Auburn’s chance of making a bowl game has increased drastically over the last two weeks, and the experts at ESPN are confident that the Tigers will end the season with a respectable bowl bid.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach updated their bowl projections following week 10’s action, and both have given Auburn a favorable bowl outlook.
Bonagura’s prediction is the best one that Auburn has received to date. According to Bonagura’s calculations, the Tigers are poised to meet Wisconsin in the Reliaquest Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, Florida. Heading into week 11, Wisconsin is 5-4 under first-year head coach Luke Fickell.
Auburn has an immense history with the Badgers in bowl games. Auburn and Wisconsin have played three times in bowl season, with the Badgers winning the last two games in 2006 and 2015. Auburn’s lone win over the Badgers came in 2003 when Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown each rushed for two scores in the Tigers’ 28-14 win over Wisconsin in the Music City Bowl.
Schlabach predicts that Auburn will play two days earlier in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in Nashville against another Big Ten squad in Minnesota. The Tigers and Golden Gophers have met just once on the gridiron, which was the 2020 Outback Bowl. Auburn’s Bo Nix threw for 176 yards and Noah Igbinoghene had a 96-yard kickoff return, but the Tigers ultimately fell to Minnesota, 31-24. The game would ultimately be the final game for head coach Gus Malzahn.
Auburn is currently 5-4 and needs just one more win to qualify for a bowl game. The Tigers have three chances to earn at least one more win, starting this Saturday at Arkansas.