Auburn football: Tigers just ahead of UCF, Boise State in Athlon’s rankings

Auburn football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Auburn football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Athlon Sports took the liberty of ranking all 130 Division I FBS college football programs in the entire nation, and Auburn football ended up right where they should be given their recent history and overall health of the program.

Just outside the top 25, but not too far out as to not still be in the mix to re-enter it at any time. After all, the SEC West provides every single member to instantly elevate their profile with a dominant stretch.

The Tigers–who underwent a major regime change in handing over the reins from Gus Malzahn to Bryan Harsin–landed at #29 in the rankings (aggregated by 247Sports).

The landing spot is particularly interesting considering who is just behind them.

UCF, the program that plucked Malzahn off of the coaching carousel, and Boise State, the school Harsin spent his playing career and the last six years of his coaching career with, were ranked #30 and #31, respectively.

Both could stand out in 2021 if they could rebound from seasons that saw neither claim the conference championship. The Mountain West was won by San Jose State, while Cincinnati parlayed their AAC title into an NY6 appearance (and loss to Georgia).

Meanwhile, the Tigers have a lot of work to do to restore their standing in the SEC, with Ole Miss (27) and LSU (17) pulling ahead of them despite Auburn football beating both in 2020.

One of the nation’s toughest schedules and a new head coach lacking Power 5 coaching experience could have pundits bearish on AU’s 2021 outlook, but the legs of Tank Bigsby and the potential improvement/replacement of Bo Nix at QB could help engineer a run for the ages on the Plains in the return season for everything that makes it a one of a kind college football community.

Let’s hope that Auburn football and Tigers HC Bryan Harsin could both have a better year than their exes.

Next. 3 surprise backups that could start in 2021. dark