8.Auburn Tigers | Threat Level: Medium
Last season Auburn was the media’s pick to win the SEC West, but after some locker room turmoil involving Duke Williams, the Tigers limped into the season. The Tigers ended the season with a 6-6 record and an invite to the Birmingham Bowl.
Auburn is looking for some production from a transfer quarterback from East Mississippi CC in John Franklin III. The Last Chance U star has lofty expectation from Auburn fans who think Franklin is the next Jeremy Johnson.
The Tigers recently dismissed running back Jovon Robinson from the team for “not meeting expectations.”
Auburn had an average offense in 2015, with an OEI of .25, which is good for 44th in the nation. If Franklin can have a solid season, the Tigers should have a good season. But the former FSU QB will have trial by fire on week one when the Tigers face Clemson.
Franklin struggled to keep the starting job at East Miss, splitting time with Wyatt Roberts. He will have to fend off Sean White and Jeremy Johnson for the starting job.
The Tigers return 6 starters on offense and 5 on defense.
Defensively, the Tigers are hoping to see a healthy Carl Lawson dominate the SEC. The Tigers bring in a new defensive coordinator after Will Muschamp went to South Carolina. Kevin Steele, the former LSU DC, takes over for Muschamp.
The Rebels get Auburn at home and should win this game. They have the better team and should be able to handle the Tigers.
Next: 7. Arkansas Razorbacks