AP Picks Auburn to Play in CFB Playoff Championship: They’re Wrong


The Associated Press has predicted that Auburn will represent the Southeastern Conference in the 2016 rendition of the College Football Playoff, taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes for all the marbles.

Charlie Murphy knows what to say about this.

I’m stepping back, taking off my Bammer homer lenses, and trying to understand how they’ll get there over Alabama. I’ll be honest, I’m having a difficult time.

First and foremost, the Tigers don’t have a proven quarterback. Yes, yes, I know Alabama doesn’t either, but there’s no denying that the collective talent around each quarterback is much better in Tuscaloosa (check the recruiting records over the past four years).

And before I get too far, let me mention that the AP also has Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff, playing against the Auburn Tigers. So there’s that…

But anywho. Auburn isn’t getting out of their schedule unscathed or with only one loss, and that’s more than likely what it’s going to take to get to the College Football Playoff from the SEC. The schedule is brutal (and thus is life in the SEC West).


At Arkansas.

At Texas A&M.

Plus they finish the season with Georgia and Alabama only 14 days apart. Uh huh, didn’t think you’d find 11 wins floating around that schedule.

And if they do manage a trip to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game, that’s just another game against another good SEC opponent they’ll have to face.

Yes, the SEC is basically up for grabs, and when in doubt, pick the team with the most amount of talent from top to bottom on the roster. Hell, even Las Vegas agrees with me, releasing yesterday that Alabama is their favorite to win the conference.

Okay, I know what you’re saying, and yes I agree 100-percent. Auburn will be much better on the defensive side of the ball.

But only by default. Hard to get much worse than that defense last season.

Apr 18, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive coordinator Will Muschamp during the spring game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive lineman Carl Lawson will be back this season from a big knee injury, and you hope for his sake that he has a good season, but they’ll still have issues at both linebacker and in the secondary as they continue to build chemistry and learn new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp’s system.

“But it’s Gus Malzahn, if their defense improves even a little, that offense can win them 10 or 11 games by themselves.”

Yeah, with last year’s offense.

But it ain’t last year. This is this year.

Jeremy Johnson is a much better thrower than Nick Marshall was last season, true, but he’s less mobile, and as strange and contradictory as it may seem, Malzahn’s offense will be limited without the option of mobility at the quarterback position.

They lost Cameron Artis-Payne to the NFL. They lost Sammie Coates to the NFL. They lost Gabe Wright and Angelo Blackson on the defensive line to the NFL. They lost tight end C.J. Uzomah to the NFL.

They lost five games last season with that NFL talent.

Need I really say more?

There’s no way they win the SEC this season (especially from the same division as Alabama), and there’s an even less likelihood that they make the College Football Playoff.

So basically, what I’m saying is that their chances of getting to the national championship is slim to none.

Closer to “none.”