Regardless of who you ask, Alabama will be picked to finish first in the SEC West. Odds are, Texas A&M will finish second in preseason projections. After that, it gets a little fuzzy.
Some analysts will have Ole Miss as the third team in the SEC West. Others are labeling Arkansas as a surprise team to finish third in the SEC West. I'm sure you'll see some folks play to the upside of LSU's roster as well and put them third.
No matter who you ask, it seems like everyone after the top two teams in the SEC West is in the same tier in offseason chatter but Auburn is not getting any benefit of the doubt when it comes to projections against the other SEC West teams.
Stat of the day
Auburn's all-time record against Arkansas is 19-11-1. The Tigers have won the last six matchups.
What it means
Despite Arkansas being a trendy team to pick going into the season to finish high in the standings, there isn't a ton of merit to put them ahead of Auburn. With the standings expected to be close after the top two teams in the SEC West, Auburn should benefit from playing Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium this season.
Also, Arkansas has a tough schedule before they meet the Tigers. After opening the season against the Cincinnati Bearcats, they will have played Texas A&M, Alabama, and traveled to BYU before traveling to Auburn.
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