We've already predicted the season's wins and losses for each SEC school, including Auburn's, now we'll work backwards through the Alabama schedule and preview each SEC game, ending with Va Tech.
The Iron Bowl
Alabama leads the series 42-34-1
Surely Auburn will be much improved in 2013, right? Honestly, they can't get worse.
2012 — Auburn was "young" for the 5th year in a row, they were dead last in the SEC in almost every major statistical category, oh yeah O'fer in SEC play, their
national title winning head coach was fired, and their arch rival not only shut them out, again, but 'Bama also won its 2nd straight national title. You can't get much worse for wear.
Moving forward, Auburn has a new but familiar head coach who will return some excitement to the Plains, but will all his new gadgets and tricks be enough to right the ship and make this game competitive?
Why Auburn Might Win:
OK, outside of a meteor landing on the Alabama bus pre-game, Alabama deciding to move to the NFC East mid season or Saban resting his entire two, no, three deep before the SEC Championship Game (gump hard) it's difficult to imagine how Auburn will defeat the Crimson Tide. However, if it were to happen, this is how:
For Auburn to win they would need the season to start and end extremely well. They can't just roll (pun intended) into the end of November on a 7 game losing streak and hope to muster enough will to compete on the field with 'Bama. They'll need to believe they can win. If Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia all reel off wins, Auburn doesn't stand a fighting chance. BUT, if the Plainsmen somehow pull a few upsets and come in with any sense of confidence, the game may be closer than expected.
Malzahn will have to use a similar approach Auburn used in the 2009 IB. Jump on Bama early, throw everything they have at us, including the kitchen sink, get the fans fired up and hold on for dear life. They will have to find some semblance of a running game behind a veteran offensive line. If not, and they are forced to go pass happy with Kiehl Frazier, Auburn fans may not get that happy ending they were praying for, amiright?
An Alabama Disaster
Forgive me for even bringing this up but if something dreadful happens to the Alabama team prior to the game (i.e. injury at QB) Auburn may be able to pull the upset. Alabama seemed to have the 2010 Iron Bowl won until Mark Barron, Barrett Jones and Greg McElroy all went down. Again, this is just an element to the game that could lead to an Auburn victory.
Look Auburn, Cam Newton and Bo Jackson ain't coming through that door. You don't have the ability to simply line up and beat Alabama man up. You tried that the past two seasons and you got lambasted 92-14. Believe you can win, get some scores early and hope Alabama loses interest...That's all I got for ya.
Why Alabama Might Win:
Might? Man, the gump in me is struggling with this one. Where should I start?
If Alabama enters the Iron Bowl with even a shred of interest, we should win going away. Bama is the more talented and better coached team. It doesn't have to wonder can it win but by how much. That isn't to say all they have to do is show up and points will magically appear on the score board (REC) but on paper, Alabama is the obvious choice.
On offense and defense Alabama will have the advantage at OL vs DL, WR vs DB, LB vs RB and don't forget QB. The only area Auburn may have the advantage is at place kicker and maybe offensive line. Of course, Auburn could be a complete surprise and these groupings could change but based off 2012, Alabama has a clear advantage at almost every position.
What I Think Will Happen:
I won't predict the score till game week but yeah, I think Alabama wins (I know, it's a shocker). The Iron Bowl use to be a game where records were thrown out but I need to see more fight from Auburn before I start predicting major upsets. If Alabama isn't plagued by injury and if they once again face the possibility of a SEC/BCS Championship, we won't have to worry about a lack of focus. That means Auburn will get the full brunt of the Crimson Tide war machine.
And even though I am predicting an Alabama win I do think the game will be more like 2009 than 2012. So, somewhere in the middle? Malzahn will do just enough to keep the game close but Alabama pulls away late in the 3rd.
What are your thoughts? And remember to check back next week when we preview Mississippi State.
|08/31/13||vs Virginia Tech||Atlanta, GA|
|09/14/13||at Texas A&M *||College Station, Texas||?|
|09/21/13||vs. Colorado State||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||WIN|
|09/28/13||vs. Ole Miss *||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||?|
|10/05/13||vs. Georgia State||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||WIN|
|10/12/13||at Kentucky *||Lexington, Ky.||?|
|10/19/13||vs. Arkansas *||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||?|
|10/26/13||vs. Tennessee *||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||?|
|11/09/13||vs. LSU *||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||?|
|11/16/13||at Mississippi State *||Starkville, Miss.||?|
|11/23/13||vs. Chattanooga||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||WIN|
|11/30/13||at Auburn *||Auburn, Ala.||WIN|