We’re still sitting here in 2017, almost in that limbo period where a bunch of people are off of work or school and just kind of hanging around waiting for the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day.
BUT WAIT, there’s Auburn basketball to grab your attention during the dead period!
The Tigers are 11-1, with one final non-conference game coming up later this week against Cornell before traveling to Tennessee to begin SEC play. Don’t look now, the record’s not the only thing that’s looking shiny and good, but the advanced stats also have Auburn near the top of the league in many categories.
Advanced stats at the Christmas break via KenPom for the SEC. H/T @ksu_FAN. #SECHoops has a clear leader but tiers are showing up. Bottom of the conference better than ever. pic.twitter.com/KFUMnjGV8Y— Nicholas Carr (@NicholasCarr) December 27, 2017
That navy and orange looks good atop a couple of those categories, and so Auburn looks to be a little more than a paper tiger (especially after rocking UConn). We’re off to the best start in fifteen years, and on the verge of being ranked for the first time in that same time frame. Be there for Bruce Pearl on Saturday as Auburn plays Cornell.
Back on the gridiron, and with the announcement from Dontavius Russell that he’ll be back for 2018, it’s not hard to start predicting big things for the Tigers next season.
And as we look at the offensive outlook for Auburn in the Peach Bowl, it stands to reason that the Tigers should rebound in a nice way as they’ve done all season after losses. Jarrett Stidham in particular has been a steady quarterback, able to rebound time and again after the Clemson, LSU, and now hopefully the Georgia losses.
Auburn will lean on one of Jarrett Stidham’s most impressive traits to lead it against UCF in the Peach Bowl https://t.co/vy0KPytLrC— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) December 27, 2017
One thing standing in the way of a successful day for the offense is UCF’s All-American linebacker Shaquem Griffin. He’s only got one hand (so help me God, he has one hand!), but he’s one of the best linebackers in the country.
And while UCF will certainly present a challenge on both sides of the ball, Auburn’s taking a more introspective look at their own strengths and flaws heading into the game.
Auburn will report to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl today focused on itself, not the noise that has come from UCF in the lead up to Monday's game https://t.co/3p2qd7UE4r— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) December 26, 2017
Just a few days left before the final game of the season, enjoy it! War Eagle!