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Auburn Football Preview Predictions and Schedule 2011
What do you do for an encore after going 14-0 and winning the BCS National Title? There's no place to go but down for the Auburn Tigers in 2011. They lose Cam Newton to the NFL and the cupboard is bare as far as returning starters with just 3 on each side of the ball. That's not to say we're looking at a team with no chance to achieve. Auburn had back to back top 5 recruiting classes and is loaded with young talent.
The Auburn Tigers of a year ago are a picture perfect example of the fact that you not only need to be good to win a National Title, you need to be lucky. You need breaks. You need the ball to bounce your way. True, good teams make their own breaks and find themselves in position to make plays and get the bounces. But it's not as if Auburn rolled through their schedule dominating opponents.
True, they dominated some. But take a look at the close games.17-14 over Miss St. 27-24 over Clemson in OT. 35-27 over South Carolina. 37-34 at Kentucky. 24-17 over LSU. 28-27 over Alabama and 22-19 in the title game over Oregon. This is in no way a knock on Auburn. They went 14-0 and won the title fair and square but it shows you that everything had to work out perfectly for this to happen. They were a play away from losing several times last season.
Auburn is listed at odds of 100/1 to repeat as National Champs but it might as well be a million to one because it simply isn't going to happen. Last season was magical. It was special.
But that's not to say this team won't compete. This is Auburn, not Akron. They are always going to have talent. There are a handful of automatic wins on the dance card, say, 4 or 5. It's what they do with the rest of the games, which is basically their SEC schedule, that will determine their season and frankly, just about every SEC game they have could go either way. What will hurt them is playing ACC Clemson, and SEC South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia all on the road.
If Auburn were to win all of their home games with the exception of Alabama, that would give them 5 wins and would mean they'd have to beat Florida. In which case, they'd have to win one of those road games to reach 6 wins and go to a Bowl. It looks to us as though they'll do that, but we have a hard time squeezing more than 7 wins out of this year's schedule. Look for Auburn to hold their own and go to a minor bowl, but no SEC Title and certainly no National Title repeat.
2011 Auburn Tigers Football Schedule
09/03/11 vs. Utah State
09/10/11 vs. Mississippi State
09/17/11 at Clemson
09/24/11 vs. Florida Atlantic
10/01/11 at South Carolina
10/08/11 at Arkansas
10/15/11 vs. Florida
10/22/11 at LSU
10/29/11 vs. Ole Miss
11/12/11 at Georgia
11/19/11 vs. Samford
11/26/11 vs. Alabama
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