Not that Auburn has really gone anywhere during the last decade, but their surprising run of two seasons ago was stunted last season. That withstanding, they appear to back with a vengeance this coming season. Most analysts have them finishing 2nd place in the ultra competitive SEC West, and 4th in the nation. This should put them on pace to enter the playoffs coming January, so it is easy to see why the folks in Auburn are getting quite excited.
The offense is rated to be one the best in the nation, and the defense should only continue to get better and more refined as the season progresses under the direction of Will Mushchamp, the new Defensive Coordinator for the Tigers. This coming season will see Auburn replacing six starters on offense, but this is not worrying given the quality of their recent recruiting classes. They have a great range of backups that are experienced and are ready to start on a weekly basis. They also have some excellent incoming recruits that will be ready to shine when and if their time comes throughout the season.
The offense that the Tigers throws at opponents will be different. They will no long implement a zone-read attack, as that will be replaced by a more balanced approach to the offense. The starter at quarterback should be Jeremy Johnson. He has had stellar performances when he has appeared in brief stints that past two seasons, so that part of Auburn’s offense appears ready to go to the next level. D’haquille Williams will be back at receiver, and he already has tacked up 45 catches for 730 yards and five touchdowns. Ricardo Louis, Marcus Davis, and first year Tiger Jason Smith will join him.
The running back position is stacked. Incoming freshman Roc Thomas will be ready from the first day of training camp to compete with the best junior college transfer in the nation, Jovon Robinson, for top spot in this role. The offensive line did lose three starters, but will be returning six who have already made starts in the SEC. The line is lead by Shon Coleman and Avery Young.
As mentioned, Will Muschamp has come to Auburn to direct a defense that has not been very dominant in recent years. The first task is to correct a pass rush defense that only had 10 sacks in 8 games in the SEC last season. Carol Lawson will be back from his injured ACL, and this will go a long way towards shoring up some gaps in the defense. The top three tacklers from last season are back in the form of Johnathan Ford, Cassanova McKinzy, and Kris Frost. Jonathan Jones will join them fresh off having an impressive six interceptions last season. All in all, Auburn has all of the pieces necessary to threaten for a piece of the national championship.