With the announcement of its upcoming home-and-home series against Penn State, Auburn will be facing a Big Ten team during the regular season for the first time in its history. The Tigers will travel to Beaver Stadium on Sept. 18, 2021, with the Nittany Lions heading to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.
It’s about time this series was set because Auburn and Penn State have faced each other only two times — both in bowl games. Penn State won the 1996 Outback Bowl, 43-14, while Auburn took the 2003 Capital One Bowl, 13-9.
While the upcoming Auburn-Penn State matchups are great for both schools and college football in general, the Tigers should expand their non-conference schedule even more. Here are five non-SEC schools we’d like to see Auburn face more often, or at least once for that matter.
It’s hard to believe that teams as storied as the Sooners and Tigers have met only once, but that is indeed the case. On New Year’s Day in 1972, Oklahoma beat Auburn, 40-22, in the Sugar Bowl, and the teams haven’t met since.
Sooners QB Jack Mildren, who threw only four passes, was the game’s MVP after rushing 30 times for 149 yards and 3 TDs. Harry Unger rushed for two scores, and Pat Sullivan added a passing TD to account for Auburn’s points.
Auburn hasn’t had much of a history against the Big Ten, having played Ohio State two times and both Michigan schools a total of three times. But a game against a Jim Harbaugh-led squad would definitely be more entertaining than hearing the Wolverines coach yammer on and on about satellite camps.
The Tigers’ two meetings with Michigan have been decided by a grand total of five points. On New Year’s Day in 2001, Michigan won the Citrus Bowl, 31-28, while Auburn took the Sugar Bowl, 9-7, over the Wolverines on Jan. 2, 1984.
Auburn has seen ACC teams Georgia Tech and Clemson a lot over the years but has split its only six contests with Duke. David Cutcliffe has made the Blue Devils relevant again, and his SEC ties would make this an intriguing matchup.
The teams haven’t faced each other since Sept. 20, 1980, when Auburn won, 35-28. The first meeting between both squads dates back to Nov. 22, 1892, when Duke rolled, 34-6.
The Tigers have gone 8-3 against current Pac-12 teams, the biggest victory being Auburn’s 22-19 win over Oregon in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. Two of the three losses against Pac-12 squads have both been to USC, which beat the Tigers, 24-17, in the 2002 season opener and kicked off the following year with a 23-0 victory over Auburn.
With no history against UCLA, it’s about time the Tigers faced the Bruins. It would have been nice to see what Auburn could have done against QB and potential Heisman Trophy candidate Josh Rosen, but we’ll obviously have to wait for another year to see the Tigers take on the Bruins.
Nine SEC teams — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt — have faced Notre Dame, which means that Auburn is one of the conference’s have nots. Notre Dame beat LSU, 31-28, in the last Fighting Irish-SEC matchup, but the Crimson Tide beat the Golden Domers, 42-14, in a very satisfying 2012 BCS National Championship Game.
Source: Saturday Down South