4. 2014 vs. Texas A&M, 41-38
This game is so devastating to look back on because of the shift it symbolized for the program. A year prior, the Texas A&M game, a 45-41 victory at Kyle Field, was the revelation that the squad was special. They’d banded together after a hard-fought loss at LSU, and when they went to College Station and took down a loaded Texas A&M team, the tone around the program changed. Suddenly, that special 2013 season found its shape, the shape that led to an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.
In 2014, the loss to A&M was a clear sign that the magic had dissipated. Like in 2013, there was one respectable loss before playing the Aggies, this time to Dak Prescott’s third-ranked Mississippi State. Hosting A&M, now third-ranked Auburn had a chance to keep their post-loss momentum, which included a win over fourth-ranked Ole Miss and coach Hugh Freeze, rolling.
Instead, Auburn fumbled near the goal line late, then fumbled a snap, and basically handed the game to Kevin Sumlin, Kyle Allen, and the rest of an Aggie team that wasn’t nearly the squad of a year prior.
To make matters even more brutal, Auburn was a 23.5-point favorite.
The next week, Auburn was steamrolled by Georgia 34-7 and then lost the Iron Bowl 55-44. Both of those games were defeats to bigger rivals, and the Georgia game was lopsided, but ask an Auburn fan when they felt the magic of the early Malzahn days disappear. They’ll point to this November night.