This is part of a daily series this week on each SEC team’s bowl possibilities and likely destination in prep for Sunday’s College Football Bowl Selection Show.

The defending SEC champions may have fallen victim to one of the nation’s toughest schedules at 8-4 this season, but Gus Malzahn’s team is still one of the league’s more attractive options when it comes to bowl placement.

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Auburn’s loss to Alabama over the weekend proved the Tigers still had spunk despite a treacherous second half following a 5-0 start. Positive momentum’s crucial heading into the offseason for a program that’s played in two national championship games since 2010.

“Here’s the deal with our goal,” Malzahn said. “Our goal was to win 10 games and we didn’t do it. We’re going to go to a bowl and we’ll do everything in our power to lead these seniors out. But I will tell you this: the future is bright. We’ll rebound and we’ll be ready next year.”

Recent Auburn bowl history

  • 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl: vs. Clemson, 23-20, Win
  • 2009 Outback Bowl: vs. Northwestern, 38-35, Win
  • 2010 BCS National Championship: vs. Oregon, 22-19, Win
  • 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl: vs. Virginia, 42-23, Win
  • 2013 BCS National Championship: vs. Florida State, 34-31, Loss

Possible bowl destinations

Auburn’s one of four SEC teams competing for major bowl games behind Alabama and Mississippi State, New Year’s Six locks from the Western Division. With four losses, the Tigers could fall into a ‘pool of six’ game behind Ole Miss if the Rebels are selected as a New Year’s Six at large.

If that happens, the Outback Bowl, considered the SEC’s next-best bowl after the Citrus, is the most likely destination for the Tigers. The Outback Bowl has selected a team from East three times since Auburn’s last trip to Tampa on Jan. 1, 2010, but the SEC decides the matchups with the bowl committees this season.

Bowl pairings will be announced on Sunday.