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College Football Win Totals – Auburn Tigers

College Football Win Totals – Auburn Tigers

Auburn’s current regular season college football win totals at 5Dimes are listed at over 7.5 (+140) and under 7.5 (-180). The Tigers ended a mediocre 7-5 regular season with a dominating 43-24 victory over Virginia in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. Can they carry that momentum forward into 2012?

Auburn welcomes two new coordinators

Brian VanGorder takes over as defensive coordinator for Ted Roof. VanGorder spent the last 4 years as DC for the Atlanta Falcons. He was also the DC for Georgia from 2001-2004.

After finishing 11th in the SEC in total defense last year, the D needed new blood. VanGorder brings a new, more aggressive defensive style to the plains.

The new offensive coordinator is Scot Loeffler. While Loeffler is known for his work with quarterbacks, his one year as an offensive coordinator last fall at Temple yielded a unit that was seventh in the nation in rushing.

One of Loeffler’s strengths is that he’s coached in both spread and pro-style systems. He has the luxury of designing a scheme around the talents of his personnel, and that’s exactly what he says he’s going to do.

Auburn is still young, but should be improved

Auburn is still dealing with a lot of youth. Auburn returns 48 lettermen (20 offense, 26 defense, 2 specialists). Of the 68 scholarship players who participated in spring drills, 61 percent (38) were underclassmen.

Auburn does return 16 starters, including 10 on defense. However some of those starters won’t be starters this fall.

“We return 16 starters,” HC Chizik said, not including specialists. “But here’s the good news: All of those 16 aren’t going to be returning starters because they’ve got young guys behind them that are going to beat them out.”

Improved Defense

College Football Win Totals - Corey Lemonier

Corey Lemonier

The defense struggled in 2011, allowing 38+ points on six separate occasions and finishing 11th in the SEC in total defense.

Auburn played a lot of underclassmen on defense last season. This year they’ll be a lot more experienced and deeper at several positions.

Auburn’s defensive line looks especially formidable this season. The unit returns their top 10 contributors from 2011, including 4 starters who combined for 49 starts last season.

Junior defensive end Corey Lemonier is one of the best pass-rushers in the SEC. but junior Dee Ford, who missed most of last season with back problems, was named defensive MVP of the spring game after recording a sack and two TFL’s. The Tigers are deep at both end and tackle, and if some of the injured players come back healthy, this is a defensive line that could be dominant.

Biggest question mark? Quarterback!

College Football Win Totals - Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier

Kiehl Frazier

Auburn did not get much production from the quarterback position last year. The Tigers finished 10th in the SEC in passing, ahead of only Ole Miss and Kentucky. Auburn only averaged 153.4 yards per game passing and were last in the SEC in TD passes with nine.

One of the reasons Auburn brought in Loeffler as DC was because of his impressive resume coaching QB’s. It looks like sophomore Kiehl Frazier, who made strides as a passer this spring, has the edge over Clint Moseley, who started the last 6 games last year.

Frazier played in all 13 games last year, but he only attempted 12 passes, completing 5. However, Frazier is a former top recruit and is a true dual threat option. He rushed for 327 yards last season (4.3 ypc) and 3 TDs.

Schedule and Projected Win Probabilities

Auburn’s 2012 schedule includes eight games against bowl teams from a year ago. That is actually good news because last year they played 9 bowl teams in the regular season.

Even better news is Auburn only has 4 true road games (@ Miss State, @ Ole Miss, @ Vanderbilt and @ Alabama). LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia all have to travel to Jordan-Hare. They play Clemson in the Georgia Dome opening weekend and the remaining out of conference schedule is the usual SEC cakewalk, getting Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and Alabama A&M all at home.

Below is Auburn’s 2012 football schedule. I have placed the probability of the Tigers winning each game to the right of each opponent.

09/01                   vs Clemson (@ Atlanta, GA)  (50%)

09/08                   @ Mississippi State (50%)

09/15                   vs UL-Monroe (95%)

09/22                   vs LSU (35%)

10/06                   vs Arkansas  (55%)

10/13                   @ Mississippi (65%)

10/20                   @ Vanderbilt  (55%)

10/27                   vs Texas A & M  (65%)

11/03                   vs New Mexico State (100%)

11/10                   vs Georgia (50%)

11/17                   vs Alabama A & M (100%)

11/24                   @ Alabama (30%)

The total number I come up for Auburn is 750, or 7.50 wins based on the win probability numbers.  Only two games appear to be likely losses on Auburn’s schedule — a home game against LSU and away at Alabama.

UL-Monroe, Mississippi, Texas A & M, New Mexico State and Alabama A & M appear to be likely wins. Which leaves the Tigers with 6 swing games that could go either way.

