Saturday marks FOUR weeks until the debut of the 2017 Auburn Tigers.
Georgia Southern and their wretched triple option offense are triple-optioning ever closer, but standing in their way of a huge upset will be an actual, real-life top fifteen home team at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
This afternoon the first rankings of the season came out — the ever-flawed Amway Coaches Poll is first off the block. Obviously we know that the Coaches Poll is rarely, if ever, actually filled out by the head coaches themselves. More often than not, it’s some SID putting together their rankings (and forgetting to put Duke at #25). Tossing aside everything that’s wrong with preseason rankings in general (just look at the accuracy of the SEC preseason media picks), WE’VE STILL GOT COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS TO PORE OVER AND DISCUSS.
So, without further ado...
Auburn sits at number 13. That’s lucky number 13. Sean White 13.
Time for snap judgments on the other noteworthy entries here.
Alabama and Ohio State are the top two. As painful as it is, the Tide were a second away from winning another national championship, and until they put together an 8-4 year, they’ll be right there to start every season. Ohio State gets JT Barrett back, but Auburn hung with the national champs much better than Urban did.
Florida State’s got all the talent in the world, maybe one of the only teams in the country that can match Bama in that category, but they’ll have to put together their best game in a few years on opening weekend if they want to stay top five.
Clemson is still talented, but losing Deshaun Watson means this is a “you won the national championship last year” spot. I’ll take all my lumps if it’s true, but Dabo loses three games this year.
Oklahoma should be really good, and Baker Mayfield should be one of the top three frontrunners for the Heisman to start the year. Auburn was shorthanded in the Sugar Bowl without Sean White, but that Sooner offense is something else. How are they without Bob Stoops, though? We’ll see what effect he had on the team in four weeks time. Remember, they get Ohio State on September 9th.
I don’t know how LSU is ahead of Auburn... I guess the way these two finished the season is factored in, but LSU still doesn’t have a game-changer at quarterback, unless Matt Canada can work absolute magic. Georgia and Florida are likely in the right spots, but neither team excites all that much. Jacob Eason will be great, and the combo of Chubb/Michel is wonderful, but man they were pretty average last year and still couldn’t score on Auburn when we didn’t even make a first down in the second half. Florida under McElwain has looked like Bama Lite, winning the East and nine games but looking absolutely boring while doing it.
Looking at the bottom, former/current Texas coaches are making splashes. Yeah, USF won eleven in 2016, but I don’t think Charlie Strong is an upgrade over Willie Taggart. Tom Herman is an upgrade over Strong, but not enough to put Texas in the rankings to start.
I think West Virginia is underrated with Will Grier stepping into that Holgorsen offense, and Miami should win ten games minimum this year under Mark Richt. The Hurricanes have Bethune-Cookman, Arkansas State, Toledo, and Notre Dame in their non-conference schedule, and their only tough road games send them to Florida State and North Carolina. They’ll sneak by with one loss or less until November, and watch the carnage above them take place.
For Auburn, if the Tigers can somehow get by Clemson on the road, they’ll be in a wonderful position to shoot up the rankings. In the first weekend we’ll already have two top fifteen matchups, followed by three the next weekend. There are at least five teams in the top fifteen that’ll have a loss after two games. Auburn’s in a great spot right now (if not a little generous), and should enjoy it. Beating Clemson and possibly heading into October undefeated would likely put the Tigers inside the top five in time for that three game road swing.
Oh God, I’m getting way ahead of myself. Should be fun. It’ll be entertaining at the very least.