There’s only one top-25 matchup in the first week of college football, but it’s a good one. No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn travel to Dallas for a Pac-12-SEC challenge.
The Pac-12 was left out of the 2018 college football playoff, and early rankings suggest that Oregon may be the Pac-12 conference’s best hope for a playoff team. If Oregon is to reach the playoff, this is almost a must-win game, and a loss would certainly make the rest of the season must-win games as no two-loss program has reached the four-team format.
Auburn played spoiler a season ago to the eventual Pac-12 Champion Washington Huskies. The Tigers are a much better team this year, and the SEC is 5-1 against the Pac-12 over the last three seasons which shows the talent gap between conferences.
No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16. Auburn at AT&T Stadium
The Auburn defensive line is one of the best in the country. They are one of the main reasons SEC defenses have a brand. The Oregon offensive line will have its work cut out for them in order to protect quarterback Justin Herbert who is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick. When it comes to weaknesses, Oregon might have the biggest one.
The Ducks secondary will get stretched out despite facing a true freshman quarterback in Bo Nix. Herbert will do his job in getting Oregon on the scoreboard, but eventually, the pressure from Auburn’s front four will get to him. On the other side of the ball, the Duck defense will get gashed on big plays, and once Auburn gains momentum the game will be over.
Prediction: Auburn 35, Oregon 26
Featured Image: Arlington Convention & Vistor's Bureau