The Iron Bowl is listed as a “swing game” by the SEC

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When it comes to playing football in the SEC, every week is a grind.

A win or loss at a crucial time in the season could be the difference between a team winning their division, earning a bowl offer, or even a coach keeping their job.

247sports’ Brad Crawford recently listed his top 12 “swing plays” for the SEC, then ranked them by importance. Auburn only made the list once, with the Iron Bowl placing 11th in the standings.

Crawford says this game matters only because Auburn could fight for that much-needed sixth win to become bowl eligible. Another close game with Alabama could also be the difference in head coach Bryan Harsin’s future.

“Is the Iron Bowl that far down the roster after last season’s unexpected four-overtime classic? It’s more of a projection than anything, but Auburn could fight for bowl eligibility against the Crimson Tide on the last weekend of Nov. Bryan Harsin is in the hottest seat in the SEC and his future on the Plains will likely be determined by what happens before the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa this fall and do face Alabama.

Most national media are giving Harsin a chance to keep his job by December. But, as we’ve seen many times in Auburn’s football history, it seems the teams with the least expectations surprise the most.

Sure, Crawford’s projection might be correct, but there’s also a chance that Harsin will find success on the pitch and on the recruiting track, which means his seat is a bit cooler by the time the game comes around. Tuscaloosa arrives.

For the full list of 247sports 12 biggest swing games of 2022, see below:

12. Tennessee at LSU, Oct. 8

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 01: A detail view of a helmet worn by the Tennessee Volunteers before their game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium on September 01, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

11. Auburn, Alabama, Nov. 26

December 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin during the first half of the 2021 Birmingham Bowl against Houston at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry – USA TODAY Sports

10. South Carolina at Arkansas, September 10

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover, Alabama on Monday, July 19, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron

9. Georgia at Kentucky, Nov. 19

September 4, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart talks to an official during the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports

8. Ole Miss at Texas A&M, Oct. 29

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher speaks in the main media room at the Hyatt Regency during SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
Sec Media Days Texas A&M

7. Alabama at Tennessee, October 15

AUBURN, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 27: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during pregame warmups before facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

6. Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville), Oct. 29

November 20, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Florida Gators helmet against the Missouri Tigers during the game at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports

5. Alabama at LSU, Nov. 5

December 1, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head football coach Brian Kelly speaks to fans at halftime between the LSU Tigers and the Ohio Bobcats at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew – USA TODAY Sports

4. Florida at Tennessee, September 24

Steve Roberts – USA TODAY Sports

3. Alabama at Arkansas, Oct. 1

November 26, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) runs with the ball in the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault – USA TODAY Sports

2. Tennessee at Georgia, Nov. 5

Brett Davis – USA TODAY Sports

1. Texas A&M in Alabama, Oct. 8

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and Alabama head coach Nick Saban chat in midfield before the game between Alabama and Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
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