SEC Schedule Breakdown: Auburn
Counting down to kickoff, team by team in the SEC
This week starts our schedule breakdown and recorded predictions for each team in
the SEC. I will breakdown each schools schedule and give his
take on where they wind up finishing in the league and what their pre-bowl game
record will be.
Over the next seven weeks he will breakdown two teams schedules, starting with
No. 14 and ending with his pick to win the SEC Championship.
We get things started off with my pick to finish last in the SEC, coming in at No.
14 – Auburn Tigers
League Finish: 14th
Division Finish: 7th
SEC Record: 0-8
Overall Record: 3-9
Bowl game: none
Things don’t start off easy for Auburn this season as they open the season with the
runner up for last season’s national title. The Tigers got off to a slow start last
season and wound up finishing the year (7-6, 2-6 SEC). They could be looking at a
similar problem in 2016.
While they do get their first five games at home this season, that doesn’t mean
things will be easy for an offense that could be worse than last season. As the
Tigers still haven’t found a solution at quarterback. The receivers and running back
groups our down form a year ago on top of not having a solid QB. It’s the lack of
offense why I think Auburn winds up in last place this year.
Their ceiling is 5-5 and their floor is 2-8 if the worst case scenarios play out. If
Auburn can find a quarterback, than they will be looking at 5-5, but the QB they
need to run Gus Malzahn’s offens at a championship level.
He isn’t there, which is why Auburn finishes 3-9 this season.
Week one Auburn vs. Clemson Sat, Sept. 3rd
What could be worse than opening the season against Clemson when you
will still be looking to stabilize your offense? Playing Clemson at home. The
Clemson Tigers should start the season in the Top Five and will once again
compete for a National Title in 2016. This one is simple, Clemson will be to good
offensively for Auburn to keep up.
Week two Auburn vs. Arkansas State Sat, Sept. 10th
In week two of last season the Tigers struggled to beat a FCS opponent in
Jacksonville State. Things won’t be the same this season the Red Wolves will be a
quality opponent in week two for Auburn, but ASU won’t be the same team as in
years past. Auburn moves to 1-1 with a quality win over the Red Wolves.
Week three Auburn vs. Texas A&M Sat, Sept. 17th
Auburn might have the hardest first four weeks this season of any team in
the country. Texas A&M is a team with a lot of questions that we don’t have the
answers too yet. This one will be an important early season SEC game for both
teams in a loaded SEC West. The pick here is A&M, because unlike the Tigers
they have found their quarterback in Trevor Knight. He left Oklahoma after
passing for more than 3,000 yards and 25 TD passes in three seasons of action for
OU. Knight will have a lot of presser on him to help turn things around in College
Station and should have an improved defense to help him. The combination of
Knight and an improved A&M defense will be too much for Auburn to handle.
Resulting in Auburn losing its SEC opener for the second year in a row.
Week four Auburn vs. LSU Sat, Sept. 24th
The Auburn Tigers take on their second SEC opponent in SEC West rival
LSU. The Bayou Bengals will compete for both the SEC and National Titles in
2016 and despite an improved defense for Auburn, they won’t be the Tigers
everyone is talking about. Auburn doesn’t have an answer for LSU’s offense,
Leonard Fournette will be too much for Auburn’s defense. Dropping Auburn to 0-2
in the SEC for a second year in a row.
Week five Auburn vs. UL Monroe Sat, Oct. 1st
Auburn should inter week five at 1-3 and the presser will be turned up for
Malzahn to get a win. That’s exactly what Auburn should do against ULM on the
first day in October. While a 2-3 start won’t make the Tiger fans very happy, it
could be worse for Auburn. After two games against SEC West rivals Auburns
quarterback or quarterbacks as the case may be, should get a break and be able to
put up some solid numbers in week five. The Tigers defense may not have it as
easy though. RS- Sophomore Garrett Smith should be the starter once again this season for ULM.
If he can get off to a hot start like last season, he could give the
Tiger defense some issues. However, Smith won’t be enough on his own and
Auburn will get the win.
