Auburn's first two SEC games are at home against LSU and Mizzou before they hit the road to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers play both Mississippi Schools on the road as well as a trip to Tuscaloosa. Auburn will play Arkansas and Texas A&M at home.
The nature of college football and scheduling in the SEC makes every game important. But which game on the SEC slate is the most crucial for the success and failure of Bryan Harsin and the Auburn Tigers this season?
The most important game on the schedule for Bryan Harsin is Week 3 vs. Penn State. That’s a game the Tigers really, really need to win. But in terms of conference matchups, a home date with LSU stands out as a potential make-or-break game for Auburn in 2022. The Tigers open the season with five straight home games. If they can manage to beat LSU, at worst they should be 4-1 with some confidence entering a tough, but not impossible next month on the schedule. They’ll lose at Georgia, but at Ole Miss, Arkansas and at Mississippi State are all potentially winnable games. Conversely, lose to LSU and UGA in back-to-back weeks to kickstart another painful streak and Harsin may not make it to Halloween.
Simonton is right that the most important game of the season is Auburn's homestand vs LSU. It's also the most important game on the schedule.
Regardless of what happens against Penn State, if Auburn starts out SEC play 2-0 before heading to Athens, the Tigers will feel good about where they stand in the SEC. They should also feel better about their games with Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Arkansas.
LSU is the more important game over Penn State because it happens after. If Auburn falls vs Penn State, there will be panic, but it will be calmed with a win over an SEC West foe the following week.
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