Auburn suffered a BCS championship hangover in 2011, but it was to be expected after its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback made the jump to the NFL. Let’s find take a closer look at this year’s squad from a betting perspective.
Tigers were lucky to win eight games
The Auburn Tigers were very fortunate to open up the 2011 season with a pair of home wins over Utah State and Mississippi State, as they were out-gained in both contests by a sizable margin. Cam Newton’s departure to the National Football League
left behind a huge hole to fill at the quarterback position, while 14 other starters needed to be replaced as well. From a college football betting perspective
, the program failed to deliver for backers, finishing with a 5-8 against-the-spread record.Both sides of the ball in transition
Gus Malzahn is definitely going to be missed around these parts, as his spread offense played a major part in delivering the school a national championship two years ago. He has moved onto the head coaching ranks at Arkansas State and will be replaced by Scot Loeffler on the sidelines. He served in this role at Temple a year ago, but is still known for his work with former quarterbacks at Florida and Michigan. Loeffler coached the likes of Tom Brady, Chad Henne and Tim Tebow at those previous stops.
On the other side of the ball, the Tigers hired on Brian VanGorder, who had spent the previous four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Supporters of the program will see a more attacking defense on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium this fall, but it remains to be seen if such a style will improve a rush defense that ranked 11th out of 12 schools in the Southeastern Conference in stopping the run.Frazier is favored to lead the offense
Kiehl Frazier earned Offensive MVP honors in the program’s spring game on April 14, completing 7 of 9 passes for 92 yards, while gaining 21 yards on five rushing attempts. The sophomore proved to be a valuable weapon in his first year collegiately, gaining 343 yards on 76 carries, but connected on just 41.7 percent of his throws. Junior Clint Moseley definitely has a shot of landing the starting job during two-a-days, considering the team’s move to a new offense, as he’s the most experienced thrower on the roster.Backfield needs someone to emerge
Michael Dyer, MVP of the 2010 BCS championship game, is no longer with the program after being released from his scholarship, which places added pressure on one of its senior leaders. Onterio McCalebb averaged 5.7 yards per carry a year ago, but isn’t an every down back due to weighing in at 174 pounds. Sophomore Tre Mason seems to be the heir apparent to Dyer, rushing for 64 yards in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but got just two carries in the spring game.Revenge game opens up the season
The program will get a chance to gain revenge from one of its five losses a season ago, taking on the Clemson Tigers inside the Georgia Dome on Sept. 1
. The Tigers suffered a 38-24 loss as 3.5-point road underdogs in last year’s meeting, which actually snapped the school’s 14-game series win streak. Auburn jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but the defense was unable to stop Clemson from that point on, allowing 624 total yards.Final thoughts
Auburn’s regular-season win total is currently 7.5 games at The Greek sports book, with the number facing downward pressure in the market. I’m not interested in supporting a team that’s replacing both coordinators, especially when it plays in the SEC. Head coach Gene Chizik will get more enjoyment watching Newton on Sundays then his own team this fall.Prediction: Under 7.5 wins