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.]
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
Returning starters: 5 on offense, 8 on defense, kicker.
Top returnees: WR , DT Montravius Adams, MLB Cassanova McKinzy, CB Jonathan Jones, S , 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 (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.
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/ hype... at least for this season.
* Atlanta (GA Dome)
** Thursday game
Let's go Bowling! Yes. Probably one in Florida or possibly Nawlins.
* Fun Fact: Auburn was fourth in punt returns (17.8 ypr) in 2014 but 82nd in kickoff returns (20.0 ypr).