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Predicting the 2020 SEC Football Season: Game 9 – Auburn Tigers

It’s Game Week and that means an end to previews. I am skipping Kentucky (Game 8) and Arkansas (Game 10) – I know you are disappointed but here is a rundown: they’ve got no chance against the Crimson Tide. The wild blind dart-throwing predictions conclude with taking a stab at the dysfunctional Jekyll/Hyde era of Gus.

Coach: Gustavo Malzahn (62-31, SEC 33-23, beginning his EIGHTH season at Auburn; Career: 71-34 at Aub plus one year at Ark State)

2019 record: 9-4 (5-3 in SEC, still 3rd in the West Division)

CB969 2018 Prediction: 8-4The Tigers have a good core returning in certain spots but lacking in others… It is just hard to see how Malzahn can all of sudden put together the kind of complete season that the fans have been clamoring for…” He didn’t.

Looking back: The Tigers opened the season 5-0 with wins over Oregon and TAMU. But the high times did not last as they lost to Florida, LSU and UGA in three of the next five games. They won the Iron Bowl in the usual flukey bounce trick play way, but embarrassed the SEC with a loss to Minnesota in the Outback Bowl (one of only two conference teams to lose in post-season; MSU was the other).

Returning starters: 5 on offense, 5 on defense, kicker.

Key losses: DT Derrick Brown (Round 1, Carolina), CB Noah Igbinoghene (Round 1, Dolphins), EDGE Marlon Davidson (Round 2, Falcons), T Jack Driscoll (Round 4, Eagles), S Daniel Thomas (Round 5, Jaguars), T Prince Tega Wanogho (Round 6, Eagles), RB JaTarvious “Boobie” Whitlow (transfer to Western Illinois), QB Joey Gatewood (transfer to Kentucky), CB Javaris Davis, DE Nick Coe, WR Will Hastings, S Jeremiah Dinson, P Arryn Siposs, RB Kam Martin.

Top returnees: DC Kevin Steele, DL Markaviest Bryant, LB K.J. Britt, PR Christian Tutt, QB Bo Nix, WR Seth Williams, C Nick Brahms, DL Tyrone Truesdell, LB Owen Pappoe, CB Roger McCreary, S Jamien Sherwood, WR Anthony Schwartz, RB DJ Williams, PK Anders Carlson.

Top newcomers: OC Chad Morris, RB Cartavious Bigsby (Hogansville, GA), DE Zykeivous Walker (Ellaville, GA), LB Wesley Steiner (Warner Robins, GA), DT Jay Hardy (Chattanooga, TN), WR Kobe Hudson (LaGrange, GA), WR Ze’Vian Capers (Alpharetta, GA), WR JJ Evans (Montevallo, AL), ATH Ladarius Tennison (Rockledge, FL), DB Chris Thompson (Duncanville, TX), TE Jeremiah Pegues (Oxford, MS), OL Brandon Council (transfer Akron).

Name you need to know: DE/LB Markaviest Bryant has a chance to step up and be a big star on Kevin Steele’s defense.

Strengths: Top three receivers return… With Morris at OC, he should be on the same page with Gussie… Placekicker… Linebackers could be okay…

Weaknesses: Replacing four out of five starting OL… Lost both corners and two safeties… Lack of depth at RB… Many new faces on defense…

Outlook: Auburn has some guys gone, some guys back, new coaches, old coaches. The Tigers are always good for a flop and/or a wacky upset. But is that what you want in a football team? A four or five loss team that occasionally beats the cross-state big brother? This team won’t be bad but they won’t be great either. As per usual, there somewhere in the middle.

2020 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sep 26 vs Kentucky – W
Sat, Oct 3 @ Georgia – L
Sat, Oct 10 vs Arkansas – W
Sat, Oct 17 @ South Carolina – W
Sat, Oct 24 @ Ole Miss – W
Sat, Oct 31 vs LSU – L
Sat, Nov 7 – bye
Sat, Nov 14 @ Mississippi State – W
Sat, Nov 21 vs Tennessee – W – They should win but…
Sat, Nov 28 @ Alabama – L
Sat, Dec 5 vs Texas A&M – L – Will Aub be in quit mode for this game?

Poll

How many regular season wins for Auburn in 2020?

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    9

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    8

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    7

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    6

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    5

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    4 or less.

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ALABAMA SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sep 26 @ Missouri
Sat, Oct 3 vs Texas A&M
Sat, Oct 10 @ Ole Miss
Sat, Oct 17 vs Georgia
Sat, Oct 24 @ Tennessee
Sat, Oct 31 vs Mississippi State
Sat, Nov 14 @ LSU
Sat, Nov 21 vs Kentucky
Sat, Nov 28 vs Auburn
Sat, Dec 5 @ Arkansas

Full SEC schedule

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