By Steve Ungrey on August 3, 2014
It was a whirlwind of a season last year for the Auburn football team, as it rose to prominence at year's end with a game for the ages against Alabama and a valiant try to wrestle the national championship away from Florida State. But what will the Tigers do for an encore? Let's look at the 2014 schedule.
The Tigers open up against a Southeastern Conference opponent when they face the Razorbacks at home. Auburn owns an 11-10-1 record against Arkansas, but the Razorbacks won the last game at Auburn by a 24-7 margin. Auburn would not want to open up the 2014 campaign with a surprising loss like this.
The Tigers stay in Auburn for their next contest, which comes against a first-time opponent. Auburn and San Jose State have never seen each other, but San Jose State will bring a flashy, West-Coast style brand of play to the table. This has the potential to be a high-scoring contest if the Auburn defense doesn't show up to play.
Auburn gets a week off before it prepares for an early-week contest, as the Tigers play a Thursday-night game under the lights in Manhattan. Auburn has won all three meetings dating back to the 1978 season, and this game should not be an exception. Kansas State is getting better, but isn't up to the level of play Auburn sees on a weekly basis.
Auburn returns home for its Homecoming preparations the final week of September, and its opponent is one Auburn has not seen since 2009. It should be of little consequence, however. The Tigers are 11-0-1 against Louisiana Tech in meetings dating back to the early 1940s, so Auburn has a solid chance of staying unbeaten through four games.
Assuming Auburn is unbeaten up to now, this is the first big contest the Tigers will have this season. Auburn is 20-26-1 against LSU and lost last year's contest to its opponent, 35-21, at a time when LSU was the No. 6 team in the country. This game could be a handful, so don't be surprised if Auburn drops one here.
Auburn takes a trip to Starkville this week to face a Mississippi State squad that it barely beat a year ago. Auburn hung on to win 24-20 and improve its overall mark to 61-24-2 in games against this team dating back to 1905. The game is in enemy territory, and it could be a toss-up just because the Tigers were so flat a year ago.
Back home in Auburn, the Tigers prepare for what is always a tough SEC test. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier must be ripping his hair out on how to beat Auburn, which holds a 9-1-1 overall record against the Gamecocks. The last time these teams met was 2011, when Auburn upset then 10th-ranked South Carolina 16-13.
For the second time in three games, Auburn travels across state lines to face a Mississippi squad. Auburn upset then-ranked Ole Miss 30-22 in an October game a year ago, and this was around the time the Tigers were starting to put it together. Don't be surprised if this is a close game, but if Auburn is on a roll, again the Tigers should prevail.
Last year's game sent stress throughout the entire Auburn fanbase and shock waves through the SEC community. Auburn figured out how to beat Johnny Manziel in a wild 45-41 thriller. Manziel is gone and A&M should come back down to earth a bit. Auburn is 1-3 against Texas A&M and this should be the second win.
Another road trip has Auburn headed east to Athens for a grudge match battle between the Tigers and Georgia. Auburn was the seventh-ranked team in the country by the time these two squads met a year ago, and 25th-ranked Georgia almost knocked off the Tigers in Auburn before losing 43-38. Auburn is 55-54-8 in one of its oldest series in school history, which dates back to 1892.
Consider this game the calm before the storm. Anyone thinking this game could be a "trap" game, think again. Auburn is 26-0-1 against this team in its series, including a 35-16 victory back in 2011. This game should be as one-sided, which sets the table for the climactic game of the season.
Tuscaloosa plays host to the annual "Iron Bowl," and unless you were hiding in a cave, you had to have seen last year's thrilling finish. The missed field goal returned for a touchdown resulted in a 34-28 Auburn victory and a finish destined to be among the tops of all time in college football annals. Auburn is 35-42-1 in this series, dating back to 1893.
July 31, 2015 by Josh VanDyke
After an 11-2 season, the Spartans look to take the next step and challenge for a national title. There are five factors that might help them get there. Read More
July 31, 2015 by Tyler Brett
Despite winning the division last year, the preseason Pac-12 poll picked Arizona to finish fourth in the South with no first place votes. Read More
How will Indiana handle losing their leading returning receiver J-Shun Harris to a knee injury? Read More
July 31, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The 2015 Preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll was released on Thursday. Read More
July 31, 2015 by Jason Shawley
Penn State has a collection of young, talented receivers, though they'll need production from their tight ends if they expect to have a bounceback year on offense. Read More
Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy split time at quarterback last year for the Badgers, and though both are returning in 2015, expect junior Bart Houston to contend as well under head coach Paul Chryst. Read More
July 30, 2015 by Seth Lassen
Are we about to witness a dynasty in Columbus? Read More
July 30, 2015 by Tyler Brett
Can Tennessee live up to the expectations of a preseason top-25 ranking in year three under Butch Jones? Read More