What are Auburn's chances to do something, anything, to feel good about down the stretch of the season? Maybe a little better than you think. Maybe not.
Let's look at the four games before the Iron Bowl, which we all know could be a dreadful Auburn day in Tuscaloosa.
The Aggies, at 5-2 and 2-2, are good. They aren't great. They have not played in an atmosphere like the one they are likely to encounter at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. Auburn football teams historically are at their best in night games at home.
The matchup does not seem like a good one for Auburn. Hurryup, no-huddle offenses give the Tigers trouble, and nobody plays faster than Texas A&M. If the Tigers slow down the A&M offense, can they score enough to win? There's been no sign of it so far. They tend to score one touchdown, whether they are playing LSU or Vanderbilt.
Chances of an Auburn victory: 30 percent.
NEW MEXICO STATE
An absolutely awful football team with only one win and that over Savannah State, maybe the worst team at any level of college football.
Chances of an Auburn victory: 95 percent.
Not long ago this seemed like a near certain blowout, but it turns out Georgia stinks on defense. The Bulldogs were blown out 35-7 at South Carolina and had to fight for their lives last Saturday to get out of Kentucky with a win.
Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who spent four seasons at Georgia, will have a little extra motivation. Georgia's offensive scheme is much more in his wheelhouse than spread offenses. But the same problem rears its ugly head. Auburn has not shown it can score consistently even against bad defenses.
Chances of an Auburn victory: 40 percent.
If Auburn fans aren't at least a little worried about this game, they should be. Coming off playing Georgia and a week before playing Alabama, it's difficult to be focused on an FCS team. Just last season, Auburn led Samford just 21-13 going into the fourth quarter last season.
Alabama A&M has its best team in many years. The Tigers will be bigger, stronger and more talented, but they'll have to be prepared to win. If they aren't, it could be perhaps the worst, day in Auburn football history.
Chances of an Auburn victory: 75 percent.
If this Auburn team is going to have any chance against any SEC team, the offense must be more productive and the defense must continue to improve.
Can it happen? It can, but nothing in the first seven games inspires confidence that it will.