Auburn Football Predictions

The Auburn Tigers made one of the most remarkable turnarounds off all-time last year. Auburn finished up 2012 with an overall record of just 3-9 and went winless in SEC play at 0-8. No one expected much of anything out of this team under first year head coach Guz Malzahn and man did this team prove their doubters wrong.

The Tigers won the SEC West with a unthinkable win over Alabama in the regular season finale, where they scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds on a missed field goal by the Crimson Tide. Auburn would go to dismantle Missouri in the SEC Championship Game, but their dream season would come to a heartbreaking end with a 31-34 loss to Florida State in the BCS Championship Game.

Unlike the 2011 season, where Auburn returned just 6 starters from their 2010 national championship team, the Tigers will welcome back 14 starters, including quarterback Nick Marshall. However, Auburn loses three huge pieces from last year’s team. Defensive end Dee Ford (team-high 10.5 sacks) and left tackle Greg Robinson were both taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and star running back Tre Mason (Heisman Finalist, 1,816 yards, 23 TDs) was selected in the 3rd round.

Last Season
SEC (West)
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2014 Auburn Tigers Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 Arkansas
9/6 San Jose State
9/18 @ Kansas State
9/27 Louisiana Tech
10/4 LSU
10/11 @ Mississippi State
10/25 South Carolina
11/1 @ Ole Miss
11/8 Texas A&M
11/15 @ Georgia
11/22 Samford
11/29 @ Alabama
Estimated Wins: 9.39

The big question that everyone is asking, is can the Tigers build off last year’s improbable run, or will this team fail to live up to expectations. It’s not easy going from the underdogs to a team with a giant target on your back. Auburn isn’t going to be able to sneak up on teams like they did a year ago. The rest of the SEC has been studying the tape and should be better prepared to slow down their option attack.

Not only will the Tigers have a target on their back, they will have to overcome a more difficult schedule. Auburn draws what most would consider to be the top two teams out of the SEC East in Georgia and South Carolina and will have to go on the road to face the Bulldogs. The Tigers also have to go on the road against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama, plus they got a challenging road game early on in non-conference play at Kansas State.

One of my big concerns with Auburn is that they aren’t going to be able to put up the same kind of numbers on the ground. The Tigers averaged 328 yards/game with a ridiculous 6.3 yards/carry. It was the first BCS team to rush for more than 320 yards with an average carry at 6.0 or better since Nebraska in 2000. When you factor in the losses of their best offensive lineman and a Heisman caliber running back, the offense has the potential to be a big disappointment given the standards set last year.

Another troubling sign for Auburn is that they were 5-1 in games that were decided by a touchdown or less. Nebraska (5-0) and UCF (7-1) were the only two BCS teams with a better record in close games.

The Tigers also benefited from a huge jump in the turnover department. Auburn went from posting a turnover margin of -12 in 2012 to and even 0 in 2013. A +12 improvement from one year to the next is quite a turnaround and more times than not a team’s fortune will reverse back the following year.

Regular Season Win Total
SEC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
4 to 1
12 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

While there’s a lot of signs pointing in the wrong direction, it doesn’t mean Auburn is doomed for a horrible season. The Tigers have a ton talent coming back and there’s no denying that this was a completely different team in the second half of the year. You also have to keep in mind that Malzahn is in just his second year in charge. After what he did in his first season on the job it’s hard to doubt him.

The thing that you need to realize is that Auburn is going to be overrated for the simple fact that they played in the National Championship Game and were an incredible 12-2 ATS on the season. Keep in mind that the Tigers only went 10-4 ATS during their undefeated season in 2010 and came back the next year and went just 5-8 ATS. I strongly believe the experts will be fading Auburn early and often in 2014 and I highly recommend you do the same.

Given the schedule and the overwhelming signs that Auburn won’t be as strong of a team this season, I think the smart play is to take the UNDER 9.5 on their season win total. I’m being pretty optimistic with my 9-3 prediction, as I only have them losing three of their four conference road games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. However,  I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped another game at home against either LSU or South Carolina and it’s not out of the question they won’t lose on the road at Kansas State. The Tigers have dropped five straight non-conference true road games.

2014 Projections
SEC (West)
SEC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
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