Week six Auburn @ Mississippi State Sat, Oct. 8th
The Bulldogs beat the Tigers last season 17-9 at Auburn and it should be a
similar game and score again this season. The Bulldogs will be breaking in a new
quarterback after losing Dak Prescott. Nick Fitzgerald should be the new starting
QB in Starkville in 2016 and will already have two SEC games under his belt when
Auburn rolls in to town. Auburn and Miss St. will both be near the bottom of the
league this year and this game will go a long way in determining who finishes last
in the West. The Bulldogs should just edge out the Tigers in this one, but this is the
first of several swing games on Auburns schedule this season that could be a play
or two away from going the Tigers way.
Week seven Auburn vs. Arkansas Sat, Oct. 22nd
In a second straight game that Auburn could steal verse a SEC West
opponent the Tigers will need to be running on all cylinders. Arkansas lost
basically it’s entire offense from a year ago, but still has plenty of talent left on that
side of the ball. Plus a defense that didn’t lose a lot and should be a top defense in
the SEC yet again this season. The Hogs should get the win, but it’s a game
Auburn could steal if they find a solid option at quarterback.
Week eight Auburn @ Ole Miss Sat, Oct. 29th
Like Arkansas, Ole Miss lost a lot on offense from last year’s team. The
Rebels lost more on defense than the Hogs, but Ole Miss still has Chad Kelly.
Kelly should be one of the SEC’s best QBs in 2016 and in my opinion is the best
quarterback in the league entering the season. Auburn on the other hand has a lot
of questions at the QB position. A solid hand under center goes a long way to
winning football games. Ole Miss wins this one and it could get ugly quick.
Week nine Auburn vs. Vanderbilt Sat, Nov. 5th
This is the third swing game on Auburns SEC schedule this season and their
first game verse the SEC East. It’s a very real possibility the Tigers could still be
looking for a solid option at quarterback by November and that’s not good when a
team like Vandy rolls into town. The Commodores should surprise some people
this season and it will be in large part due to their defense. Most people forget the
fact that Vanderbilt’s defense was one of the nation’s best last season. That should
be the case this year as well, the difference this year is Vandy’s offense should be
improved enough to win them some of the games they lost last season. The
Commodores should get the win in this one.
Week ten Auburn @ Georgia Sat, Nov. 12th
Auburn could very easily come in to this game 0-6 in SEC play and their
odds won’t go up in Athens. The Bulldogs will once again compete for the SEC
East crown and will have both Sony Michel and Nick Chubb back at full strength
when Auburn comes to town. Even if UGA isn’t solid at the quarterback position
in week ten, which is a real possibility. The Dogs have the edge in this matchup
and get the win.
Week eleven Auburn vs. Alabama A&M Sat, Nov. 19th
This could very well be one of the few happy moments for Auburn fans this
season. The Tigers could also be 0-2 against teams with the nickname Bulldogs as
we roll in to College football’s final weeks. Auburn will have to much talent for
these Bulldogs and should get the easy win.
Week twelve Auburn @ Alabama (Iron Bowl) Sat, Nov. 26th
The two SEC schools from the ‘Yellowhammer State’ will be in two
different places when the Iron Bowl rolls around. Auburn could be 0-7 in league
play, maybe 2-5 if they are lucky. Alabama on the other hand should be competing
for a trip to Atlanta and the College Football Playoffs or at least a New Year’s Six
bowl bid. The Iron Bowl will be Auburns bowl game this year and there is nothing
better to end a bad season than beating your rivals and knocking them out of a shot
for a National Title. However, don’t plan on Auburn beating the Tide this season.
When it is all said and done in 2016 there will be a lot of talk about if Malzahn
should keep his job. For him to have a good shot at keeping his job he will need to
win those swing games that the Tigers have on their schedule. It should be a
second frustrating year for Tiger fans as Auburn finishes last in the SEC in 2016.
Next up in the series my pick for No. 13. Stay tuned as we work our way to the