2011 Auburn Tigers Football Predictions and SEC Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 7/7/2011
At the end of the 2010 college football season, it was the Auburn Tigers who were crowned BCS National Champions. It was Auburn’s first national title since 1954. The chants of “War Eagle” were heard all over the country after Auburn beat Oregon in the BCS Championship Game. The Tigers went 14-0 as they were led by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
However, the Tigers lost more talent than just about any other team in the nation. While Auburn fans shouldn’t be booking a return trip to the BCS title game, they also expect this team to be highly competitive again in 2011. Remember, this is still Auburn, and they definitely received a nice boost in recruiting because of their national title.
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When Gene Chizik was introduced as the new coach at Auburn, there weren’t a whole lot of people happy with the hire. Needless to say, winning a BCS National Championship has a way of winning over a lot of fans. Chizik is now seen by most as a real innovator. Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator for Auburn, is regarded as one of the best in the business as well.
Chizik is a high-energy type of coach that gets a lot out of every player. Chizik is well-known for expecting his team to play an extremely physical style of football on both sides of the ball. He seems to have a natural ability to motivate players for the big game.
Cam Newton is gone, and that is obviously bad news. However, Newton didn’t have a firm hold on the starting quarterback job last year until right before the season. Barrett Trotter, Kiehl Frazier, and Clint Moseley will all have a chance to earn the starting nod this year. I expect Trotter to end up with the spot, and I think he has the skills to be a solid quarterback for this team. The running back position is a real strength for this team once again in 2011. Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb are among the best runners in the SEC. Both Dyer and McCalebb are also adept receivers out of the backfield, which gives the Tigers an extra weapon at all times.
Though I expect the skill positions to be good again for Auburn, the huge drop off in production this year will likely come from the offensive line. Four starters from the offensive line in 2010 are gone, and the team appears to be struggling to come up with replacements.
Newton got most of the media hype, but Nick Fairley was just as dominant for the Auburn Tigers. This defense will miss Fairley in the middle of their defensive front. The defensive line was a strength for the Tigers last season, but I expect it to be their weakness in 2011. Can the defensive line hold its own in the rough-and-tumble SEC? Pressuring the quarterback and holding up against teams with a power running game will likely be a problem.
The linebackers and secondary appear ready to have another good year. Neiko Thorpe in the secondary is one of the better playmakers in the nation. The linebackers are full of athleticism, and they can certainly cover a lot of ground. Expect Daren Bates and Eltoro Freeman to be in on many of tackles this season.
2011 Auburn Tigers BCS Championship and SEC Futures Odds
The oddsmakers are certainly expecting a precipitous fall for the Tigers in 2011. JustBet lists Auburn at +10,000 to repeat as BCS champions. This team clearly doesn’t have enough talent to get to that level, but what about their chances in the SEC West? 5Dimes has Auburn listed as the fifth favorite out of the six teams in the SEC West at a price of +1,300.
2011 Auburn Tigers Football Schedule
Didn’t the schedulemakers know this would be a rebuilding year for Auburn? The young and inexperienced Tigers won’t get many breaks at all in 2011. This is one of the toughest schedules you will see. The Tigers travel to Clemson, South Carolina, LSU, Arkansas, and Georgia. They must also host Florida and Alabama. They have a couple easy nonconference wins in there as they host Florida Atlantic and Samford, but overall this schedule is extremely tough.
2011 Auburn Tigers Football Predictions
Auburn will definitely have some growing pains with the ridiculously tough schedule they have this year. While the results this year won’t be terrific, this is a program that isn’t about to leave the national scene. Expect 2011 to be a tough year, but 2012 will likely be a very good one again. How will this team do this season? I think Auburn finishes with an 8-5 record after a difficult stretch in the SEC.
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