Auburn’s 2012 Regular Season College Football Win Totals

Based on the overall numbers I have Auburn winning between 7 and 8 games. However, I believe Auburn will be improved on both sides of the ball this season.

College Football Win Totals - Jordan Hare Stadium

Jordan-Hare Stadium

HC Gene Chizik believes both lines will be improved. “I would say that certainly our offensive and defensive lines have more depth than we’ve had since we’ve been there.”

Quarterback Kiehl Frazier showed improvement in the spring under new OC Scot Loeffler’s tutelage and the defense is poised for better things after a poor 2011 showing.

Auburn has recruited well the past several seasons and there is an incredible amount of young talent on the roster. The 2011 recruiting class was excellent and many of those youngsters, especially on the defensive side of the ball, saw plenty of game action last season.

With 7 home games overall, 4 of 5 winnable away games and 3 non-conference cupcakes, I like Auburn’s chances to achieve an 8, maybe even a 9 win season. In fact anything less than 8-4 should be considered a disappointment.  With some really good odds on the over (+140), I would recommend Auburn OVER 7.5 (+140)

So will Auburn be improved this season? Let me know in the comments section how many games you think War Eagle will win this year. Thanks – Pez.


14 Responses to “College Football Win Totals – Auburn Tigers”

  1. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    I believe the Clemson game out of the gate will be huge for you getting over the 7.5 win total. Lose that game and Auburn will have to work very hard and probably need a couple breaks to get to 8 wins. Keep in mind that Auburn’s losses to the SEC elite teams last year weren’t just losses, they were for the most part bad losses. 24 points to Arkansas, 35 to LSU, 38 points to Georgia and 28 points to Bama. That’s a lot of ground to make up in one season, so I’m not sure I would give them a 55% chance of beating Arkansas and a 50% chance of beating Georgia. What Auburn will need to do is win the games that are definitely winnable, and not have any bumps in the road. Losing to Clemson would be a pretty big bump because they have to turn right around and play at Miss. St. the next week..

    On the positive side, Auburn pulled off two wins last year in which they were the dogs (Florida & South Carolina). If they can do the same this year they should be in good shape. It’s also good that they are playing 7 home games with an inexperienced QB. But I don’t think we can take any of their away games for granted. Right now I agree with Pezgordo, I think they go over 7.5 wins. But I think it’s going to be a tight fit. What makes this a gamble is we still don’t know for sure how good of a coach Gene Chizik really is. These are the kinds of seasons that will really test a coach. Do they go sideways from the 7 regular season wins they had last year, or do they improve? Chizik is very high on this year’s team. Now let’s see if he can earn his salary.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      GS, I actually had a paragraph that talked about Auburn getting blown out in their 5 losses last season, but decided not to use it. Here is the paragraph:

      On the other hand Auburn was not competitive in their 5 losses last season, but 4 of those were on the road and they did manage to beat a very good South Carolina team in Columbia.

      That is definitely a lot of ground to make up. However, they get Arkansas and Georgia at home this year and Auburn has only lost 2 games in the past 3 years at home vs teams where they have a higher 4 year composite recruiting ranking than their opponent.

      The only 2 teams on the schedule who have more talent then Auburn are LSU & Bama. Experience is a different story and that is where I figure they will trip up in one, maybe two of the other games. Certainly Georgia will be a tough game.

      They also have a pretty easy (by SEC standards) away schedule, getting Miss St, Vandy and Ole Miss, three very winnable games.

      I’m thinking they go 8-4 w/ losses to LSU, Georgia, Bama and they get “upset” somewhere (Clemson, Miss State, Arkansas?), though technically they are dogs against Clemson and will probably be short favs or dogs against Miss St & Arky too, so I guess those wouldn’t exactly qualify as upsets.

  2. Kevin says:

    50% chance of beating Georgia. O’Rly? Auburn has only beaten Georgia once in the last six years and that’s because they had a generational player in Cam Newton and Nick Fairley was allowed to take cheap shots on Aaron Murray for a minimum of 15 seconds after he released the ball on multiple occasions with no repercussions from the refs.

    Georgia could have beaten Auburn by 50 last year if they wanted to but decided not to run up the score after halftime. Auburn will be improved this year but they won’t take a huge step forward on either side of the ball and won’t be able to play with the big boys of the SEC this year.

    I would put their win %’s against LSU and Bama at around 2% and their win percentage against Arky and Georgia at around 10%.

    Also, home field advantage in the Georgia/Auburn series doesn’t mean that much. Georgia is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games played at Auburn.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      Well it doesn’t appear as though my 50% win probability against UGA is being received well. HA! I figured UGA will be about a 3 point favorite in that game, which is a 57% win probability when converted to a ML.

      I adjusted downwards because of home field advantage despite Georgia being 6-3-1 in the last 10 games played at Jordan-Hare.

