Although Georgia has a great chance to repeat as the college football national champion after barely getting past Ohio State in the semi-final round of the four-team playoff, the SEC has not been particularly impressive in postseason. Overall, the league is 6-5 in bowl games that include several lopsided losses.
Kentucky looked horrible in a 21-0 loss to an Iowa team that struggled all season to score points. Ole Miss lost 42-25 to a Texas Tech team that came into the game with a 6-6 record. Wake Forest handled Missouri, winning 27-17. Florida ended its season with a really poor performance, losing 30-3 to the Oregon State Beavers.
Wins for the SEC included Tennessee handling a Clemson team that suffered a late season slump. That 31-14 contest was one of the league’s top victories. Alabama joined the Vols with a strong finish, overpowering Kansas State 45-20.
A less impressive win by the SEC was Arkansas outlasting Kansas 55-53 in triple overtime after allowing the Jayhawks to tie the game after the Big 12 team fell behind by 25 points in the second half. South Carolina let a two-touchdown lead evaporate in a 45-38 loss to Notre Dame.
The most lopsided victory for an SEC team in the postseason was LSU clobbering a Purdue team that entered the contest with an interim coach and played like a team just going through the motions, falling 63-7. Another Big Ten 10 team, Illinois, had a chance to knock off Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs scored nine points in the final four seconds to win 19-10.
While it was disappointing that Auburn’s bowl streak ended at nine-in-a-row, the most important tasks for the program since the end of the regular season have been getting a new coaching staff on board and taking care of business on the recruiting front so the Tigers will have a team worthy of a bowl bid sooner than later.
From the notebook
• The AU men’s basketball team’s 26-game homecourt winning streak could be in jeopardy when nationally-ranked Arkansas visits Neville Arena on Saturday night. Auburn only lost three SEC games during the 2021-22 regular season. One of those was an 80-76 setback at Arkansas last February in overtime, which was the first SEC loss of the season for the Tigers. That setback also ended AU’s 19-game winning streak.
• The Auburn women’s basketball team’s rebuilding project has been hampered in a major way due to injuries to its top two players, senior guard Honesty Scott-Grayson and junior forward Aicha Coulibaly. There have been other injuries, too, but Coulibaly and Scott-Grayson are the Tigers’ major difference-makers.
If Coach Johnnie Harris can get the team back to 100 percent physically, this group has the potential to continue the improvement it showed earlier in the season when the roster was healthier.
• The final spot on Hugh Freeze’s on-the-field football coaching staff has been filled by Marcus Davis, who was an outstanding receiver for the Tigers. With Davis making the move from Georgia Southern, where he did an excellent job, three former Auburn players are position coaches for the 2023 team. Davis joins Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, the associate head coach/running backs coach, and defensive backs coach Zac Etheridge in that group.
Mark Murphy is the editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine and newsletter.
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