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The Auburn Tigers opened up the 2014 campaign 5-0 with a road win at Kansas State (20-14) and a blowout victory at home against LSU (41-7). From there Auburn would go just 3-5 over their final 8 games to finish up 8-5 (4-4 SEC), including a 31-34 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.

It was a minor setback after the Tigers improbable run to the SEC West title and spot in the BCS Championship Game in 2013. Still, there was plenty of reason to remain excited about the direction that head coach Guz Malzahn has the program headed. Auburn was +82.3 yards/game in SEC play (2nd best).

Offensively the Tigers continue to put up big time numbers under Malzahn and his offensive genius has few worrying about the fact that Auburn has just 4 starters back on offense in 2015. What has fans excited is the addition of new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who spent the last 4 years at Florida. While the Gators underachieved overall under Muschamp, the defense was not to blame.

Last Season
SEC (West)
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
4-4 (T-4th)
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/5 Louisville (Atlanta)
9/12 Jacksonville State
9/19 @ LSU
9/26 Mississippi State
10/3 San Jose State
10/15 @ Kentucky
10/24 @ Arkansas
10/31 Ole Miss
11/7 @ Texas A&M
11/14 Georgia
11/21 Idaho
11/28 Alabama
Estimated Wins: 8.43

*We take the win chance by using the college football win percentage chart for each point spread

Roster Breakdown

Those that don’t follow Auburn football closely, might be down on the Tigers after losing 2-year starting quarterback Nick Marshall, but they have all the confidence in junior Jeremy Johnson to step in and put up big numbers. Johnson might not provide the same duel threat as Marshall (798 yards & 11 TDs on the ground), but he’s more than capable of matching or exceeding his passing numbers.

Marshall isn’t the only playmaker lost from last season. The Tigers have to replace leading rusher Cameron Artis-Payne (1,608 yards, 13 TDs), as well as wide outs Sammie Coates (741 yards, 4 TDs) and Quan Bray (471 yards, 4 TDs).

Auburn has options at running back. They return sophomores Roc Thomas and Peyton Barber, but are excited about the potential of junior college transfer Jovon Robinson, who rushed for 2,387 yards and 34 TDs at JUCO in 2013.

They also have a big time weapon back at wide receiver in D’Haquille “Duke” Williams, who is considered one of the top prospects at his position for the 2016 NFL Draft. Williams had 45 catches for 730 yards and 5 scores, despite missing 3 games.

What has me not worried about the Tigers offense in 2015, is the talent they have up front on the offensive line. Auburn returns both starting tackles, get back 1st Team Freshman All-American left guard Alex Kozan (missed all of last year), plus they add in highly recruited Ole Miss transfer Austin Golson at center.

It’s not like Auburn has been awful defensively since Malzahn has taken over, but it’s certainly an area they can improve. Adding a proven defensive coach in Muschamp brings a lot of excitement, especially with 8 starters coming back on that side of the ball.

Auburn has All-SEC talent littered across their defense. The strength of the stop unit comes with the two-headed monster at linebacker in seniors Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost, who both are headed to the NFL once their careers are over with the Tigers.

There’s also a lot to get excited about the defensive front. Talented defensive end Carl Lawson returns after missing all of last year with a torn ACL. They also return starting defensive end DaVonte Lambert and defensive tackle Montravius Adams.

If the front 7 is as good as it looks on paper, Auburn’s experienced secondary could be in for a lot of big plays. Seniors Joshua Holsey and Jooathan Jones return at corner, while leading tackler Jonathan Ford is back at safety. They also welcome back sophomore safety Tray Matthews, who red-shirted last year after starting 6 games as a true freshman.

Future Odds
Regular Season Win Total
SEC West Odds
SEC Championship Odds
Playoff Odds
National Championship Odds
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

*Odds updated live on our college football odds page

Season Predictions

I had a difficult time not picking Auburn to win the SEC West, especially considering Auburn gets to host Alabama this year. The concern for me is that while the offense will continue to put up big numbers, it won’t be as explosive without the threat of a running quarterback. Defensively they are going to be solid, even with the learning curve that comes with a new coordinator, but Alabama’s defense looks like an elite unit.

The schedule does provide some big hurdles outside of the Iron Bowl. Auburn has to open on a neutral setting against a dangerous Louisville team and shortly after has to travel to Death Valley to take on what figures to be a much-improved LSU team. They also have a couple of road tests at Auburn and Texas A&M, as well as a difficult home games against Ole Miss and Georgia.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise at all if Auburn ended up winning the SEC West, which is as deep and strong as I can remember. If Johnson plays up to his potential at quarterback and Muschamp has the kind of impact they are hoping for with the defense, the Tigers are more than capable of winning a national championship. I have Auburn going 6-2 in the SEC (2nd West) and 10-2 overall. Needless to say, I think the OVER 8.5 on their season win total is a strong play.

