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Returning players bump in 2019 preseason rankings

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The earlier preseason rankings were a lot lower before all of the players who were juniors decided to stay! WOW

Early projections bullish on Auburn for 2019 season

The 2018 college football season is over. It's time to look ahead to next season.

 

Auburn, who is coming off a record-setting 63-14 win over Purdue in the Music City Bowl, has momentum back on its side heading into the offseason thanks to a number of players - notably defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson - announcing their decision to return to school this week.

 

So what does that mean for the 2019 season? Most "Way-Too-Early Top 25 projections" by national media see the Tigers as a Top 25 team and a possible contender once again in the SEC.

 

The Action Network: No. 11

 

"Gus Malzahn will take over the playcalling again, but he'll have to break in a new quarterback. The Tigers have recruited at a top-10 level over the last five years."

 

SB Nation: No. 13 

 

"As a serious pollster, you don't want to get caught being too far off base on any one team. For Auburn, a spot smack dab in the middle of the poll is great, because anything from a national championship to an unranked finish is always in the realm of possibility."

 

The Athletic ($): No. 13

 

"Whatever you predict for the Tigers, they'll inevitably do the opposite. The big question is whether four-star QB signee Bo Nix can win the starting job as a freshman. Gus Malzahn is back calling plays, and Auburn won't be lacking for playmakers with RB JaTarvious Whitlow and WRs Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz. Its defense got a huge boost when stud DT Derrick Brown announced he's returning."

 

Sporting News: No. 16

 

"This is a pivotal season at Auburn for Gus Malzahn, who will be more involved in the offense than he was in 2018. The Tigers have had four or more losses in each of the last five seasons. The good news? Alabama and Georgia must come to The Plains this year."

 

Sports Illustrated: No. 19

 

"Every season on the Plains seems to fluctuate between a playoff push and a fade that draws calls for Gus Malzahn's job. Malzahn is back to calling plays after OC Chip Lindsay joined the new staff at Kansas, but whether that is good or bad for the Tigers remains to be seen. The offense must pick up the slack after the team's most consistent unit, the defense, saw multiple departures (although standout defensive tackle Derrick Brown and edge rusher Marlon Davidson will be back). Auburn gets Oregon in a neutral-site season opener in Arlington and must navigate road games with LSU, Florida and Texas A&M."

 

ESPN: No. 23

 

"Even with more than $40 million left on his contract, it might be a make-or-break season for Auburn's Gus Malzahn in 2019. So it's a good thing the Tigers are headed into the offseason with some much-needed momentum after blasting Purdue 63-14 in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

 

With Malzahn calling offensive plays for the first time in more than two years, and the Tigers using an up-tempo game plan, they set an SEC record for points in a bowl game. Malzahn plans on calling plays again next season, with new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham assisting him.

 

The Tigers will have to find a new quarterback after Stidham announced he's entering the NFL draft. Auburn is in the market for a graduate transfer, and incoming freshman Bo Nix was the No. 4 pocket passer in the ESPN 300.

 

Auburn's defense received a big boost when star junior defensive tackle Derrick Brown decided to return in 2019. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Brown had 45 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2018.

Auburn's 2019 schedule is again among the most difficult in the FBS. The Tigers open the season against Oregon in Dallas, play SEC road games at Texas A&M, Florida and LSU, and play Georgia and Alabama at home."

 

Athlon Sports: No. 23

 

"With Gus Malzahn's seat heating up after an 8-5 mark in 2018, he's slated to take over the offensive play-calling duties once again in '19. The Tigers averaged only 22.3 points in SEC contests and ranked near the bottom of the league in plays of 30 yards or more (24). While Malzahn's decision to be more involved could be a plus, the offense has to break in a new quarterback after Jarrett Stidham left early for the NFL and get marked improvement out of an offensive line that was inconsistent throughout 2018. The good news for Malzahn: Quarterbacks Malik Willis, Joey Gatewood and Bo Nix are talented, and the line is slated to bring back all five starters. Additionally, JaTarvious Whitlow is back to anchor the ground game after rushing for 787 yards and six touchdowns this season. The receiving corps will miss Ryan Davis (69 catches), and Darius Slayton (19.1 ypc) declared for the NFL. However, Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz are back, and Will Hastings and Eli Stove return after redshirt seasons due to injury. Auburn's defense was the unquestioned strength of its 2018 team. This unit held teams to just 19.2 points a game, ranked second in the SEC in sacks (38) and allowed only 3.7 yards a carry. Cornerback Jamel Dean declared for the NFL draft, but Derrick Brown (DT) and Marlon Davidson (DE) are coming back for 2019. Deshaun Davis leaves big shoes to fill at linebacker. Malzahn has a chance to cool his seat with a matchup against Oregon in Arlington on Aug. 31, but the road schedule is brutal. Auburn plays at Texas A&M, Florida and LSU next season. However, Georgia and Alabama come to Jordan-Hare Stadium."

