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Auburn in position to land spot in Sugar Bowl

Auburn defensive backs Nick Ruffin, center left, and defensive back Stephen Roberts, center right, celebrate a play against Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Auburn defensive backs Nick Ruffin, center left, and defensive back Stephen Roberts, center right, celebrate a play against Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP

Auburn is likely Sugar Bowl bound barring an upset in the SEC Championship game this weekend in Atlanta.

With a 30-12 loss in the Iron Bowl, the No. 13 Tigers needed plenty of help to reach the New Year’s Six bowl game.

Everything broke just right with Florida State beating Florida, LSU blowing out Texas A&M on Thanksgiving and Vanderbilt upsetting Tennessee.

Auburn (8-4; 5-3 SEC) will fall in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, but so will No. 15 Florida.

The SEC is contracted to send its highest-ranked non-playoff team based on the CFP rankings to the Sugar Bowl against the Big XII Champion, or its high-ranked non-playoff team.

Florida likely needs to upset No. 1 Alabama for the SEC Title to jump past Auburn in the rankings.

The game between Oklahoma (9-2; 8-0 Big XII) and Oklahoma State (9-2; 7-1 Big XII) Saturday in Norman will determine the Big XII’s conference champion.

Auburn has played in the Sugar Bowl five times with a 2-2-1 record.

It last reached the New Orleans-based bowl when it went undefeated in 2004 under former coach Tommy Tuberville. The No. 3 Tigers beat No. 8 Virginia Tech 16-13 with quarterback Jason Campbell winning the game’s MVP award.

This year’s Sugar Bowl is at 8:30 EST on Jan. 2 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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