Auburn will play its third Top 10 team on Saturday, in the eighth game of the season. It’s nothing new to the Tigers, who have faced at least three Top 10 teams every season dating back to 2016.
The record isn’t pretty, at 4-16 overall in the last five years against Top 10 teams. Three of those wins are at Jordan-Hare Stadium, though, an advantage Auburn will have on Saturday when it hosts No. 10 Ole Miss.
Looking back into the series history, this is the biggest matchup that Auburn has ever had against Ole Miss when serving as the home team. It’s the first time in the 44-game series history that Ole Miss has ever traveled to Auburn as a Top 10 team.
The series has seen a top-10 Ole Miss team before, in a 2014 contest that pitted No. 4 Auburn against No. 7 Ole Miss. The Rebels were upset at home by the visiting Tigers, 35-31.
Auburn finding the win column against Ole Miss has been a common trend in the series, with the Tigers leading the all-time series 34-10. Not to mention they’re riding a five-game win streak against the Rebels.
Auburn has not been an easy place for Ole Miss to play historically, although the last win against the Tigers was in Jordan-Hare Stadium, a 27-19 victory in 2015.
The Rebels have defeated Auburn twice on the road since the start of the 21st century and are 3-16 at Auburn all-time.
However, the last two games have come down to the wire, with each being a one-score game. In 2019, No. 11 Auburn struggled against unranked Ole Miss, squeaking by with a 20-14 home win.
The Tigers never trailed in that game.
Last season, Auburn and Ole Miss engaged in a back-and-forth battle where there were five lead changes. Tank Bigsby scored from 18 yards out with 10 minutes to go in the fourth and Auburn took a 27-21 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
This prompted Ole Miss to take a one-point lead on its ensuing drive when Jerrion Ealy had a 5-yard run and Luke Logan kicked the extra point.
Auburn was on the verge of falling on the road to Ole Miss for the first time since 2012 and holding a losing record at the midway point of the season before Seth Williams saved the day.
On a first-and-10 from the Auburn 42-yard line, quarterback Bo Nix dropped back and threw a ball to Williams, who was covered in man defense. Williams, notorious for winning one-on-one matchups, caught the ball, dodged an Ole Miss defender and took off down the sideline for a 58-yard score with 1:11 remaining.
Auburn avoided defeat and won the game 35-28 for its fifth straight victory against the Rebels.
This year’s matchup is different. Rather than two mid-tier SEC West teams squaring off like last season, this weekend’s contest features two ranked teams still in the fight for a spot in the SEC Championship.
Outside of Alabama, the two schools are the only teams left in the SEC West with just one conference loss. If Auburn were to win on Saturday, the Tigers would control their destiny in the west. It makes the final game against one-loss Alabama potentially the deciding game for a bid to the SEC Championship.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss is hoping to stay as a one-loss team and keep their playoff hopes alive. The Rebels' lone loss this season is to Alabama, so the Crimson Tide hold the tiebreaker if both teams finish with one loss.
It's an important game for both teams, as a loss is detrimental to their chances of reaching the SEC Championship.