Auburn football: Athlon Sports calls Tigers potential seven-eight win team

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

Expectations vary for what Auburn football is going to accomplish during the upcoming 2021 season this fall.

The Tigers will have plenty of home-field advantages returning as the world emerges from the shadows of the darkness COVID-19 brought every facet of humanity for the past year and a half. 87,451 fans will be coordinating chants louder than anyone else in the state of Alabama is capable of. Tiger Walks will be returning to the pregame ritual. Skybar will be a sweaty shoulder-to-shoulder pit of boozy bliss once more.

The Plains will be restored to the pre-pandemic glory that made Auburn University one of the most prestigious places to play football in the nation.

Auburn football needs to move on from last year’s limited capacity/limited success that the 2020 season had at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Given the regime change and talent infusion through the transfer market that followed, six wins cannot happen again.

According to Athlon Sports, it won’t. Instead, a 7-5 or 8-4 finish will result instead:

"A tough schedule and a first-year staff make this look like a seven- or eight-win team. A talented defense should keep the Tigers in games, but Nix will again play an oversized role in how successful this team can be. An early non-conference game at Penn State will say a lot about Auburn."

That Penn State game comes in week three and is sandwiched between an FCS give-me against Alabama State and a potential trap game with Georgia State, according to Sports Illustrated. That is the one that has experts teetering between seven and eight-win projects for the 2021 Auburn football season.

The Athlon staff honed in on the shortcomings of the OL as a reason to be bearish on the chances of Bryan Harsin pulling off the first-year upset of either Alabama, Georgia, or Texas A&M, three top 35 defenses in 2020.

LSU fielded one of college football’s most disappointing defenses last season but added Mike Jones Jr. and Major Burns via the transfer market while also fielding the #3 Class of 2021 recruiting class, headlined by the #2 DT in the country, Maason Smith.

If Auburn football could pull off an upset on any of the aforementioned SEC top dogs, the conversation will shift from simply qualifying for a bowl game to having CFP ambitions. We’re just happy the conversation at Athlon was more uplifting than the discourse at The Score

Next. The Score "likes nothing about Auburn in 2021". dark