This week is a week of seemingly uneven matchups, especially our Game of the Week, the SEC pairing of #19 Ole Miss at Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. While only one of the teams is ranked, the latest chapter in this storied rivalry has big implications.
Ole Miss is coming off of a big 23-3 win against Texas A&M last week; the Rebels are currently sitting at 6-2 and are 3rd in the West division behind LSU and Alabama. They have yet to play the former, and they beat the latter earlier this season 43-37.
While Ole Miss appears to be the better team, they are going on the road to face a team in a desperate do-or-die situation: Auburn needs a win in order to even be close to bowl eligibility. Since last week’s loss to Arkansas in the 4th overtime period(!), Auburn is now cooling its heels in the cellar of the SEC West – a long fall from the #6 ranking they flashed at the beginning of the season.
Auburn leads the overall series 29-10, but are still the underdog this week as their season record is 4-3, 1-3 in SEC. After a rough start to the season, the Tigers showed improvement last week against Arkansas. But then, so did Ole Miss, by keeping A&M to 192 yards of offense, the first time the Aggies had been under 200 yards since their super embarrassing 59-0 loss to Alabama last year.
Plus, Ole Miss will probably have a chip on their shoulder from their last meet up. Last season, the Rebels lost at home and lost their star receiver, Laquon Treadwell, to an injury on a play that probably would’ve won the game. This year, Laquon is back and probably ready to give the Tigers a little dose of the medicine they gave A&M last week.
Though Auburn quarterback Sean White seems confident that Auburn can win out to finish the season 9-3, we’re not so sure. Beyond this week, Texas A&M (still tough despite last week’s loss), Georgia, and Alabama still lie ahead. It’s the sort of optimism you look at with a cocked head and a no-teeth smile that unmistakably says, “Bless your heart.”
Other games on Sling TV this weekend (All times Eastern):
Louisville at Wake Forest, 7pm, ESPN2
East Carolina at Connecticut, 7pm, ESPNU
Wyoming at Utah State, 10:15pm, ESPN2
UCF at Cincinnati, 12pm, ESPNews
#19 Ole Miss at Auburn, 12pm, ESPN
Illinois at Penn State, 12pm, ESPN2
Nebraska at Purdue, 12pm, ESPNU
Texas A&M at South Carolina, 12pm, SEC Network
Maryland at #10 Iowa, 3:30pm, ESPN2
#12 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 3:30pm, ESPN
#3 Clemson at NC State, 3:30pm, ESPN2
Boise State at UNLV, 3:30pm, ESPNU
Tulsa at SMU, 4pm, ESPNews
Arkansas at Tennessee-Martin, 4pm, SEC Network
Vanderbilt at #18 Houston, 7pm, ESPN2
Miami (FL) at #22 Duke, 7pm, ESPNU
#15 Michigan at Minnesota, 7pm, ESPN
Kentucky at Tennessee, 7:30pm, SEC Network
#8 Standford at Washington State, 10:30pm, ESPN