November 18, 2013
AUBURN | Ricardo Louis' miracle catch against Georgia last weekend settled, at least for now, a series tie between the Tigers and Bulldogs.
The play also brought clarity to Auburn's bowl situation.
At least for now.
Gus Malzahn's team, now 10-1 and No. 6 in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings, most likely is headed for the Sugar Bowl. Auburn has a firm hold on the Southeastern Conference's second overall bowl position with the Iron Bowl offering everything in terms of upward mobility and almost nothing in terms of downside.
So let's start here in terms of scenarios:
The most straightforward statement is this: A loss to Alabama on Nov. 30 would have little impact on the SEC's bowl hierarchy. Auburn likely would remain the Sugar Bowl's top choice to "replace" title game-bound Alabama in the Jan. 2 game -- assuming the Crimson Tide beats the Eastern Division champion in Atlanta.
That doesn't seem like a stretch.
Texas A&M also can become a player for this spot if it can finish the regular season with wins at LSU and at Missouri. That seems like a stretch given the Aggies' defensive shortcomings, but quarterback Johnny Manziel is capable of erasing a lot of shortcomings.
An Auburn win in the Iron Bowl introduces many more variables. That would send the Tigers to Atlanta to face either South Carolina or Missouri for a chance to win a Southeastern Conference championship.
That trophy means a lot to the BCS.
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