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Auburn Rises in AP Poll

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Gus Malzahn has another top ten team.

Oregon v Auburn Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Auburn is back in the top ten.

After the 27-21 comeback win over Oregon in Arlington on Saturday night, the Auburn Tigers vaulted six spots in the AP Poll, moving just into the top ten at #10. With the jump, the Tigers have now been ranked in the top ten at some point during each of Gus Malzahn’s seven seasons on the Plains.

In 2013, the Tigers finished #2 in the country after reaching the national championship game. Each of the next two seasons, Auburn started ranked 6th in the AP Poll. 2016 saw Auburn reach #8 after six straight midseason wins, and the Tigers were as high as 4th in 2017 after winning the SEC West. Finally, Auburn spent the first six weeks of the season in the AP Poll top ten before losing at Mississippi State.

In a familiar tale, Auburn’s near the top of the rankings, but still has several opponents ranked ahead of them. Here’s the whole poll:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State
  6. LSU
  7. Michigan
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Texas
  10. Auburn
  11. Florida
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Utah
  14. Washington
  15. Penn State
  16. Oregon
  17. Wisconsin
  18. UCF
  19. Michigan State
  20. Iowa
  21. Syracuse
  22. Washington State
  23. Stanford
  24. Boise State
  25. Nebraska/Iowa State (tie)

As you can see, Auburn’s road isn’t easy. We still get to see the Tigers take on #2, #3, #6, #11, and #12, with three of those games coming on the road. Furthermore, Mississippi State sits just on the cusp of the top 25 (they would be #28 if the poll extended that far).

For the second season in a row, Auburn beat a team that’s a favorite for the PAC-12 championship, and we’ll see if this season bodes a little better than last season. Auburn’s issues in game one were all somewhat fixed throughout the course of the contest, but they were still visible and worrisome. With games coming up against Tulane and Kent State, there’s a good chance for the Tigers to watch some of the other top teams around the country cannibalize themselves.

For example, this weekend, one of #6 LSU/#9 Texas and #1 Clemson/#12 Texas A&M will fall. In two more weeks, either #3 Georgia or #8 Notre Dame will vacate the top ten after a loss. Auburn just needs to mature a bit more over the next two weeks before the monster road trip to College Station on September 21st.