Auburn Football: Ole Miss is “the Only Thing on Our Minds”


As he and the rest of the head coaches around the SEC do every Wednesday, Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn met with the media via teleconference. With the news breaking last night that his Tigers were ranked No. 3 by the College Football Playoff committee – making them the top ranked one-loss team – it was natural that Malzahn would be asked about it.

As you would expect, there are other things on Malzahn’s mind than a set of rankings that won’t mean anything for another six weeks.

And Ole Miss should be the only thing on the minds of the Tigers because if Auburn doesn’t win Saturday in Oxford, they’ll be immediately removed from the playoff discussion.

It certainly won’t be easy. Ole Miss was ranked fourth by the playoff committee despite a 10-7 loss to LSU last week in Baton Rouge. The Rebels have the nation’s best scoring defense (10.5 points per game), they lead the nation with 17 interceptions, and are the only team in the country to keep all opponents at 20 points or fewer this season.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • To have success against Ole Miss, the Tigers will need to start fast. Nick Marshall and company must establish the SEC’s best rushing attack (281 yards per game) in the first quarter to create play action opportunities in the passing game. The problem? Ole Miss holds a 62-3 edge over their opponents in the first 15 minutes in 2014, and the three points allowed are the fewest in the nation.

    The immoveable object that is the Ole Miss defense is a big enough challenge to overcome, so there is no sense worrying about the playoffs. Every week is a playoff from this point forward. A team with two losses, regardless of the opponents, isn’t likely to be included in the final CFP rankings December 7.

    “I’m viewing this Saturday as this is the biggest game on the schedule,” Malzahn said Tuesday during his regular press conference. “We’ve got to go there, we’ve got to play well to win and that’s the only thing on our mind. I’m not looking ahead and if this happens. No, we’re going to Ole Miss and we’re trying to win the game.”

    It’s a coaching cliche that teams must take a season one game at a time. But, cliches become cliches for a reason. They are generally grounded in truth. For Auburn, there’s no other way to handle it.

    “We’ve got three Top 10 teams on the road,” Malzahn reminded the media . “I don’t think there’s another team in college football that can say that. We’ve already gone to Kansas State. We’ve already gone to the No. 1 team on the road, so the ball’s in our court. We’ll worry about that when we get to that.”

    In other words: Win out, and they’re in.

    Next: Tigers 3rd in Initial College Football Playoff Rankings

    More from Fly War Eagle