Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers have been an up and down program ever since he took over in 2013. But last year, despite a disappointing season, they finished in the strongest fashion possible, blowing out the Purdue Boilermakers 63-14 in the Music City Bowl. That gave them an 8-5 finish and some momentum heading into the offseason.
Then Auburn was able to secure a recruiting class that is identical to the Tennessee Vols in terms of quality. Finally, despite losing Jarrett Stidham, they return a huge chunk of their offensive line and enough production on defense to not have too much of a drop-off.
For more excitement, this team is set to start a true freshman at quarterback. Five-star Bo Nix, a pro-style guy, will take over and already has major expectations. He does have great raw talent, and given the experience of the line in front of him, he has a major chance to make an immediate splash for the program. This could be one of those years Auburn shoots up the league again.
As of right now, they are part of a new tier in our SEC Power Rankings above the other teams we have listed so far. Auburn’s successful finish to the season and decent offseason makes them a team that should expect to be in the top 25. We’ll know what we get from them soon enough.