Auburn starts as preseason top 5 team, according to the coaches poll
The Auburn Tigers report to camp today and start practice tomorrow as the No. 5 ranked team in the country, according to the Amway Coaches Poll which was released Thursday afternoon.
Defending national champion Florida State is No. 1.
A total of 7 SEC teams made the coaches poll. In addition to Auburn, Alabama is No.2, South Carolina is No. 9, Georgia is No. 12, LSU is No. 13, Mississippi is No. 19 and Texas A&M is No. 20.
The Tigers will play the other 6 ranked SEC teams. They ‘ll face No. 2 Alabama, No. 12 Georgia and No. 19 Mississippi on the road while hosting No.9 South Carolina, No. 13 LSU and No. 20 Texas A&M. In addition, Auburn will face a seventh ranked school, No. 21 Kansas State, on the road. Had Auburn’s schedule been less daunting, the Tigers could have been ranked as high as No. 3.
The No. 5 Tigers are riding the momentum of last year. Auburn’s improbable run to the BCS National Championship game turned the college football world upside down. The Tigers were an after thought when the preseason polls were released last season. It wasn’t until a 6-0 start that included a 30-24 win over No.24 ranked Ole Miss that the Tigers became ranked. A week later ranked No. 24, the nation became completely aware of how good Auburn was. They beat Johnny Manziel and No. 7 Texas A&M in College Station 45-41.
The last time the Tigers were ranked in the Top 10 in the preseason coaches poll was 2006. Auburn was preseason No. 6 and finished the season No. 8 going 11-2 that year. A 27-10 loss to eventual SEC West champion Arkansas midway through the 2006 season followed by a loss to Georgia put Auburn in the Cotton Bowl.
Ending up in the Cotton Bowl this season would be considered a disappointment for the Tigers after being 13 seconds away from national championship last year. Expectations are high with the Tigers returning multiple staters, most importantly quarterback Nick Marshall.
Over the last six year the coaches haven’t done a good job predicting what the Tigers would do. In 2008, the coaches ranked Auburn 11th and they finished the season 5-7. In 2010 they started out 23rd and won the national championship. In 2012 they opened up at No. 25 and had one of the worst seasons in the school history. And, of course, there was last year.
The start of the college football season is exactly four weeks away from today with 13 games scheduled on Thursday Aug. 28. Three SEC schools are in action that night and will be showcased in a television double-header on the new SEC Network. At 6 p.m. ET its a meaningful conference game right off the bat with South Carolina hosting Texas A&M. SEC Nation, the new SEC Network’s traveling pregame show originating, will be broadcasting live outside Williams-Brice Stadium. Then at 9:15 p.m. ET the Vanderbilt Commodores, under the direction of new head coach Derek Mason, host Temple.
Auburn opens up their season on the Plains, a SEC West battle against unranked Arkansas Aug. 30. Game time is 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on SEC Network.