 

Watch Stadium: No. 24 

 

"The Tigers signed the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, Bo Nix, who could compete to claim the starting quarterback job vacated by Jarrett Stidham, who declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. Auburn's leading rusher, JaTarvious Whitlow, is just a freshman. While leading tackler Deshaun Davis, a First Team All-SEC selection at linebacker, exhausted his eligibility, defensive tackle Derrick Brown announced his return to school. Like the 2017 season, Auburn will have a big opportunity by hosting Georgia and Alabama but the Tigers open the season against Oregon and travel to Texas A&M, Florida and LSU."
 

Edited by toddc
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The 2019 schedule is really tough. We could be pretty good and still lose 5 games (heck we lost 4 last year and we were better than good!) We have got to stop being so inconsistent and beat the teams we are favored to beat!

Edited by ChltteTiger

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35 minutes ago, ChltteTiger said:

The 2019 schedule is really tough. We could be pretty good and still lose 5 games (heck we lost 4 last year and we were better than good!) We have got to stop being so inconsistent and beat the teams we are favored to beat!

And stop doing the opposite when projected in Top 10. 

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1 hour ago, ChltteTiger said:

The 2019 schedule is really tough. We could be pretty good and still lose 5 games (heck we lost 4 last year and we were better than good!) We have got to stop being so inconsistent and beat the teams we are favored to beat!

If we lose 5 games then we are not pretty good. We were above average last year. Wouldn't qualify us as good.

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It's way early for 2019 prognostications, but USA Today does not have Auburn listed in the top 25 for next season *despite* that glorious win over Purdue. Okay, USA Today is not [name your personal favorite football rating source]. But other than Bama and Clemson, has any "way too early" ranking source nailed it?

Screw the way too early preseason rankings. We all saw where that ended up last season. Auburn in the top 10, the top 5, ready to compete for the playoff and national championship. Yeah ... right.

Let's be real. Right now, with no QB, middling RBs, Cox gone, Davis gone, an OL that is still (to put it politely) "under construction," and a secondary and LB crew that is a genuine question mark, I don't really see how Auburn is a top 20 team.

As usual, these pre-season rankings seem to be based on previous season results along with gobs of bias-coated glitter.

I'm really hoping that, come September, Auburn will be a powerhouse. I want a QB to step up. I want a RB or two to step up. I want a dominant OL. I want DBs who can defend the pass and LBs who can shut the holes and DL that can pressure the QB. I want a FG kicker who can tunnel it at 55 yards. Blah, blah, blah. We all want that. But that means, I'm really hoping players and COACHES step up their game.

Okay, last season, with all the lofty expectations, when I expressed my concerns after the LSU loss, lots of AUF jumped on me and accused me of treason. I love my Tigers. I've been a die-hard Auburn fan longer than most people here have even been alive. I graduated from Auburn before many people here were out of diapers. But I am a long time administrator. I'm all about results, not fantasies and pretty pictures.

Screw the way too early rankings. Show me some results next Fall.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, AURex said:

It's way early for 2019 prognostications, but USA Today does not have Auburn listed in the top 25 for next season *despite* that glorious win over Purdue. Okay, USA Today is not [name your personal favorite football rating source]. But other than Bama and Clemson, has any "way too early" ranking source nailed it?

Screw the way too early preseason rankings. We all saw where that ended up last season. Auburn in the top 10, the top 5, ready to compete for the playoff and national championship. Yeah ... right.

Let's be real. Right now, with no QB, middling RBs, Cox gone, Davis gone, an OL that is still (to put it politely) "under construction," and a secondary and LB crew that is a genuine question mark, I don't really see how Auburn is a top 20 team.

As usual, these pre-season rankings seem to be based on previous season results along with gobs of bias-coated glitter.

I'm really hoping that, come September, Auburn will be a powerhouse. I want a QB to step up. I want a RB or two to step up. I want a dominant OL. I want DBs who can defend the pass and LBs who can shut the holes and DL that can pressure the QB. I want a FG kicker who can tunnel it at 55 yards. Blah, blah, blah. We all want that. But that means, I'm really hoping players and COACHES step up their game.

Okay, last season, with all the lofty expectations, when I expressed my concerns after the LSU loss, lots of AUF jumped on me and accused me of treason. I love my Tigers. I've been a die-hard Auburn fan longer than most people here have even been alive. I graduated from Auburn before many people here were out of diapers. But I am a long time administrator. I'm all about results, not fantasies and pretty pictures.

Screw the way too early rankings. Show me some results next Fall.

 

 

I don't know AURex. It is "way" too early to project a good or bad season for Auburn considering all our unanswereds. But roster-wise I feel like top-25 is and should be our floor. No surprises here for me.

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