AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn and starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham got their first win of the season out of the way on Saturday.
Three days later, they were rewarded with a lofty ranking.
Stidham put up 185 passing yards and was responsible for a trio of touchdowns in his first real game in more than 600 days, and the Tigers defense was particularly dominant in a 41-7 win against Sun Belt foe Georgia Southern.
After that initial victory of 2017, Gus Malzahn’s team took the No. 2 spot in the first SEC Country Power Poll of 2017, released Tuesday. Auburn held steady at No. 13 in the Amway Coaches poll released on Tuesday morning, and moved up one spot to No. 12 in The AP poll.
SEC Country’s Power Poll, consisting of 26 voters, placed Alabama in the No. 1 spot, where the Crimson Tide were all last season.
Up next for Auburn is a weekend filled with potential. While traveling to Death Valley and facing defending national champion Clemson won’t be easy, an upset of the best teams in the country could pay dividends for Auburn.
“Obviously it was a tough loss last year and we’ve got a lot of guys back and all that,” Malzahn said. “They happen to be the defending national champs and we’re going to their home field. That’s the only thing on our minds and nothing about last week. It’s everything moving forward with Clemson.”
Dabo Swinney’s Clemson team jumped 2 spots from No. 5 to No. 3 in both polls following a 56-3 win against Kent State. Replacing Deshaun Watson behind center is no easy task, but Kelly Bryant was impressive and Clemson’s defensive line returns key pieces, too.
Chip Lindsey was especially conservative with his offense against Georgia Southern, but that likely won’t be the case when Auburn attempts to avenge its loss to Clemson.
A strong showing offensively and another dominant performance from Kevin Steele’s defense — this time against a significantly better opponent — could result in Auburn holding the second spot in the power poll for a while. It might even be enough to jump an Alabama team that looked shaky at times early against Florida State.
The weekend will provide important information about Auburn as SEC play nears.
Check back for our weekly installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 1 Power Poll rankings
|1||Alabama (1 - 0)||338||26||1||1|
|2||Auburn (1 - 0)||297||0||2||4|
|3||LSU (1 - 0)||292||0||2||5|
|4||Georgia (1 - 0)||260||0||3||6|
|5||South Carolina (1 - 0)||203||0||2||11|
|6||Tennessee (1 - 0)||178||0||4||13|
|7||Arkansas (1 - 0)||165||0||5||13|
|8||Florida (0 - 1)||158||0||5||14|
|9||Mississippi State (1 - 0)||136||0||6||13|
|10||Kentucky (1 - 0)||113||0||6||14|
|11||Texas A&M (0 - 1)||75||0||7||14|
|12||Ole Miss (1 - 0)||60||0||9||14|
|13||Vanderbilt (1 - 0)||52||0||8||14|
|14||Missouri (1 - 0)||39||0||9||14|
This week's voters:
Alex Hickey ( SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith ( SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto ( SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson ( SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson ( SEC Country)
Marq Burnett ( SEC Country)
Mike Griffith ( SEC Country)
Seth Emerson ( Atlanta Journal Constitution)
The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Auburn is ranked (Week 1) appeared first on SEC Country.