Auburn Football: Ranking Tigers’ 2020 opponents by toughness

Big Kat Bryant, Auburn football (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Big Kat Bryant, Auburn football (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
2 of 7
UMass football
Randall West, UMass football (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Before a huge matchup with North Carolina in week two, Auburn will open the season at Jordan-Hare Stadium, where they’ll play host to FCS Alcorn State.

For fans, these FCS matchups are really just glorified practices, where the FBS school writes a check for a win on the record. The one exception to the rule is North Dakota State, the perennial FCS champion that’s produced players like now-Philadelphia Eagle Carson Wentz. The Bison take on Oregon in the opening weekend.

Alcorn State played an FBS team last year in Southern Miss, and they came away with a 38-10 defeat. The Golden Eagles are one of the lesser teams on Auburn’s schedule, and that final score from a year ago gives you a strong idea as to how competitive the Braves’ trip to the plains will be.

Walt Bell went 1-11 in his debut season in Amherst, and doing much better in 2020 is going to be a tall task.

Defensively, the Minutemen were the worst in the country in scoring, rushing, and total defense. Tommy Restivo’s unit also loses its best player from a season ago in cornerback Isaiah Rodgers. Notre Dame transfer Noah Boykin will help out at the position, but nobody can singlehandedly fix this unit.

As is tradition in the SEC, this will be a lousy November matchup between one of the country’s tougher teams, and one of the cellar-dwellers. For the Tigers, it will serve as a tune-up before games against LSU and Alabama in the regular season’s final two weeks.