The good and the bad behind the number '8' for the Auburn Tigers

Auburn 8 - NUTS AND BOLTS

Which one of these numbers is not like the others:

14

12

12

11

13

11

8

13

Those are the win totals for the top 8 rated teams in the Preseason Coaches College Football Poll released Thursday. The odd number out - 8 - is the number of wins posted by the Auburn Tigers last season. If you're an Auburn fan, does this represent good news or bad news? Well, maybe a little of both. It was interesting to follow Auburn in the polls last season as the Tigers went from being the highest-ranked one-loss team, to the highest-ranked two-loss team, to the highest-ranked three-loss team, to the highest-ranked four-loss team and finally to the highest-ranked five-loss team in the season-ending rankings. That's good news. It shows that the Auburn program - and, more specifically, head coach Gus Malzahn - has gained a large measure of respect around the country. That trend has continued as the 2015 season is almost upon us. The bad news is that Auburn's most successful season has almost always come when the year began with low expectations. Most recently, in 2010, Auburn opening the season ranked No. 23. We all know that season ended with an undefeated record and a national title. Last year, coming off a near miss in BCS title game, Auburn opened the season ranked No. 5 before finishing at No. 23. Expectations are again high for the Tigers. That's both good and bad news.