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Rome

[2023] Auburn Tigers Pre-Season Ups and Downs

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With the rumble against Oregon on the Horizon, let's take a quick look at the ups and downs for the Tigers this upcoming season.

 

Here's what the top babyfaces in college face:

 

Ups

  1. Defensive Chemistry - The Auburn defense returns 9 starters from last season. Any time a unit can return that much from the previous season, it's a huge win for the team. Chemistry and experience are huge from my perspective. Some key returns include the 2022 All-American and Lombardi Award Winner Sophomore DE Myles Wallace and ILB Brett Combs, but the unit is talented all around.
  2. Meade is Back - With an offensive line that is starting zero seniors and two freshman, a freshman QB, and a young receiving corps, having a cowbell like Meade is invaluable. Look for him to get a lot of carries this season, particularly early on. He had 1598 yards, 11 TDs, and no lost fumbles last year on 311 carries, averaging just shy of 100 per game over his 16 games.
  3. SEC Speed - The phrase "[Speed]" appears on the Auburn depth chart 19 times. The quarterback is a scrambler and the main runningback is a power guy who has had 50+ yard runs. The amount of athleticism on the offense will be the primary challenge for every defense they face. Teams will have to defend the entire field against this offense this upcoming season and it will be a stress test that not many teams will be equipped to deal with. The ability to turn each and every snap into a big play will make the Tigers one of the most exciting teams to watch this upcoming season.
  4. Momentum - I feel like momentum carries over multiple ways from the previous season. The most obvious is in progressions as players progress based on how they've played. There is also coaching momentum, where stringing together wins helps build confidence in your skills. Every little bit you can have to start the season can help set the pace to be successful.

 

Downs

  1. General Sherman - I am quite frankly terrified of starting a freshman QB this season. I can still remember my frustrations starting Kessler in almost this exact same scenario (both 3/5 Freshman starters) and I expect to have a very up and down season from the new kid. He showed a lot of potential in the spring game, but this style of offense has always been this defense's Achilles' heel. He didn't make much impact with his legs and instead did it all with his arm. That's the exact opposite of what I expected and it feels like I didn't learn much about this kid from the game.
  2. New Coordinators - We've replaced both our coordinators this offseason and with be debuting new schemes on both offense and defense. The defense is moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which is something I just recently experienced in Houston. I feel like my defensive line in Houston went from relatively strong out of the gate to sometimes non-existent in the change over and I fear the same thing will happen to Myles Wallace. We're also debuting a new scheme on offense, throwing out a lot of the built up playbook knowledge that the returning starters have. I think the scheme will utilize the talent very well (as shown by the spring game), but little assignment knowledge means more mistakes.
  3. NFLHC-lite divsion - The SEC West is an absolute meat grinder of a division and this year might be worse than last. Our 4th and 5th best teams are looking to be Texas A&M and Mississippi State--and those are the team that beat the national champion and the only team to give them a challenge in the playoffs. This feels like the best division in a NFLHC developmental league rather than a college division.
  4. OOC isn't much easier - vs Oregon, at Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Western Michigan. Those are the Tigers' four non-conference games this season. The Big 12, Big Ten, and MAC champions and the PAC-12 Runner Up. The Tigers will get challenged each and every game this season and just one mistake in any game could be the difference between a loss and a win.

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51 minutes ago, Rome said:

This feels like the best division in a NFLHC developmental league rather than a college division.

Image result for vince mcmahon chuckle

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1 hour ago, Rome said:

NFLHC-lite divsion - The SEC West is an absolute meat grinder of a division and this year might be worse than last. Our 4th and 5th best teams are looking to be Texas A&M and Mississippi State--and those are the team that beat the national champion and the only team to give them a challenge in the playoffs. This feels like the best division in a NFLHC developmental league rather than a college division.

I'm part of the meat grinder babyyyyyy :firefirefire:even though I'm gonna go 3-9 :firefirefire:

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2 hours ago, Jamarquan said:

even though I'm gonna go 3-9 

Mighty optimistic you're going to reach 3 wins I see  ;)

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11 minutes ago, llamas said:

Mighty optimistic you're going to reach 3 wins I see  ;)

I can probably beat Ohio, Liberty, and one of Georgia Tech or Ole Miss, so.

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Excellent article. Spring Game scouting as OOC opponent coming up...

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5 minutes ago, bingo415 said:

Excellent article. Spring Game scouting as OOC opponent coming up...

Should be an exciting opening game.  Would be a great option for the kickoff game.

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Just now, joedchi said:

Should be an exciting opening game.  Would be a great option for the kickoff game.

I agree. If pollsters agree with two Top 15 teams, then maybe...

 

Auburn, freshman QB or no, is really freaking good. Wallace and Coombs alone are badass enough to keep Oregon in single digits...

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4 minutes ago, bingo415 said:

I agree. If pollsters agree with two Top 15 teams, then maybe...

 

I could easily see that.

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Florida/Miami would be another depending what people think of Miami.  West Virginia/Virginia Tech is another.  Penn St/TCU.  Michiga/Notre Dame.  Western Michigan/San Diego State is an excellent choice.

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5 minutes ago, joedchi said:

Florida/Miami would be another depending what people think of Miami.  West Virginia/Virginia Tech is another.  Penn St/TCU.  Michiga/Notre Dame.  Western Michigan/San Diego State is an excellent choice.

Maybe the recency of Auburn in Kickoff Game 2022 means that WMU/SDSU would be the better choice. I think SDSU starts Top 10, and WMU sneaks into Top 25 on the strength of Madison alone.

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Just now, bingo415 said:

Maybe the recency of Auburn in Kickoff Game 2022 means that WMU/SDSU would be the better choice. I think SDSU starts Top 10, and WMU sneaks into Top 25 on the strength of Madison alone.

Agreed.  I think both Auburn and TCU get bypassed. Notre Dame was in it a couple years ago.  San Diego St and WMU is an intriguing matchup.

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20 minutes ago, joedchi said:

Should be an exciting opening game.  Would be a great option for the kickoff game.

 

8 minutes ago, joedchi said:

Florida/Miami would be another depending what people think of Miami.  West Virginia/Virginia Tech is another.  Penn St/TCU.  Michiga/Notre Dame.  Western Michigan/San Diego State is an excellent choice.

 

1 minute ago, bingo415 said:

Maybe the recency of Auburn in Kickoff Game 2022 means that WMU/SDSU would be the better choice. I think SDSU starts Top 10, and WMU sneaks into Top 25 on the strength of Madison alone.

 

Just now, joedchi said:

Agreed.  I think both Auburn and TCU get bypassed. Notre Dame was in it a couple years ago.  San Diego St and WMU is an intriguing matchup.

 

So me and @stormstopper have already started discussing this. Week 0 is going to be absolutely nuts this year and I look forward to seeing which teams get the TNF and SN kickoff games. I'm hopeful that we'll have the community vote on the games and decide who'll get those two spots (FNF's first game should be the first game for the reigning FCS Champion, CMV).

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1 minute ago, Rome said:

So me and @stormstopper have already started discussing this. Week 0 is going to be absolutely nuts this year and I look forward to seeing which teams get the TNF and SN kickoff games. I'm hopeful that we'll have the community vote on the games and decide who'll get those two spots (FNF's first game should be the first game for the reigning FCS Champion, CMV).

 

A community vote would be great.  And sorry for turning the focus away from your team.  Got a little sidetracked.

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