Setting up the Home Stretch
Earlier this year, when I broke down Auburn's schedule, I talked about from the Vandy game on being "the home stretch". It still is. However, it's now a little clearer just what Auburn needs to do (and in a sense "not do") to make it to Hoover. Still, let's take a minute and step back and remember one thing: Hoover is Auburn's goal. How they get there and what seed they are when they arrive don't matter; what matters is making it back to where they belong. Still, when you look at Auburn's remaining schedule and then you take a peek at what the other SEC teams have to face; well, you get nothing but hope at this point. Maybe I've been a little too harsh when it comes to calling some of these "make or break weekends", but I'd rather be cautious then cocky. Auburn is not in Hoover, yet, but they are still looking pretty good.
|RANK||SCHOOL||SEC RECORD||REMAINING SEC SCHEDULE||C.O.S.W.L*|
|1||Arkansas||12-3||@UF, AU, @UM, SC, @VU||45-30|
|2||Carolina||11-4||@UGA, UA, @UK, @ARK, UF||35-40|
|2||LSU||11-4||@UM, @UF, VU, @UK, MSU||36-39|
|4||Florida||10-5||Ark, LSU, @UA, UGA, @SC||42-33|
|5||Vandy||8-7||@UT, UGA, @LSU, @MSU, ARK||35-40|
|5||Auburn||8-7||UK, @Ark, MSU, UT, @UM||34-41|
|5||Ole Miss||8-7||LSU, @MSU, ARK, @UA, AU||41-34|
|8||Kentucky||5-10||@AU, @UT, SC, LSU, @UGA||37-38|
|8||Alabama||5-10||MSU, @SC, UF, UM, @UT||38-37|
|8||Miss St||5-10||@UA, UM, @AU, VU, @LSU||40-35|
|11||UT||4-11||VU, UK, @UGA, @AU, UA||29-46|
|12||UGA||3-12||SC, @VU, UT, @UF, UK||38-37|
*Combined Opponent SEC W-L
What a cluster right now. You've got four teams that are essentially battling for NCAA Regional Hosting invitations, 3 teams battling for the middle 3 spots, and 3 teams all clawing for that final spot. Now, Auburn doesn't have the easiest schedule coming up, but it is one that is "favorable". Plus, with the top team (Arkansas) playing the hardest remaining schedule there will definitely be some shake out in the next 2 weeks.
Playing two of the bottom three SEC teams at home is favorable. Finishing the season with an Ole Miss team due for an implosion (which will not be pretty, but I'll go ahead and call it now), is favorable. Battling an Arkansas team in Fayetteville is tough. However, all we really need to do is steal 1 from the Hogs and it will be an Arkansas team coming off a big Florida roadtrip.
Auburn still has a few question marks, but for now. All signs still point to Hoover.