Go ahead and call the Auburn Tigers’ first road trip of 2016 to Starkville to take on Dan Mullen’s Mississippi State Bulldogs a must win. While no one game would typically in and of itself determine a head coach’s standing with his employer, nor the decision to retain him the following season, Gus Malzahn well knows the eyes of Auburn power brokers are focused on what should be a very winnable game for the Tigers. The weight of expectations in this game also go beyond the early season offensive woes of the Clemson and Texas A&M losses, and are due in no small part to Malzahn having lost to Mullen’s Bulldogs back to back years by the score of 17-9 in 2015, and a crushing 38-23 defeat in 2014. With a current 61-26-2 Auburn lead in this series, fans simply will not tolerate losses to Mississippi State on anything but a rare basis.
Join podcast cohosts Coach John Ray and Doug Dean as they deliver a scouting report on this first road test for Auburn, as well as the question of what are reasonable expectations for the Auburn football program long-term given all strategic factors in play. Their conclusion may surprise you.