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Predicting the 2018 SEC Football Season: Auburn Tigers

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Still reaching for the stars.

“It DID matter!”
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Once again, Auburn believes they have a team that will catapult them into their first College Football Playoff appearance. They have their big NFL-hopeful quarterback returning but is that enough? Last season’s schedule was friendly. This year? Not so much.

Coach: Arthur Gustavo Malzahn III (45–22, SEC 25–15 in 5 seasons at Aub)

2017 Aub record: 10-4 (7-1 in SEC, first in West Division - see photo above!)

CB969 2017 Prediction: 9-3 “...last season was a bit of a mirage on the plains. They will again wins some games because the SEC is down a bit but don’t expect them to make the playoffs...”

Looking back: For the second year in a row, the Tigers lost a winnable game against Clemson. After routs of Mizzou, MSU and Ole Miss (the last two at home), they were taken down by LSU in Baton Rouge. They followed that up with 5 straights wins including home wins against UGA and Alabama. The season finish fell flat with losses to UGA (SECCG) and UCF (Peach Bowl). Clearly this team was a different team away from the friendly confines of Jerdin Hair.

Returning starters: 6 on offense, 6 on defense, punter.

Key losses: RB Kerryon Johnson (Round 2, Lions), CB Carlton Davis (Round 2, Buccaneers), G Braden Smith (Round 2, Colts), K Daniel Carlson (Round 5, Vikings), EDGE Jeff Holland, S Stephen Roberts, S Tray Matthews, ILB Tre’ Williams, LS Ike Powell, RB Kamryn Pettway, C Casey Dunn, OL Austin Golson, OL Darius James, WR Kyle Davis (transfer to FAU).

Top returnees: QB Jarrett Stidham, DL Derrick Brown, WR Ryan Davis, LB DeShaun Davis, DT Dontavius Russell, CB Javaris Davis, DL Marlon Davidson, CB Jamel Dean, OL Mike Horton, WR Darius Slayton, RB Kam Martin, FB Chandler Cox, Kristi Malzahn.

Top newcomers: OL Jack Driscoll (UMass grad-transfer), QB Joey Gatewood (soon to be a WR or transfer), ATH Matthew Hill, DT Coynis Miller, ATH Harold Joiner, DB Quindarious Monday, LB Zakoby McClain, RB Asa Martin.

Name you need to know: WR Ryan Davis has flown a little under the radar in his time at Auburn. Last season he set a school record for single-season receptions with 84. Oddly enough, it only accounted for 815 yards and 5 TDs. He is not a big play guy, but has a knack for getting open, bailing out his QB, and moving the chains.

Strengths: Stidham and his top two receivers (Davis & Slayton) are back... Defensive front is stout...

Weaknesses: Auburn lost their top two running backs... Four new OL starters... Secondary lost their three best players (sound familiar?)... Breaking in a new kicker and long snapper... MSU, UGA, Alabama on the road plus neutral site vs Washington...

Outlook: The Tigers are a sneaky good team but not elite. They have potential to make some noise but likely finish second in the SEC West. Then they’ll have to amend the wall at the area where they receive the Ernie Wright family.

2018 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sept 1 vs Washington (Atlanta) - W - The Huskies are a little overhyped IMHO.
Sat, Sept 8 vs Alabama State - W
Sat, Sept 15 vs LSU - W - This one has VooDoo upset potential.
Sat, Sept 22 vs Arkansas - W
Sat, Sept 29 vs Southern Miss - W
Sat, Oct 6 @ Mississippi State - W - Could go either way.
Sat, Oct 13 vs Tennessee - W - If the game was on the road, I might go the other way.
Sat, Oct 20 @ Ole Miss - W - a tricky game if they look past the Rebs.
Sat, Oct 27 bye
Sat, Nov 3 vs Texas A&M - W - Trap game before the two biggies (no, not Liberty)?
Sat, Nov 10 @ Georgia - L - Revenge may be on their minds but I’m sticking with UGA.
Sat, Nov 17 vs Liberty - W
Sat, Nov 24 @ Alabama - L - Time for some REAL revenge.

Let’s go Bowling! Yes, potential for a New Year’s Six bowl.

Poll

Auburn regular season wins:

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    10 or more.
    (101 votes)
  • 49%
    9
    (314 votes)
  • 20%
    8
    (131 votes)
  • 5%
    7
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    6
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    5 or less, wheels fall off.
    (57 votes)
638 votes total Vote Now

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