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Auburn stays at No. 32 in ESPN FPI ahead of bye week

The Auburn Tigers dropped their second game of the season last week, losing to top-ranked Georgia, 27-20. The loss sank Auburn’s overall record to 3-2, and their SEC record to 0-2.

Despite the loss, the ESPN Football Power Index has the Tigers ranked at the same spot they were heading into the week, at 32.

Auburn has slowly declined in FPI over the first half of the season, but a good performance, albeit a loss, against Georgia, saved them from falling any further.

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 the Tigers rank in several major categories in the ESPN FPI after their first loss of the season.

Overall Ranking: No. 32

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Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn dropped out of the top 30 in overall FPI for the first time in 2023 last week.

They have stayed outside of the top 30 again this week.

The Tigers were major home underdogs against Georgia, as BetMGM had them as 14-point home underdogs while the ESPN FPI gave them just an 18.1% chance to win the game.

The fact the Tigers played well enough to have a chance at an upset until the games’ final seconds was enough to keep them from falling further in the overall rankings.

Strength of Record: No. 41

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn’s ranking in strength on record tanked for the second straight week after back-to-back losses.

Things don’t get much easier for the Tigers after their bye week, as they travel to Death Valley to take on 23rd ranked LSU.

ESPN FPI is currently giving Auburn a 24.9% chance to upset LSU on the road, but those numbers are certain to change over the next 12 days.

 

 

Strength of Schedule: No. 11

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Up until this point, we’ve taken a look at Auburn’s strength of remaining schedule.

With five games now done with, it is more appropriate to judge teams on who’ve they’ve played instead of who they are going to play.

Outside of Auburn’s home-opener and homecoming games, their opponents have a combined record of 12-3. The worst of the trio is Cal, whom Auburn beat in a slugfest on the road.

Three SEC teams rank higher than Auburn in this category, as the FPI believes LSU, Ole Miss, and South Carolina have all had harder schedules than Hugh Freeze’s team.

 

Overall Efficiency: No. 39

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Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn also fell in the overall efficiency ratings for a third straight week.

The Tigers came into the week ranked 33 and have now fallen to No. 39 after their loss to UGA.

The Auburn offense was better against Georgia than it was against A&M, but they still didn’t manage to hit triple digits in passing yards.

Overall the Bulldogs out-gained the Tigers by 118 yards despite having possession for less time and running the same amount of offensive plays.

Offensive Efficiency: No. 88

Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser
Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn’s offense was absolutely pitiful against Texas A&M in week 4. They were better in week 5.

The Tiger’s entered week 5 ranked No. 98 in offensive efficiency, behind programs like James Madison, Boston College, and Troy.

They are still behind those teams heading into their bye week, but they were able to jump up with them, as Auburn’s struggling offense now checks in at No. 88.

Gunnar Britton, Avery Jones, Dillon Wade, and the rest of the Auburn line really stepped up against Georgia.

The unit did not commit a single penalty after Auburn committed 10 against A&M. More importantly, the Tigers actually outpaced the Bulldogs on the ground with 219 total rushing yards.

The 219 rushing yards allowed was the most by a UGA defense since 2018.

 

 

Defensive Efficiency: No. 11

Photo by Zach BlandAuburn Tigers
Photo by Zach BlandAuburn Tigers

The Auburn defense was more extraordinary than a chocolate Coke from Cheeburger-Cheeburger through three quarters on Saturday.

Auburn’s defense created two turnovers and had Georgia quarterback Carson Beck rattled through the first three quarters before ultimately getting gashed in the final frame.

In that final frame, Beck threw for 163 yards.

Brock Bowers, who Auburn had held in check for most of the game, had 131 of his 157 yards in the final quarter.

That final quarter is the sole reason Auburn’s defense fell in defensive efficiency this week.

 

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire