Yesterday hurt, no doubt. However, it only needs to be the kind of pain that teaches.
That’s what happened last year, at least. Auburn lost at LSU and then went on a tear, winning out during the regular season, and coming within a hair of making the playoff. Now, the pressure’s off for perfection, and Auburn can focus on being Auburn. Get the stumble out of the way early, we’ve still got a win over a #6 team, and there’s plenty of opportunity to move up in the polls.
Thankfully, it seems like many who voted in the various polls didn’t put a lot of stock in the loss for Auburn. Maybe they saw some of the officiating unevenness. Maybe they put some weight on how LSU won. However they did it, they didn’t punish Auburn for yesterday’s defeat.
In the Associated Press rankings, Auburn dropped only two spots from #7 to #9, while LSU jumped up to #6. Now, Auburn has four top ten opponents on the schedule, with Alabama #1, Georgia at #2 (having jumped Clemson), LSU at #6, and Washington at #10. Let’s not forget that there’s a trip to Starkville to face off against #14 Mississippi State in three weeks, and then #22 Texas A&M visits Jordan-Hare in November.
It was a rough schedule and it just got rougher.
In the Coaches’ Poll, Auburn got a bit more punishment, dropping four spots to #11. LSU again is #6, with Bama #1, Georgia #3, Mississippi State #14, and Texas A&M #22.
And in Bill Connelly’s S&P rankings, Auburn actually moved up despite the loss, and is still several places ahead of LSU.
The point is, there wasn’t much of a hit losing this game. Most people believe that Auburn is still a fringe top ten team, and with the slate that’s laid out in front of us, there’s plenty of room to move up. Auburn will get another shot in a few weeks with a trip to Starkville for what should be a matchup between two top eleven or twelve teams. A win there puts Auburn right back where they were before the loss to LSU. Then of course there’s the November stretch with A&M, Georgia, and Alabama. Now there’s no room for error, and Auburn should be big LSU fans the rest of the season. After the bye week Alabama enjoyed last year on the way to the playoff, that should be the goal. If you can win a championship by playing one fewer game than everyone else, then have at it.
Arkansas this coming weekend at 6:30 pm CST, let’s rebound against the Hogs. War Eagle!