There was a time at the start of the season when things were really grim for Auburn. In fact, there was a time when college football odds had them straying even further down the polls than they had already fallen.
And there is a reason why things have looked so grim for the team. Coach Gus Malzahn probably had a few sleepless night, what with all the pressure he must have been fielding, not only from his superiors who expected him to justify the money they were paying him but also fans who expected so much more from Auburn than they were getting.
However, maybe it was premature to make pronunciations about the team so early in the season because they look like they have begun turning things around. It would still be premature to make pronunciations about Auburn’s future.
Even the positive outcomes they have experienced lately do not automatically assure them a successful end once the season closes. However, Malzahn cannot be faulted for breathing a sigh of relief now that the team has begun winning.
Things began looking up when the Tigers traveled to Starkville for the First SEC road game of the year. The Tigers accrued their third straight win. The victory, while not completely assuaging the nerves of all Auburn fans out there, was enough to drive voters to push the team into the Top 25 of the latest Associated press Poll.
The Tigers received a surprising 166 points in the Week 7 poll. When all was said and done, they had come in at Number 23 in the entire country; and everyone agrees that their victory over Mississippi State in Starkville was the primary reason the polls seemed to favor them.
It is easy to scoff at these polling results, especially when you take into account how well Auburn has performed in the past; however, you have to remember that the side was Number 31 just last week. They only drew a paltry 46 votes, which is poor by any standards you look at.
Of all the teams playing, there are 7 SEC teams which are ranked this week. They include Alabama, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida and Arkansas.
Auburn had a terrible start to the season. Their loss to Texas A&M came after another loss to Clemson. The three consecutive victories they accrued in recent times couldn’t have come at a better time.
The league is set up in such a way that you have to work hard to earn every single thing you get. Gus Malzahn understands that much, which is why he is pushing his team to try to get better with each passing week.
But they are not the only ones striving for better results. Every team in the league is working to improve and that only makes the challenge that much greater. Auburn hasn’t been ranked since last September. Right now, they are at the fringe of the Top 25; and maybe they cannot be faulted for losing to opponents like Clemson and Texas A&M.
None the less, they need to keep building on this momentum.