The SEC east is figured out. Georgia has punched its ticket to the SEC Championship for the fourth time in five years. Florida and Kentucky, once thought to be challengers for the spot, had their chances personally squashed by the Bulldogs, without hardly a fight.
But things are different in the wild wild SEC west. Five teams are still somewhat alive for a spot in the SEC Championship. With four weeks remaining in the season, it’s gonna be a shootout amongst the teams for a bid.
And Auburn can work as a lone ranger.
The Tigers can secure a bid to the SEC Championship if they win the remaining four games on their schedule. Granted, three of which are against Top 25 opponents, but that’s nothing obscure for an Auburn season.
Bryan Harsin’s “1-0” mentality on the season has come to fruition, as each game has heightened importance down the final stretch. There is little room for error for Harsin’s team. A loss doesn’t necessarily eliminate Auburn, but it takes the path out of its hands.
That doesn’t change when the Tigers travel to the Lone Star State to battle No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday. It’s the only matchup in this weekend’s slate of games with two ranked teams and the conference will be watching.
Even with two conference losses this season, Texas A&M is still alive in the hunt for the west division title. A win against Auburn leaves only Alabama with one conference loss if the Crimson Tide handles business against LSU this weekend.
How important is that one loss to Texas A&M? Incredibly important.
The one loss Alabama suffered this season was a road game to Texas A&M, meaning if Alabama ended the season with two losses and so did Texas A&M, the Aggies punch their ticket to Atlanta since they hold the tiebreaker.
Meanwhile, Auburn is looking to avoid the same fate that Alabama faced in Aggieland and remain a one-loss SEC team.
If this happens, it could potentially set up another winner-take-all Iron Bowl, with the winner keeping its playoff hopes alive and the loser watching its rival bask in the glory.
There’s only room for one sheriff in the west and the badge is there for the taking for Auburn