Triple Option Attack: #23 Auburn

Next up on the Triple Option Attack is #23 Auburn

Music to listen to: Country State of Mind by Hank Williams, Jr.

I’ve always been a fan of Hank, especially during my two separate times living in Nashville, Tenn. Country music is an interesting genre of music with the fact that you can have an artist sell millions of records yet only be known within a region of the United States like the southeast. Hank seems to be one of those legendary guys. Everyone knows about Johnny Cash but in comparison a smaller group knows about Hank. But if you know Hank and get him, he’s an amazing musician. Anyway, he’s from the state of Alabama, so there you go.

The Story: After a mostly successful 10-year tenure under head coach Tommy Tuberville, Auburn decided to make a change at the top with the hire of former Iowa State head man Gene Chizik. The move was marked with controversy because of Chizik’s unsuccessful run at Iowa State and the popularity of Tuberville. However, a solid first season and a top-five nationally-ranked recruiting class has fans in the Plains talking SEC West title.

Last Season: Finished the year 8-5, including hanging with Alabama and earning a 38-35 overtime win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.

Offense: The fans are very excited about the arrival of quarterback Cameron Newton, the former Florida Gator. He led his junior college to a national title last season and is expected to be the starter. His combination of physical abilities, he’s 6’5’’ with mobility and a strong arm, and experience make him a good candidate to run Gus Malzahn’s spread offense.

Senior running back Mario Fannin will hope to meet departed Ben Tate’s excellent numbers from last. Look for the arrival of highly recruited freshman Michael Dyer to make his presence felt in the backfield.

Junior Darvin Adams, who caught 60 passes for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009, will lead the receiving corps.

The offensive line will return four of five starters.

Defense: This used to be the main strength of the Tigers the previous few years but gave up at least 20 points in each contest last year accept for Louisiana Tech. If Auburn expects to compete for any titles, the defense has to improve.

The defensive line will have to replace Antonio Coleman, but the strength of the team will

Auburn will be the linebacker corps led by two potential All-SEC performers in Craig Steven and Josh Bynes. The secondary also returns all four starters.

The Schedule:

9/4 Arkansas State

9/9 at Mississippi State

9/18 Clemson

9/25 South Carolina

10/2 Louisiana Monroe

10/9 at Kent State

10/16 Arkansas

10/23 LSU

10/30 at Ole Miss

11/6 Tennessee-Chattanooga

11/13 Georgia

11/26 at Alabama

The schedule breaks nicely for Auburn. If the Tigers can get past a tricky Mississippi State team on the road, they can easily start its first six games undefeated. I don’t see Clemson being as big of a problem as others and I’m already penciling in a win against South Carolina. The only loss that you can almost guarantee is the game at Alabama.

Most Famous Sports Alum: Its Bo Jackson and its not even close.

Here’s some video of the dominance of Mr. Jackson

Celebrity Crush Alum: It’s Kimberly Page, the former wrestler and manger for World Championship Wrestling. 

 

Prediction: 8-4

The only two losses that I’m very sure about are the Alabama and Georgia games. Besides that, each game is a possible win. The Tigers may be one year away from becoming a serious challenge to Alabama in the SEC West.

Sports Inquirer Top-25 Preseason College Football Poll:

#25 West Virginia

#24 South Carolina

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