Auburn football: Georgia State matchup deemed a “trap game” by SI

Auburn football (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Auburn football (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Sports Illustrated gave us all an SEC February football fix in the form of a five-subheading piece previewing the 2021 college football schedule. Auburn football, the third-place finisher in the SEC West in 2020, showed up under two different subheadings.

The first was the “non-conference games I’d pay to see” section due to the Tigers’ September 18th matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions on September 18th. While Penn State recently made waves for an ill-advised tweet from the official football team social media account stating PSU had a Super Bowl representative in every Super Bowl except five since 1967, they did have a 2021 recruiting class deemed worthy of a top 25 post-National Signing Day ranking from Bleacher Report.

That was the only interconference game to include the Big Ten, with the ACC having two games against the SEC included and the Big 12 and Pac-12 each also having a game apiece.

On the other hand, the second game included from Auburn football’s 2021 schedule was included under a much more interesting–and surprising–subheading:

"TRAP GAMESGeorgia State at Auburn, Sept. 25. For Auburn, this game falls between a trip to Penn State and trip to LSU. Georgia State won at Tennessee in 2019."

While both LSU and Penn State finished with a higher-ranked 2021 signing class than the Tigers, Auburn is bringing back many of the key pieces of their 2020 squad; a squad that finished with a winning record, unlike the other two programs. Skill players like Tank Bigsby, Shaun Shivers, Bo Nix, and Smoke Monday will all bring veteran savvy to a team that is adding more freshman than transfers–though Northwestern defensive end Andrew Leota is Bryan Harsin’s proudest poach from the transfer portal.

Auburn should feel no pressure heading to College Park and Death Valley before and after this game, making the matchup with Georgia State less of a trap game and more of just another stepping stone for the team to pick up momentum before the SEC schedule begins.

Things could be different, and the Sun Belt may show out at Jordan-Hare on September 25th after a breakout 2020 for the conference, but the odds are slim that the Tigers will worry about the Panthers in Week 4 of the 2021 Auburn football schedule.

Next. Former Tigers commit headed to Penn State instead. dark