It should be a feel good time for Auburn fans if they are seeing the same things with this year's football team I am seeing, and I believe they are. I think the players are feeling good about their progress, too, and having fun playing the game, which is so important.
There is still a lot of football to be played. The Tigers need to keep concentrating on getting better each week and focus on improving whether they are playing a Division I-AA opponent like Western Carolina or tougher competition like what is coming up in the second half of the season.
Here is a look at some potentially good games outside the SEC this week:
Baylor at Kansas State--Nobody has been able to slow the Bears' offense this year and Kansas State has struggled to a 2-3 start. Baylor should stay unbeaten for another week and will likely score a lot of points in the process.
Pitt at Virginia Tech--Each team has just one loss, but Virginia Tech looks to have the stronger team and should take care of the Panthers.
Georgia Tech at BYU--This looks like another competitive matchup. Both teams are 3-2, but the Yellow Jackets have lost their last two and BYU is at home where they can be tough so I am going with the Cougars.
Oregon at Washington--Washington is pretty good, but pretty good isn't going to beat the Ducks this year who are putting up impressive offensive numbers.
Taking a look at this week's SEC games.
Missouri at Georgia--This has the potential to be an interesting ball game with Georgia as beaten up as they are after a physical win in Knoxville. Still, I have to pick Georgia, but the Bulldogs are going to have to play well to win.
South Carolina at Arkansas--I think this will be a good ball game. I am going with the visitors because I like Coach Spurrier's quarterback.
Alabama at Kentucky--The Wildcats aren't good enough to make this a close game.
Florida at LSU--I like the way Zach Mettenberger is throwing the football for LSU. Combine that with LSU's running backs and that is a tough team to contain. I think Florida is better on defense, but LSU is the better all-around team. Playing at home I expect LSU to get past the Gators in a hard-fought, physical game.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss--There should be a lot of points scored in this one. Ole Miss is happy to be back at home for this game, but the Aggies have more offensive firepower and come into the game rested following an off-week. Look for the visitors to score a lot of points and head home a winner.
Western Carolina at Auburn--The Tigers have stayed focused and played hard in their first five games as they worked to improve. There is no reason the trend can't continue, even against a team the Tigers should defeat without much trouble, and even with a question about the health of Nick Marshall at quarterback for Saturday's game.
Defensively, the secondary is coming on and now has six interceptions. The front four, which struggled last year, has improved, too, and I don't see teams being able to consistently knock those guys off the line of scrimmage.
Offensively, this is a week the Tigers can work on their passing game execution, something that needs to get better for the second half of the schedule.
(Last week's record: 14-1)
(Overall Record: 65-10)