Very few people gave the Auburn Tigers a chance on Saturday against the number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs, and the Tigers not only won- they won in dominant fashion. A 40-17 stomping of the top ranked Bulldogs proved that Auburn is a legitimate contender to knock off Alabama in the Iron Bowl. The clear question after Auburn snapped their four year skid to Georgia was this: If Auburn were to beat Alabama and Georgia again in the SEC Championship game, would the Tigers get into the 2017 College Football Playoff despite being a two loss team? I believe Auburn would get in, possibly along with a one loss Alabama depending on how undefeated Wisconsin’s season plays out. However, Auburn still has a major hurtle in the top ranked Crimson Tide at Jordan-Hare. Hopefully Auburn can continue to move the ball well on offence and carry some momentum after the Louisiana Monroe game on Saturday (11:00 kick on ESPN2).
The biggest game to watch on tomorrow’s slate will be the Wisconsin-Michigan game. Wisconsin is still a sharp undefeated team, but they continue to get criticism from the media for having such a weak strength of schedule. Miami proved last week after their 41-8 blowout win over Notre Dame that they were a really good team and got rewarded with a number three ranking from the College Football Playoff. If Wisconsin can win convincingly on Saturday, they might be able to shake off some critics. I believe that a one loss SEC or ACC team is more deserving of being in the playoff, but if the Badgers win the BIG10 and go undefeated, it will be impossible to leave them out of the playoff.
Hard to believe that college basketball is already back, but it’s finally still here. Auburn fans aren’t nearly as excited about this year’s team as before the scandals came out, and that’s unfortunate that so much interest in the team was lost through that. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of distractions around the basketball program, especially after a report of Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl failing to corporate with school officials in their investigation, but Auburn has looked sharp in their first two games of the season. Bryce Brown looked impressive on Thursday, going five for 14 from the floor with 15 points while true freshman Chuma Okeke recorded 11 points in his 19 minutes of playing time. The real test for the Tigers will come when conference play begins.
Round two of the AHSAA playoffs are set to take place on Friday night, and there are a few interesting games on tap. In 7A action, Auburn High (two seed in region two) will make the long trip south to Mobile to take on last year’s 7A runner-up McGill-Toolen (one seed in region one). McGill-Toolen is a state powerhouse and have a perfect 11-0 record and are coming off a 35-14 victory over the four seed in region two, Jefferson Davis. Auburn is also coming off a nice performance over the three seed in region one Davidson last Friday night- a team that is thought by many to have the best defense in the state. Auburn won 23-7 on an extremely solid defensive performance of their own and hope that their defense will continue to play well at “The Lip”. The Auburn High Football broadcast team of Scott Bagwell, Blake Ramsey, and Noah Gardner will have coverage of the game from Mobile will beginning at 6:30 tonight on Wings 94.3. The game will also be streaming online at wingsfm.com and the Wings 94.3 app.
Another 7A game to keep an eye on is the Hoover- Hewitt-Trussville game in Trussville. The nine time state champion Hoover Buccaneers have always been a state powerhouse, but after finishing the regular season with three losses, including one to Thompson, they aren’t looking quite as strong this year. Hewitt on the other hand is looking very strong and are still sporting an undefeated record after their win over number eight Spain Park in round one. Hewitt finished the regular season ranked third in the ASWA High School Football Poll and try to take down Hoover with their incredible offense which is averaging about 47 points a game this season.
In 6A action, Opelika High (three seed in region three) is coming off a very interesting 15-5 win over Daphne on Friday night and will host Park Crossing (one seed in region two) at Bulldog Stadium.