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Predicting the 2016 SEC Football Season: Auburn Tigers

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This will not end well for the Plainsmen.

More sad times ahead.
More sad times ahead.
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The latest installment takes us to Lee County.

auburn logo 80x50

Coach: Gus Malzahn (27-13 in three seasons at Auburn; 13-11 in SEC)
2015 record: 7-6 (2-6 in SEC, 7th in West Division)
CB969 2015 Prediction: 10-2 (Lawd, what was I thinking?) - "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."
Look back: Many wagging tongues had the Tigers winning it all or at the very least making the four-team playoff, and a Heisman for their QB. Instead, they finished dead last in the SEC West and Jeremy Johnson is now third string. It started with a slim victory over Louisville followed by a near disaster overtime win against FCS Jacksonville State. The rest of the season was unmemorable.

Key losses: OT Shon Coleman (Browns, Round 3), WR Ricardo Louis (Browns, Round 4), CB Blake Countess (Eagles, Round 6), RB Peyton Barber (undrafted RS sophomore), OLB Kris Frost, CB Jonathan Jones, ILB Cassanova McKinzy, WR D'haquille Williams (maybe not such a bad thing), OT Avery Young (undrafted junior), DC Will Muschamp, RB Roc Thomas (transfer to Jacksonville State), RB Jovon Robinson (dismissed), DE Gimel President (transfer to Illinois).
Returning starters: 4 on offense, 6 on defense, kicker, and punter
Top returnees: DE Carl Lawson, OG Alex Kozan, DT Montravius Adams, DE Byron Cowart, CB Carlton Davis, S Tray Matthews, NB Johnathan Ford, C Austin Golson, K Daniel Carlson, OG Braden Smith.
Top newcomers: OT Darius James (Texas transfer), DT Derrick Brown (Buford, GA), DE Marlon Davidson (Greenville, AL), WR Nate Craig-Myers (Tampa, FL), DT Antwuan Jackson (Ellenwood, GA), WR Kyle Davis (Lawrenceville, GA), WR Eli Stove (Niceville, FL), DE Prince Sammons (Cincinnati, OH), DC Kevin Steele, Co-OC/WR Coach Kodi Burns.

Strengths: placekicker, starting guards and center, D-line starting three, not much travel.
Weaknesses: OTs, QB, RB... pretty much the whole offense except guards and center, linebackers, nickel & dime packages, a rough schedule, coaching staff.

Outlook: Senior safety Johnathan Ford was the top tackler last season followed by Frost, McKinzy, Countess, and Jones all of whom have departed. The D-line is strong but there are a lot of holes in this defense and not much depth. The skill position players on offense are lacking.

2016 Schedule
Sep 3 vs Clemson - L
Sep 10 vs Arkansas State - W
Sep 17 vs Texas A&M -  L
Sep 24 vs LSU - L
Oct 1 vs Louisiana-Monroe - W
Oct 8 at Mississippi State - W - I am flopping here and going with the Aubs.
Oct 15 off week
Oct 22 vs Arkansas - L
Oct 29 at Ole Miss - L
Nov 5 vs Vanderbilt - W - Better be careful here.
Nov 12 at Georgia - L
Nov 19 vs Alabama A&M - W
Nov 26 at Alabama - L

Let's go Bowling! It is not looking good. If they are really lucky, they return to the Birmingham Bowl or Shreveport.

FUN FACT: Auburn arranged to play Clemson during the summer of 2014. Auburn was coming off an SEC Championship, a BCS Championship game loss and a 12-2 record. Clemson was 11-2 having lost to FSU and South Carolina while defeating Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

.......

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