Auburn showed signs of strength in several categories. This week, the Tigers crack the overall top 25, boast a top-25 offense, and a top-50 defense.
The FPI ranks each college football team by a variety of factors; Strength of record, strength of schedule, offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, and overall efficiency.
Here’s a look at where Auburn ranks in several major categories in the ESPN FPI ahead of a West Coast trip to California.
Overall Ranking: No. 22
The Auburn Tigers ranked 32 in overall FPI after the small “week 0” slate of games. After the massive week one slate featuring loses by Clemson, TCU, and Texas Tech, the model seems to like Hugh Freeze’s team a little bit better, as the Tigers are now ranked 22 overall.
Strength of Record: No. 54
ESPN’s FPI gave Auburn a 93.5% chance of winning on Saturday, so it’s no surprise the index doesn’t give them much credit for the win.
It’s hard to put much stock, if any, in this ranking until Auburn’s schedule starts to get a little more challenging.
That could come as early as next week, as the FPI analytics for Auburn’s week two matchup give them a 45.2% chance to beat Cal as of Tuesday.
Strength of Remaining Schedule: No. 2
Auburn came into the season ranked #2 in strength of remaining schedule, and they remain there after week one.
It’s very likely the Tigers have the number one strength of remaining schedule after that game is played.
Overall Efficiency: No. 13
If there was one word to describe Auburn’s week one win, it would be efficient. That’s why it’s no surprise they rank in the top 15 in overall efficiency in ESPN FPI after week one.
Auburn ended up with 191 more total yards, 16 more first downs, 33 less penalty yards, and 45 more points than UMass on Saturday. That alone is impressive, but what makes those numbers even more phenomenal is the fact the Tigers only held possession for 3:10 more than the Minutemen.
In other words, when Auburn got the ball they did something good with it, and when UMass had the ball the Auburn defense made sure to take it away.
Offensive Efficiency: No. 24
The Hugh Freeze offensive explosion was on full display in week one for Auburn.
Payton Thorne looked spectacular in his debut, throwing for 141 yards and a touchdown. His backup, Robby Ashford, was an even bigger star, rushing for 51 yards and three touchdowns. Transfer offensive lineman Gunner Britton had such a great game the SEC named him o-lineman of the week.
In total, Auburn threw for 203 yards, rushed for 289, collected 27 first downs, and scored seven offensive touchdowns.
Pretty efficient if you ask me.
Defensive Efficiency: No. 44
Auburn’s defense was good in week one. The unit held UMass to just seven points in the first three quarters before giving up a long touchdown in garbage time in the middle of the fourth.
The Tiger’s defense also picked up four sacks in the game and turned UMass over twice.
One of those turnovers turned into a touchdown, when cornerback Jaylin Simpson took a wobbly Taisun Phommachanh pass for a 50 yard house call.
Auburn’s defense played well, but they will have their hands full next week against a Cal team that just put up 669 total yards and 58 points on the road against North Texas.