2015 Projections
SEC (West)
SEC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
OVER 8.5


I asked some more experts on Auburn football what they thought about the Tigers’s upcoming season. Here’s what they had to say.

nathan deal

Nathan Deal

OVER 8.5 Wins – I would take the OVER on 8.5 wins when it comes to Auburn. Three of the four SEC teams that beat Auburn a year ago (Mississippi State, Georgia and Alabama) visit the Plains in 2015, and a fourth potential SEC and national title contender (Ole Miss) comes to Jordan-Hare as well. While the road schedule is still daunting, it doesn’t appear as hostile as a year ago. Jeremy Johnson has been groomed to be Auburn’s starting quarterback, and with an elite offensive line, a deep receiver core and a talented stable of running backs, the offense won’t miss a beat. The Tigers’ defense has NFL talent across the board that was poorly coached a year ago, so if Will Muschamp can produce a unit that’s at least average, this is a double-digit win team.

sam butler

Sam Butler

OVER 8.5 Wins – I feel confident in taking the over. Auburn stumbled to 8 wins last year, on account of a leaky defense and inconsistent offense. The overhaul on defense, starting with Will Muschamp, should pay dividends this season and going forward. The secondary is extremely thin right now though, so we might not see a massive swing in terms of defensive stats quite yet. That said, Auburn’s coaches have all the confidence in the world in Jeremy Johnson. With an NFL-caliber talent in Duke Williams to throw to, Johnson has a phenomenal chance to rack up some serious yardage, and Malzahn knows exactly how to cater to his personnel’s strengths. I see a favorable schedule, including Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Alabama at home, working out well for the Tigers. I think they’ll drop 1 away game, either at LSU or Texas A&M to finish 12-1 with a conference championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff.



UNDER 8.5 Wins – Last year’s Auburn team was loaded with offensive talent and they still won only eight games. This year in nearly a complete rebuild on that side of the ball after losing QB Marshall (2,500 yard passing & 800 yards rushing) and their three leading rushers that combined for almost 3,000 yards on the ground. Their defense will be under the tutelage of a new DC (Muschamp) so we might be looking at a learning curve on that side of the ball. The Tigers as a whole lost 33 letterman which is the most in the SEC. After beating LSU 41-7 to move to a perfect 5-0 last year, they proceeded to lose five of their last eight games. They were just 4-4 in SEC play and we look for a similar outcome this year. Their non-conference games are weak with the exception of their opener vs. Louisville in Atlanta. We expect them to win that game, however with an inexperienced offense, who knows. If they lose that game, there is no way they get to nine wins. Even if they sweep the non-conference, they would still need to go 5-3 in the SEC and with road games at LSU, at Arkansas, and at A&M and home games vs Bama, Georgia, Miss St and Ole Miss that will be very tough. Their only “gimmie” in league play will be at Kentucky. We’ll call for another 8-4 campaign and lean UNDER here.


David Speck

OVER 8.5 Wins – At first glance, the personnel and schedule make you lean toward the under. Auburn lost its starting quarterback, H-back, tight end, center and one guard. The top two rushers and the No. 1 and No. 3 receivers are also gone. On defense, depth looks like it might an issue in the middle of the line and in the secondary. Add that to a daunting SEC West and you might think eight wins is the ceiling.

But then you remember that Gus Malzahn has never had a bad offense. (One that he had full control of, anyway.) Him being new to a program never hindered his offenses, so I don’t think new players will make or break his system. You could say similar things about Will Muschamp on defense. Plus, several of the so-called newcomers have games, if not whole seasons, of experiece. Jeremy Johnson, Alex Kozan, Carl Lawson, and Tray Matthews will fill starting roles that won’t actually be new to them.

Personally, I think the SEC West is too tough for a team to go undefeated, but Auburn reaches nine wins before bowl season.

Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter

OVER 8.5 Wins – The Auburn Tigers are in a great position to go over this win total. In fact, it’s my single favorite win total this year. Jeremy Johnson should prove to be an upgrade at quarterback because of his tremendous passing ability. Gus Malzahn offenses always run the football well, and I don’t think that will change this year. The biggest key though is Will Muschamp getting hired as the defensive coordinator. Auburn’s defense has held them back in previous years, and I think they’ll be much improved right away under Muschamp. Don’t let last year’s record fool you, this Auburn team has a chance to be part of the College Football Playoff this season.

Jay Hawkins

Jay Hawkins

OVER 8.5 Wins – I’m extremely high on Auburn this year, in fact, I have them winning the SEC this year. Why? They have (as always it seems) a prolific offense with an abundance of talent. Their quarterback situation seems very good unlike several other SEC schools. They lose Nick Marshall at that position but return Jeremy Johnson. I think Johnson will be one of the big breakout stars in the conference if not the country in 2015. He has a rocket arm and has good accuracy. He will give Auburn the ability to throw the ball downfield and make the Tiger’s passing game extremely dangerous. He’ll be helped by one of top pass-catchers in the SEC in Duke Williams (AU’s leading receiver in 2014) and the versatile Ricardo Louis among others.

The Tigers’ weakness lately has been on the defensive side of the ball, but I see that changing quickly in 2015. Will Muschamp comes in to take over a defense that has had bad results but not a lack of talent. I believe Muschamp is the premier defensive mind in college football. I’m sure he’s excited to have guys like star DE Carl Lawson, LB Cassanova McKinzy, and DT Montravius Adams, etc. at his disposal.

War Blogle

War Blogle

OVER 8.5 Wins – Auburn is getting a lot of love from the national media this preseason, but Vegas is still picking around 4 losses. I’m not totally sure why that is. The schedule lines up very favorably for the Tigers this season, getting Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia, and Alabama at home. The road games are to four teams that could be bad or could be good (LSU, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M). Could Auburn lose four of those games? Maybe, but not if the talent, and the changes to Auburn’s defense under Will Muschamp show up as they should. I’ll say at worst Auburn will go 10-2, but my prediction, as always, is 12-0.

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