Auburn football reporter lays out roadmap for College Football Playoff appearance after SEC schedule release

One Auburn football reporter laid out his roadmap for the Tigers to make a College Football Playoff appearance in 2024.

SEC Championship - Missouri v Auburn
SEC Championship - Missouri v Auburn / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Opelika-Auburn News editor Justin Lee believes that Auburn football will make the College Football Playoff next year they it can win 10 games -- specifically the 10 that aren't against locked-in rivals Georgia (through negotiation) or Alabama (by schedule design) -- during their 2024 schedule. This was in response to the SEC's 2024 schedule release.

"Not much from me in the way of takeaways from the schedule," Lee prefaced before saying, "Could be harder. Could be easier. The runway is there for a 4-0 start going into OU. Even if you lost to UGA and Alabama, win all the rest of the games (8 at home, Mizzou and UK on road) and you're in the playoff."

Auburn will kickoff SEC play against Arkansas at home in Week 4, and welcome Oklahoma to the Plains in Week 5 for perhaps the marquee game of the season at home. Those two contests close out a five-game homestand to start the season; a campaign that will feature eight home games and four away games.

Auburn football could have three insurmountable opponents on the schedule

Hugh Freeze's men will undoubtedly have issues with Alabama and Georgia, who look like indefinite mainstays at the top of the country, and thus the conference. That much has been an accepted truth since 2018, even if AU has stolen an Iron Bowl since then.

But Mizzou will be a much different team than the one Bryan Harsin's Tigers beat to stave off the Boise native's firing during the 2022 season's fourth week; a firing that'd take place a month later after a win-less stretch.

Eli Drinkwitz has turned his program around in short order, changing the culture in a year's time to lead Mizzou to a New Year's Six bowl game in 2023. It's possible that Missouri is the third too-tough-to-topple SEC squad on their schedule with Brady Cook coming back, but their running back room will need to be addressed with Cody Schrader and Nathaniel Peat out of eligibility for that to be a reality.