Gus Malzahn Likes Auburn’s Experience Heading Into Difficult 2018 Schedule
There was a lot to remember but plenty to forget for the Auburn Tigers in 2017. With two wins over the No. 1 ranked team in a three-week period during November, Gus Malzahn's team was just one more win away from its first College Football Playoff appearance.
But the Tigers had to face Georgia a second time in the SEC Championship and a brutal stretch of games caught up with Auburn. The team lost in Atlanta and followed that up with another defeat to Central Florida in the Peach Bowl and a potentially historic season came crashing down.
"When I say we were close, I look at the big picture," Malzahn said at SEC Media Days. "As far as our goal, being the in SEC Championship last year, which it is again this year, and we did some very good things to get ourself to that point. Winning the West is -- it's a man's league, and if you win the West, you really do something.
"But there's such a fine line in this conference of winning the conference championship and coming close. And we came close last year. And we've got to figure out a way to take that next step. And that's easier said than done."
Malzahn returns a talented group of players led by quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and that experience could have Auburn back in the hunt for a playoff berth once again.
"You know, overall, I really like our team. I like our leaders. There's nothing like experience in our league. And we experienced some highs, some lows, and, like I said, we were close. And I just really sense urgency and a hunger from that group."
Listen to everything Malzahn said about the 2018 season during his appearance at SEC Media Days in the video at the top of the page.