Auburn’s on the outside looking in, knowing it’s going to take a whole lot of chaos to revive the team’s postseason dreams.
But one way or the other, the Tigers have the chance to create some of that chaos themselves.
They’ve done it before.
Auburn was ranked No. 11 in the first College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, outside the ‘final four’ picture with rival Georgia ranked No. 6 and Iron Bowl enemy Alabama ranked No. 3.
Auburn lost control of its destiny when the team lost to LSU, now No. 2 in the CFP rankings, 23-20 on Oct. 26. Auburn’s outside the chase in the SEC West division standings, needing its powerhouse foes in Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge to lose multiple games down the stretch for Auburn to even have a chance at making the SEC Championship Game. There are some unlikely paths to the playoff for Auburn that can still be traced for hopefuls, prescribing that Auburn win out, that several more upsets shake the landscape, and that two SEC teams make the playoffs for the second time in its six-year history.
But for now, when the often-discussed playoff picture comes up in talk over the Plains, Auburn will just have to embrace its role as a spoiler — and its chance to play spoiler against two of its most bitter rivals.
Auburn hosts Georgia on Nov. 16 and hosts Alabama on Nov. 30.
Auburn’s cherished its chance to throw wrenches in their seasons before. ESPN postseason prognosticator Bill Connelley fondly embraces the nickname ‘Chaos Auburn’ for a reason. In 2017, the last time Georgia and Alabama came to Jordan-Hare, Auburn beat both when both were ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Lay the numbers out: In the last six times Georgia and Alabama have come to Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn’s won four of those games, and it won three of those games when the opposing team held No. 1 rankings.
That seems unheard of — but at this point, it seems like the unheard of has somehow become Auburn’s M.O. in November.
In 2013, it seemed unlikely Auburn could make the two-team BCS National Championship Game with No. 1 Alabama coming to the Plains and more unbeatens out there in the college football. The next week after Auburn beat Alabama, Auburn beat Missouri in the SEC Championship Game, and Ohio State suffered an unexpected defeat in the B1G Championship Game to clear Auburn’s path.
The fans rolled Toomer’s Corner twice that day.
Auburn’s on the outside looking in again this season.
But rivalry row still runs through Jordan-Hare.
And there are still plenty of chances left out there for Auburn sent those fans running to Toomer’s Corner.