Phil Steele released his updated projections for the preseason AP Top 25 on Wednesday, ranking Auburn No. 4. If that pick turns out to be accurate, it will be the Tigers' highest preseason ranking in the AP Poll since starting the year No. 3 in 1990.
Those Tigers went 8-3-1 and defeated Indiana, 27-23, in the Peach Bowl. Pat Dye's penultimate Auburn team peaked at No. 2, but tied Tennessee, 26-26, and fell to Florida (48-7), Southern Miss (13-12) and Alabama (16-7). Hopefully, 2014 will yield better results.
Yes, this is early April, and yes, this is just one man's projection of what a preseason poll -- a poll that doesn't technically count toward anything -- might look like. But, any excuse to get in a little offseason Barnin' can't be passed up. The rankings aren't a reflection of Steele's opinion, just his best guess as to what AP voters will do.
His projected top five includes Florida State, Alabama (lol) and Oregon at 1, 2 and 3, and Oklahoma is just behind Auburn at No. 5. Six other SEC teams made the cut for the rankings: No. 10 South Carolina, No. 11 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, No. 18 Missouri, No. 19 Texas A&M and No. 20 Ole Miss. Of the seven ranked SEC teams, other than Auburn, six are on the Tigers' schedule in 2014.
Steele's complete projected AP Poll is as follows:
|Projected AP Rank||School||2013 Record||2013 Final AP Rank|