Butch Thompson is going to find out real quick whether or not his team is ready to play in the SEC this season as they welcome the 5th ranked Florida Gators to the Plains for a weekend set.
Auburn (14-5) is coming off a series of good wins that has seen the bullpen improve and the bats get a good deal of production. They took the last two games against Presbyterian before knocking off UAB and Jacksonville State in the mid-week games.
Florida (13-5) has struggled a bit of late, though I don't think you can read too much into that. They were 3-3 in their last six games. That stretch includes a win against Florida State and two against Seton Hall, but also a loss to Seton Hall and being swept in a two-game series by Florida Gulf Coast.
Auburn hasn't exactly faced a team as good as Florida this season, but you have to love seeing Auburn's Friday and Saturday starters' ERAs still below 1.00. Florida has faced Miami (and swept them) so far this season, so they've played some pretty good teams.
The Tigers' bullpen is where the trouble has been at times. They've looked pretty good the last few games, though, which is very promising. So was Davis Daniel's Sunday start against Presbyterian. I've been saying for weeks that Auburn's plan seems to be to use the combination of Thompson and Mize along with Cole Lipscomb in a relief role to win Friday and Saturday and then hope for the best on Sunday. If Gabe Klobosits can get back to form and provide another great option, from the pen, then things get even better.
At the plate, Auburn has six players already in double-digits for RBIs. The Gators only have one. There have been a lot of good surprises at the plate for Auburn. Blake Logan, Daniel Robert, Luke Jarvis, Dylan Ingram, Jonah Todd, and Josh Anthony have all provided solid performances. There's really not a player who has seen significant time with less than 5 RBIs.
I may be crazy, but I honestly think this is a series Auburn can win. It's against a top-ranked team who is an SEC favorite, so a win would be monumentally huge. Losing the series wouldn't be too disheartening as long as it's not by a sweep or just really bad games. But a series win... that would launch Auburn into SEC play like a shot from a canon.
Go get 'em, Tigers! War Eagle!