*Courtesy Auburn Media Relations
AUBURN, Ala. — Tre Mason had said all along Auburn would have the biggest turnaround in college football this season.
The Tigers' tailback has been right so far.
Auburn's jump from last year's 1-5 record to 5-1 mark at the halfway point of the season is the biggest turnaround in college football, according to STATS, a data and content company.
"A lot of people didn't believe in Auburn, and all of our players stayed true. We believed and we bought in to Coach Malzahn and his message," Mason said.
The Tigers, who entered the AP poll at No. 24 Sunday, will try for their sixth win Saturday at No. 7 Texas A&M.
Auburn's jump from 1-5 to 5-1 is a 66 percent improvement. That's better than the turnaround stories at Missouri (3-4 record to 6-0, .571 percentage increase), Tulane (1-5 record to 5-2, .547 percentage increase), UNLV (1-6 to 4-2, .547 percentage increase) and Buffalo (1-5 record to 4-2, a .500 percentage increase).
Linebacker Kris Frost says all that is nice, but "the season is nowhere near finished and a lot of things can happen from now to the Alabama game to a bowl game, so we're really not concerned about that right now. We're really just concerned about getting better.
"The mindset is we're fired up. We had a great attitude going into the season."
Mason was the bright spot last year, rushing for 1,000 yards despite Auburn's 3-9 finish. He's back as Auburn's leading rusher this year with an offense that features more running backs and more ways to score.
More ways? Though only halfway through the regular season, Auburn needs only 19 points to break last year's point total.
"There are so many things you can do in this offense," Mason said. "We can put up so many points in so many different ways and have the ball in so many people's hands. We try to get the ball more to our playmakers to do something with the ball."
That's led to a lot of improvement, but Frost says there's still work to do.
"We had a great bunch of guys last year, as well as this year, and we're passionate about the game," he said. "We're just trying to improve on everything so we can make this a great year instead of a good year."