Auburn completely hit rock bottom a year ago, culminating in a 3-9 record, zero SEC wins, and the firing of the entire coaching staff just two years removed from winning a national championship. However, the return of Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator of the championship squad, as the head coach has brought rejuvenated energy and hope to one of the most intense and dedicated fan base in all of college football.
Malzahn, a proven offensive guru, hired one of the most impressive staffs in the nation in the offseason, including SEC veteran defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. Malzahn was also able to haul in an impressive recruiting class in a very short amount of time, including five star defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams. Also part of that class is junior college QB Nick Marshall, who Malzahn recently named as the Tiger’s starting QB heading into the season. Marshall is a super talented athlete that started his career as a defensive back at Georgia before ending up at Auburn. He is a dual-threat QB with very quick feet and rocket arm. The fate of the season truly rests on the play of Marshall, along with the defense, and he could make or break this season.
The Tiger’s schedule is manageable, but still very rugged, as one would expect an SEC West schedule to be. There are only four road games on the slate, but each game (LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee) takes place at very tough venues. However, Auburn gets Alabama, Georgia, and Ole Miss at home, which will benefit them greatly due to Jordan-Hare Stadium being one of the most hostile environments in the nation. Concerning the SEC West goes, Auburn is the only team that can match up with Alabama and LSU as far as talent goes. Thus, if they can pull it all together this season, they can possibly contend for a division title. They have the talent and the coaching staff to be very successful, which will make for a very interesting year down on the Plains.