Auburn was nothing short of dominant Saturday against top-ranked Georiga. The Tigers won the game by a wide 40-17 margin, but when you consider the Bulldogs scored on their opening possession and once again in junk time, it puts into perspective the beating Auburn gave the Playoff Committee’s No. 1 team.
Having a full day to marinate on Auburn’s performance, SEC Network host Paul Finebaum came away believing the Tigers very well could be the nation’s best team. During his weekly Monday morning appearance on WJOX 94.5 FM radio program The Opening Drive, Finebaum recalled the quiet confidence he saw from Gus Malzahn leading up to the game.
“Gus Malzahn came by our (SEC Nation) set Friday, and he was quietly confident,” Finebaum said on the air. “He can be a little introverted, but he was like, ‘Hey, we got some things up his sleeve, we know what we are doing.’ I think that translates to his team. There was an air of confidence all week long.”
Finebaum then went a step further, calling Auburn perhaps the best team in the nation — even better than Alabama.
“When they play on all cylinders, they’re one of the best teams — I don’t know, maybe the best team in the country. They would have beaten Alabama Saturday, they would have beaten any team that lined up in Jordan-Hare Stadium,” he said. “Now the question is can they play at that level two weeks from now? If they can, they are in a position to get to the Playoff.”
Finebaum isn’t alone in his belief that Auburn should be able to challenge the Tide. This time a week ago, Auburn was a 10-point underdog to Alabama but are currently only a 3-point underdog at home against the Crimson Tide. The winner of the upcoming Iron Bowl will head to Atlanta to face Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.