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Predicting the 2015 SEC Football Season: Auburn Tigers

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With less than a week until the college football season begins, it's never too early to look at the 2015 football schedules and make wild blind predictions.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ninth installment in the series takes us to Lee County:

Coach: Gustav Malzahn (20-7 in two season at Auburn; 11-5 in SEC)
2014 record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC, 4th in West Division)
CB969 2014 Prediction: 9-3 "History tells us that Auburn should drop off in 2014." [They did.]

Look back: The Tigers won their first five games and ascended to #2 in the nation. A loss at #3 Mississippi State only dropped them three spots in the rankings. Two SEC wins later they were back up to #3. And then the bottom dropped out. The Tigers went 1-4 down the stretch losing to TAMU, UGA, Bama, and Wisconsin (Outback Bowl) with the only victory coming against Samford.

Key losses: WR Sammie Coates (Round 3, Steelers), DT Angelo Blackson (Round 4, Titans), DT Gabe Wright (Round 4, Lions), RB Cameron Artis-Payne (Round 5, Panthers), TE C J Uzomah (Round 5, Bengals), C Reese Dismukes, QB Nick Marshall, RB Corey Grant, S Jermaine Whitehead, OT Patrick Miller, RB Quan Bray, OLB Jonathon Mincy, CB Robenson Therezie.
Returning starters: 5 on offense, 8 on defense, kicker.
Top returnees:
WR Duke Williams, DT Montravius Adams, MLB Cassanova McKinzy, CB Jonathan Jones, S Johnathan Ford, OT Avery Young, WLB Kris Frost, OLB Carl Lawson.
Top newcomers: DC Will Muschamp (fired from Florida), RB Jovon Robinson (#1-rated juco player), S Tray Matthews (dismissed from Georgia), CB Blake Countess (grad-transfer Michigan), DE Byron Cowart (Seffner, FL), ATH Kerryon Johnson (Madison, AL), DE Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. (Elmore, AL), OLB Jeffery Holland (Jacksonville, FL), WR Darius Slayton (Norcross, GA).

Strengths: Duke Williams talent, playing UK, Muschamp, Secondary, LB
Weaknesses: Duke Williams head, playing UGA, running game, holes on the offensive line, tight end.

Outlook: Former Florida head coach Muschamp is a fine defensive mind but some folks are a little overzealous with the immediate impact he might have at Auburn as DC. Recall that Bama put 42 on his Gators a year ago... top receiver Duke Williams is a great talent but has been in and out of the doghouse... Has DE Carl Lawson recovered from his torn ACL?... The @Ark-OM-@TAMU-UGA stretch could be brutal.

2015 Schedule:
Sept. 5 Louisville* - W
Sept. 12 Jacksonville State - W
Sept. 19 at LSU - W - This game could go either way.
Sept. 26 Mississippi State - W
Oct. 3 San Jose State - W
Oct. 10 off week
Oct. 15 ** at Kentucky - W
Oct. 24 at Arkansas - L - Take the home team.
Oct. 31 Ole Miss - W
Nov. 7 at Texas A&M - W
Nov. 14 Georgia - W - Unless UGA finds a QB by this point, gotta go with the home team.
Nov. 21 Idaho - W
Nov. 28 Alabama - L - I picked this at the risk of looking like a Gump, but I am not believing the Muschamp/Jeremy Johnson hype... at least for this season.
* Atlanta (GA Dome)
** Thursday game

Let's go Bowling! Yes. Probably one in Florida or possibly Nawlins.

Yet another real unknown in the SEC, the Tigers could lose six games or they could run the table (FLAGGED!). Playing in the SEC West is a perilous journey.

* Fun Fact: Auburn was fourth in punt returns (17.8 ypr) in 2014 but 82nd in kickoff returns (20.0 ypr).

.......

Other previews:

  • Jorts
  • LSWho?
  • Aggieland
  • SOOIE, PIG! (may have to edit this one after the announcement that RB Jonathan Williams is out for the season)
  • "That Throw-Up Orange"
  • UGA Dawgs
  • Missy State Clanga-Clangs
  • Ole Miss Rebel Ackbar Black Bears

    #RollTide