After picking up wins against what look to be solid Washington State and Arkansas State teams, the Tigers will see if they can rise to the challenge of playing what should be a physical opponent from the SEC West. I saw a lot of excitement from Auburn's players in their last outing, which is a good sign that this is a team that knows it has a chance to be much more successful this season than it was last year.
Here is a look at some of the interesting games outside the SEC this week.
UCLA at Nebraska--I like UCLA's quarterback and expect that will be the difference in this game with the Bruins winning on the road.
Ohio State at Cal--The Buckeyes should win this one even though it is on the West Coast, but the Bears could make it interesting. It looks like Ohio State will get quarterback Braxton Miller back for this game after he left early last Saturday with an injury.
Wisconsin at Arizona State--These teams are probably evenly matched. I am going with the Sun Devils to win at home in another Big 10 vs. PAC-12 matchup.
Washington at Illinois--I am going with the Illini at home in an upset for the Big 10 team vs. a ranked opponent from the PAC-12.
Taking a look at this week's SEC games.
*Louisville at Kentucky--The Wildcats have homefield advantage, but the Cards have talented Teddy Bridgewater directing the offense at quarterback so Louisville will again enjoy the in-state bragging rights.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina--I believe the Gamecocks have more good players and with this game being in Columbia I like South Carolina to bounce back from their loss to Georgia.
Tennessee at Oregon--The Ducks' offense still looks potent to me and shouldn't have a problem winning against their visitors from the SEC.
Southern Miss at Arkansas--The Razorbacks struggled to beat Samford last week, but should take care of business against a Southern Miss team that is not very strong.
Alabama at Texas A&M--I think Alabama will figure out a way to contain Johnny Manziel and win this game. Also, I am not sure how good Texas A&M is on defense. I know they had some players out earlier due to suspensions, but I don't think they will make that much difference.
Ole Miss at Texas--Mack Brown fired his defensive coordinator after last week's defensive meltdown at BYU. Even though the Longhorns overwhelmed the Rebels last season in Oxford, I am picking Ole Miss to win on the road.
Mississippi State at Auburn--I like what I have seen so far from Coach Malzahn's team and with the Tigers playing at home I believe they will win. Auburn looks like it has made progress on the defensive front, which is a good thing going into SEC play.
I don't know how good Mississippi State is this year, but being an SEC opponent I am sure the Bulldogs will put a lot of good athletes on the field Saturday night. I think this game will be a good measuring stick for where this Auburn team is early in the season.
(Last week's record: 13-3)
(Overall Record: 27-5)