The past four weeks have been brutal for Auburn. After starting the 2023 season at 3-0, the Tigers have dropped four games in a row, all to SEC squads.
Lineman Gunner Britton says that the team’s mindset heading into the rest of the season is “focusing on the next game.”
“Look towards the next game, it’s really tough. We have played four ranked teams back-to-back-to-back. That’s a tough stretch for any team, but Freeze said in the pregame speech that is what you do when you play in the SEC,” Britton said following Auburn’s 28-21 loss to Ole Miss last Saturday night. “Even for me when I came here, I knew the teams I was going to be playing, so you just have to look towards next week and there is nothing you can really do to change the game. You just have to go and watch the film, learn the film, and move on from there.”
What do the next four weeks have in store? ESPN believes that the Tigers can get back to their winning ways as their matchup predictor favors them in three of their four upcoming games.
After facing Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, and Ole Miss in consecutive weeks, Auburn gets a slight break by facing Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Alabama to close SEC play, with one nonconference game mixed in.
Which games are the Tigers favored to win from here on out? Here’s how ESPN forecasts the next four games to play out for Auburn.
Oct. 28 vs. Mississippi State
ESPN prediction: Auburn (62.6%)
Mississippi State, like Auburn, is breaking in a new head coach. Zach Arnett won his first SEC game last Saturday by defeating Arkansas, 7-3 in Fayetteville. This week, the Bulldogs storm into Jordan-Hare Stadium in hopes of running Auburn’s SEC losing streak to five games. It does not help Mississippi State’s case that quarterback Will Rodgers is battling arm issues and is questionable for this Saturday’s game. Expect this game to be close.
Nov. 4 at Vanderbilt
ESPN prediction: Auburn (81.7%)
ESPN feels confident in Auburn’s ability to beat Vanderbilt. This game has been viewed as a toss-up for a while, but the talent gap between Auburn and Vanderbilt is immeasurable. The Tigers have a better run game and a better defense than Vanderbilt and should have no trouble earning a win in Music City.
Nov. 11 at Arkansas
ESPN prediction: Arkansas (58.1%)
The lone loss ESPN expects Auburn to take over the next four weeks will be at Arkansas in mid-November. However, these odds could change in the coming weeks. Following an embarrassing showing Saturday against Mississippi State that pushed the Razorbacks record to 2-6 on the season, head coach Sam Pittman elected to fire offensive coordinator Dan Enos. During Enos’ time at Arkansas, the Razorbacks averaged 305 yards per game on offense, which is dead last in the SEC. Auburn is 13th in the SEC by averaging 337 yards per game. If the firing of Enos does not bring new life into the Razorbacks, then Auburn could pull off an upset.
Nov. 18 vs. New Mexico State
ESPN prediction: Auburn (91.4%)
Out of the next four games, ESPN feels the most confident that Auburn will beat New Mexico State. The Aggies are 5-3 currently and have a great dual-threat quarterback in Diego Pavia. However, the level of games that Auburn has played compared to New Mexico State has prepared the Tigers better. Expect the usual drubbing of a lower-level team the week before Iron Bowl Saturday.
Final record: 6-6 (2-6)
Based on Auburn’s 15.1% chance to beat Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 25, ESPN predicts the Tigers to finish with just enough wins to reach bowl eligibility. The 6-6, possibly 7-5 finish would be a welcomed sight considering the brutal run of SEC games that Auburn has had to endure.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura predicts that Auburn will face Hugh Freeze’s former squad, Liberty, in the Gasparilla Bowl while Mark Schlabach does not see the Tigers reaching a bowl game for the second season in a row.