3 Steps Auburn Needs To Take To Make The College Football Playoff

Almost every national college football expert we've come across in the past few days has written off the Auburn Tigers' College Football Playoff chances after Saturday's beatdown at the hands of LSU in Baton Rouge. We're not buying into that negativity. Not by a long shot. Here's 3 Steps Auburn Needs To Take To Make The College Football Playoff.

1. Fix The Run Defense

Is Auburn's run defense awful or is LSU Heisman candidate RB Leonard Fournette that dang good? Well, that depends. Fournette's 228-yard outburst in LSU's 45-21 romp over Auburn this past Saturday shone a light on plenty of gap assignment errors and overall discipline lapses by Auburn's front seven. However, if new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp can work his former magic and get the team's uber-talented linemen and linebackers back on track, why can't AU turn things around quickly. College football is a game centered on getting young talent to grow exponentially as teammates and overall talents in a short period of time. There's no reason why the team's talent level and production as a run defense can't meet in the middle starting Saturday against Mississippi State.

2. Go "All In" On Sean White

Let's say Auburn's new starting quarterback struggles out of the gate against Mississippi State this week but Auburn escapes with a one-possession win. If that happens, the key will be for Gus Malzahn to stick to his guns with the redshirt freshman instead of breeding uncertainty by keeping the door open for Jeremy Johnson. White has the arm. He has the confidence. He's the right guy for the job and projects to be a much better overall game manager than Johnson has been so far. There will be temptation to return to Johnson if Auburn tightropes through a narrow escape or two in the next few weeks. Don't do it, Gus. Otherwise, you'll breed uncertainty and a potential lack of trust that could prove the team's downfall.

3. Take Advantage Of A Relative Break In The Schedule

Want a surefire way for Auburn to get back into the College Football Playoff discussion? How about taking of business against Mississippi State at home before running into a relatively soft trio of San Jose State, Kentucky and Arkansas. Now, Kentucky on the road won't be easy and there's no guarantee the Tigers will handle the Bulldogs at home this week with a new, redshirt freshman QB under center. However, this four-week stretch is as close to a break as any SEC team is going to get this year. Four straight wins and Auburn heads into a huge Halloween home game against Ole Miss at 6-1 with a CFP mulligan on the line regardless of this past Saturday's brutal loss to LSU.

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Related Topics: Sean White, Jeremy Johnson, Gus Malzahn, Auburn Football, Auburn Football News