Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, in an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”, said Tuesday¬†that two teams from the SEC West will be deserving of a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

“Last year two teams from the West would have been in the Final Four,” Malzahn said. “I look for the same thing. It’s the best conference, best division in college football.”

Auburn begins a gauntlet stretch of its schedule – it faces six ranked opponents in eight weeks – with a matchup against No. 15 LSU Saturday night in Auburn.

“You have to take it one game at a time,” Malzahn said. “We have LSU, one of the better teams in the country. We have to play our best football and put our focus just on them.”

Currently, five teams are in contention for the College Football Playoff. Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Mississippi State – all undefeated – are still alive in the SEC West. Alabama travels to Oxford to face the Rebels on Saturday afternoon, while Texas A&M also visits the Magnolia State for a date with Mississippi State. Auburn, as mentioned, plays host to LSU.

The race in the SEC West, and subsequently for the College Football Playoff, will begin to shake out this week. While a loss does not necessarily bury a team’s hopes, it’s a huge setback. The SEC’s Western Division has a great chance to impress the committee this weekend.