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How hard is Auburn’s 2021 football schedule? Oddsmakers say it’s among nation’s toughest
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AU FOOTBALL

How hard is Auburn’s 2021 football schedule? Oddsmakers say it’s among nation’s toughest

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Auburn quarterback Bo Nix looks to make a pass during the Tigers’ game against Mississippi State on Dec. 12, 2020, in Starkville, Miss.

As a team in the SEC West, Auburn is routinely looked at as playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country.

As far as the oddsmakers at SportsBettingDime are concerned, the Tigers’ 2021 schedule ranks among the toughest slates in the entire nation.

The Opelika-Auburn News' Jordan Hill and Justin Lee discuss how the proposed expansion to the College Football Playoff affects Auburn and much more.

According to SportsBetting- Dime’s strength-of-schedule formula, Auburn has the third-toughest schedule in the nation behind only Arkansas and Kansas. Texas and Oklahoma State round out the five toughest schedules in the country; UTEP, meanwhile, has the nation’s easiest schedule followed by Hawaii, Charlotte, Florida International and UTSA.

SBD’s rating system is based upon opponents’ efficiency ratings from last season minus the production lost from the 2020 team along with recruiting rankings and major transfers added and lost. The formula is then adjusted for each game based upon home and road status.

Auburn opens the season with home games against Akron on Sept. 4 and Alabama State on Sept. 11 before traveling to face Penn State on Sept. 18. The Tigers then host Georgia State on Sept. 25 before traveling to LSU on Oct. 2, hosting Georgia on Oct. 9, traveling to Arkansas on Oct. 16 then having a bye week.

The Tigers finish October with a home matchup against Ole Miss on Oct. 30 before traveling to Texas A&M on Nov. 6, hosting Mississippi State on Nov. 13, traveling to South Carolina on Nov. 20 then hosting Alabama for the Iron Bowl on Nov. 27.

Auburn’s rating according to SBD is 104.06, while Arkansas is 126.35 and Kansas is 118.21.

As for Auburn’s other FBS opponents this fall, Mississippi State ranks seventh nationally, Ole Miss ranks 10th, Texas A&M ranks 17th, LSU ranks 18th, Penn State ranks 26th, Georgia ranks29th, South Carolina ranks 37th, Alabama ranks 50th, Georgia State ranks 57th and Akron ranks 86th.

Auburn’s status as having one of the nation’s toughest schedules is a consensus among oddsmakers and college football experts. Phil Steele’s annual preview magazine, 247 Sports and ESPN’s Football Power Index all give Auburn the second-hardest schedule in the country only behind Arkansas.

For SBD’s complete strength-of-schedule rankings, click here. .

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