Auburn, Ala.--Winners of five consecutive games, the 6-2 Auburn Tigers find themselves squarely in the mix of the first College Football Playoff rankings, coming in at No. 9 in the initial rankings coming out on Tuesday by the CFP Selection Committee.
As expected Alabama leads the way in the top spot with Clemson second, Michigan third and Texas A&M fourth. Washington and Ohio State round out the top six in the standings. Louisville and Wisconsin come in ahead of Auburn with Nebraska rounding out the Top 10. Florida (11) and LSU (13) are the other SEC teams in the rankings.
While Auburn has come a long, long way since dropping games to Clemson and Texas A&M early in the season, two of the top four teams in the initial standings, Coach Gus Malzahn said his team isn’t looking ahead or thinking about rankings at the moment. The only thing on the mind of the Tigers is this week’s opponent.
“The only thing we’ve talked about is Vanderbilt,” Malzahn said. “We have our hands full. If you look ahead in this league, you’ll get burned. Our players know that. Our coaches know it.
“We have not said one word about anything left in the schedule. I don’t know what everybody else is saying, but in our house and little room here with our coaches and players, we’re locked in on Vanderbilt. That’s it.”
One of the leaders for this Auburn team on the defensive side of the ball is fifth-year senior Josh Holsey and he’s seen plenty of good and bad during his time on the Plains. Only having to think back a few weeks to see what can happen when you don’t play well, Holsey said this Auburn team is only worried about what they can control and that is Saturday against Vanderbilt at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“This season we are taking it one game at a time,” Holsey said. “We can’t look past anybody. We didn’t start off too well and we started taking it one game at a time and we are at the point where we are at now.
“All our focus right now is Vanderbilt. They are a really good team with a really good coaching staff. We have all our attention on them right now.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 11 a.m. on ESPN.