They are the defending SEC champs. They came one defensive stop away from winning the 2013 national title.
Yet the Auburn Tigers are seemingly a forgotten team in the SEC in 2014. The story of the season, until recently, had been the improbable rise of the Mississippi schools. Ole Miss’ recent losses — one to Auburn on Saturday night — has altered script, but Mississippi State is still undefeated and the darling of the college football word. Alabama, despite being ranked below Auburn, is far more-talked about than its in-state rivals from western part of the state. Many people, including the boys in Vegas, consider the Crimson Tide to be the best team in the nation — despite the fact that Alabama lost at Ole Miss, a team that now has two losses.
Auburn, meanwhile, simply goes about its business against an absolutely brutal schedule that features road games at Kansas State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. The Tigers have navigated this slate with only one blemish to date, a 38–23 setback at Mississippi State. This team has proven its worth on many occasions this fall, beginning with a 24-point win over Arkansas in Week 1 and continuing with solid road wins at K-State and Ole Miss and a dominant win at home over LSU.
Auburn will once again be included among the all-important top four when the CFB selection committee releases its top 25 on Tuesday night. The Tigers won’t be among the top two spots — it’s hard to argue that they should be ranked ahead of Mississippi State and Florida State — but they have built a résumé that should leave doubt they are the best one-loss team in the nation.