I could write a book, but since people have short attention spans, I want to keep this short and succinct. And, although I don't always agree, I do like reading your posts.
We've had 6 years of Gus the head coach. I don't care about his HS record, his record at Tulsa or his record at Arkansas St. This is the SEC. In his 6 years as head coach we've had one season of less than 4 losses, and 2 seasons of less than 5 losses. Counting his 3 seasons as OC here, we've had 2 seasons of less than 4 losses, and in his 9 years here, we've had 6 seasons of 5 losses or more. In 2 of the 3 seasons with less than 5 losses, he's had superb DT QB's that were JC transfers. In his 3rd total season here with less than 5 losses (4, cutting it close), he had a 1st year transfer QB who regressed substantially his 2nd year in the program. IF he is successful this year with a redshirt sophmore, redshirt freshman, or true freshman it will be his FIRST year of success (less than 4 losses) at Auburn without a TRANSFER QB!
We have talent as indicated by our top ten recruiting rankings during Gus' tenure here (and yeah a couple just outside the top ten). We have two young QB's who appear to have a ton of potential. We have an ALL SENIOR offensive line (that was horrible last year, but could gel and make the most of their talent this year to be adequate). We have a huge stable of UNPROVEN RB's that could be really good or just meh. Our receiving corps has loads of talent, but will they be utilized to their potential.
On defense we lost our top CB. We lost our total starting LB corp. We lost an under appreciated DL double team eater and run stopper that we don't really have a sure back up for. We have depth on Defense, so yeah, if athletic potential translates to production on the field we could be better, but we won't know until the season plays out.
IMO, the worst thing that could happen to Auburn football in the long run, would be for the team to play over it's head, stay healthy and catch some lucky breaks to finish the year with 9 or more wins including a big win against LSU/Georgia/Alabama to allow GM to get another year here. Then he reverts back to his mean, and puts in another 5 or 6 loss season and continues to lag in offensive line recruiting, less than stellar RB recruiting, QB's continue to regress in his system, and his offense remains figured out. And we continue to WALLOW in mediocrity.
But yeah, I am optimistic about the potential of this team for the upcoming year, but I'm also fully aware of GM's track record. So, I hope we have a really good or really bad season to finally clear up GM's status here. And, this still probably ended up TLDR...lol.