’t been held under 30 by Ole Miss with Gus Malzahn on staff, outside of the 2015 loss. Auburn scored 33, 51, 41, 30, 35, and 40 in its wins over the Rebel Black Bears.
Those are good numbers, friends, but let’s keep computing.
Last week, Auburn beat Mississippi State by a bunch. The Mississippi schools are usually on the Auburn schedule with the State game coming earlier in the season than the Ole Miss game, but that isn’t always the case. When it is the case, and Auburn beats Mississippi State, it beats Ole Miss. In fact, only three times (2008, 2003, 1965) has Ole Miss beaten an Auburn team that had previously dispatched with the Bulldogs. Auburn’s record against Ole Miss in years in which it plays them after beating MSU is an impressive 9-3. When Auburn is good, it usually sweeps the state of Mississippi. Recently, things have been boom-or-bust for Auburn football, as you are well-aware, and even still, Auburn is 20-7 against the state of Mississippi since 2004, a .740 winning percentage against two schools it plays every season.
Auburn has won its last three games played at 11am Central going back to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl against Memphis and is averaging close to 30 points per game in those wins. We have already demonstrated that Auburn will beat Ole Miss if it scores 30, and Auburn should score 30. The Tigers are averaging 34 points per game this season, and Ole Miss has averaged allowing 35.8 points per game to its opponents. Auburn should get at least 30, which should guarantee a win. This should be the week the running game gets on track, since the Rebs allow almost 230 rushing yards per game.
You want more? You want more. I’ll give you some more.
A ranked Auburn team has never lost to Ole Miss. It has never happened. Each of those 11 losses came when Auburn was unranked. Auburn is currently not only ranked, but is the #12 team in America and has risen in the polls the past few weeks. If Auburn were to lose this weekend, it would buck a trend that goes back to the 1928 season. Almost 90 years of data! Not to mention, Gus Malzahn is 16-1 at Jordan-Hare Stadium when coaching a ranked Auburn team.
In conclusion, my message to Ole Miss is simple.
You Can’t Win.
Ole Miss 10