2021 Auburn Tigers Football Predictions: Season Win Total Picks
2020 Record: 6-5
2021 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.0
2021 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: ‘Under’
Gus Malzahn soaked every last ounce of goodwill and benefit of the doubt out of his near miss in the 2014 National Championship Game. In the end, the Tigers faithful grew sick of Malzahn’s mediocrity, and he was finally cut loose after 2020’s COVID campaign.
In comes Bryan Harsin, who has made his bones shepherding Boise State for the last seven seasons. Harsin was an interesting choice to take over at Auburn. His coaching resume speaks for itself. But with no ties to the SEC or Southeast, he seems like a stranger in a strange land trying to return this program to its former glory.
Harsin was also diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and will be forced to quarantine for 10 days. His availability for Auburn’s Week 1 game against Akron on Sept. 4 is unknown.
Harsin did inherit a decent bit of talent from Malzahn. Third-year sophomore starter Bo Nix gives the Tigers a proven arm and leadership under center. Graduation and transfer gutted his receiving corps, but he does have the benefit of five returning starters along the offensive line.
The strength of this Auburn team will be its defense. They have seven returning starters on that side of the ball, and their top three recruits were all defensive players. Linebacker Zakoby McClain is ready to break out and could be one of the best defensive players in the SEC.
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
Auburn should be able to stack up a pair of wins against Akron and Alabama State to start the season. Then Harsin and Co. will face their first true test with a killer road game at Penn State on Sept. 18. They do have the benefit of hosting big games against Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama. They have the misfortune of road games at LSU and at Texas A&M.
Auburn has a lot of 50-50 games on its schedule, and they are a tough team to project. How are the veteran players (especially Nix) going to adjust to Harsin’s systems? How will they perform against several other squads – Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Miss State – that are further along in their rebuilding phases?
This is a tough number. I have Auburn pegged at 7-5, so this one isn’t really in my wheelhouse. But if I have to pick a side, I can see them losing to Penn State, LSU, Georgia, A&M and Alabama, along with one of the Mississippi teams, to go 6-6. I’ll say ‘under,’ but this one is a no play for me.
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