Kevin Steele’s proven defense, a potent two-headed rushing attack, efficient special teams and a brand new starting quarterback in Jarrett Stidham will take the field for Auburn on September 2 ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll, announced Monday morning.
Auburn will begin the season as the second-highest ranked squad hailing from the SEC, behind the conference’s resident powerhouse, No. 1 Alabama. No. 13 LSU falls closely behind, followed by No. 15 Georgia, No. 17 Florida and No. 25 Tennessee.
The AP Poll will be the most commonly-used method of ranking college football teams early in the season, until the College Football Playoff rankings are unveiled later in the year by the CFP Committee.
The poll pins the Tigers one spot ahead of their previous national ranking of No. 13 from the Amway Coaches Poll, which was tallied earlier in the summer. Following SEC Media Days, Auburn was picked by the media to finished second in the SEC West behind the Tide and received the second-most SEC Champion votes.
Auburn finished the 2016 season at 8-5 (5-3 SEC), with three of those losses coming in the final four games following a mid-season six-game winning streak. The Tigers ended the year slated at No. 24 in the AP Poll after a 35-19 loss to Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.