      Even at 55% to 60%, I still consider that a “toss up,” especially on the road.

      Last years score has little, if anything to do with this year. Auburn beat South Carolina, South Carolina beat UGA, UGA beat Auburn. That kind of thing happens every year in college football.

      Boise State had very little trouble with UGA last year, I doubt the results (or the point spread) would be anywhere near what they were last season. Heck, ASU destroyed USC last year. The Trojans are this season’s early odds on favorite to win the MNC, the Devils will be lucky to stay out of the PAC 12 cellar.

      A 10% win percentage is unrealistic. That converts to about a 17 point spread. No way Georgia or Arkansas will be 17 point favorites at Auburn.

      Arkansas is overrated and the loss of Petrino, one of the best in game coaches in the SEC, is going to be felt in the W/L column.

      I do project Auburn to go 8-4 w/ the most likely losses being to LSU, Alabama and UGA. However, LSU and Alabama are the only two teams on Auburn’s schedule who have a better 4-year composite recruiting rating than the Tigers. That tells me from a talent perspective, no one else on the Auburn schedule has a much better than 50% win probability over War Eagle.

      • Kevin says:

        Are you really expecting Auburn to take a gigantic step from last year simply by replacing two coordinators? Especially when one of their coordinators they are replacing was one of the reasons they won a National Championship (he molded the Auburn offense to fit Cam during the Championship run).

        While last years score might have little to do with last year, I think the trend of Georgia winning 5 of the last 6 in the series (with Auburn’s lone win coming with a generational player) swings the favor more than in Georgia’s favor. Especially when Georgia returns superior talent to Auburn (there are very few positions where I would take an Auburn guy over a Georgia guy if you go down their line-up).

        • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

          Kevin, I am expecting an improved Auburn, mainly based on them being more experienced. However I would hardly call going from 7-5 (2011) to 8-4 (my 2012 projection) a gigantic step.

          Even Malzahn couldn’t overcome last years inexperience on offense, so I don’t think there should be much, if any drop off w/ Loeffler.

          You’re a Georgia guy, so you know VanGorder. I have to believe he is an improvement over Roof.

          The main reason I see at least a one game improvement for Auburn is two-fold:

          1. From a recruiting perspective, Auburn is every bit as talented as Georgia and more talented than every other team on their schedule except LSU and Bama.

          2. They are still a young football team, but they are a lot more experienced than they were last season.

          Young and talented teams are expected to have their ups (South Carolina, Florida)and their downs (LSU, UGA, Bama, Arkansas). However as they mature they should become more consistent.

          I expect Auburn to be more consistent and competitive this season, especially against those teams that hammered them last year.

          They play all 5 of those teams again this year and I expect Auburn to win at least 2 of those games, maybe three if your dogs have a bad day.

  3. Kevin says:

    Also, when you talk about Auburn you have to completely throw out the 2010 season because it was an anomaly. Probably one of the most senior laden teams in the history of college football and a once in a lifetime player in Cam Newton. Georgia would have coasted to a victory in 2010 over Auburn if it wasn’t for Cam Newton.

  4. Kiel says:

    Sorry Pez, but 50%, even at home against Georgia is a little optimistic. I understand you picked them to lose 4 games including Georgia, but just don’t see them making that big of a leap to place them at 50% against Georgia.

  5. Alex says:

    Not exactly in love with Vegas’ thinking of Auburn going 8-4 this year. I think it’s going to be more like 7-5 and maybe 6-6. They could quite easily lose to a pumped Clemson side looking to prove something after their Bowl Game Distaster, and going on the road to MSU won’t be easy either. Don’t be shocked if they are 0-2 in the first two games of the year.
    That leaves 8-4 a major uphill struggle- particularly with the loss of Michael Dyer, which is going to be a massive loss.
    And like everyone else, I think Georgia will beat Auburn (60%) – and only that close because the game’s in Jordan-Hare.
    I love that it’s not even July and I’m already thinking about this. Thanks for doing this!

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      Thanks for the comments Alex. I believe you hit the nail on the head concerning Auburn’s first two games. I wouldn’t be surprised w/ an 0-2 or a 2-0. 0-2 and they will struggle to get to 6 wins w/ the tough schedule they have.

      I’ve been taking a beating w/ my Georgia win percentage projection, and I understand everyone’s argument. In my defense I do have UGA as one of Auburn’s most likely losses. However, that is based on Georgia having more proven talent (experience), not more overall talent.

      Based on the past 4 years, Auburn’s 4-year composite recruiting ranking is 8th vs Georgia’s 9th.

      Auburn also beat a very good South Carolina team last year on the road. So they are capable of beating Georgia, Arkansas and Clemson.

      I’m not saying they are going to beat them, just saying they are capable of beating them.

      Thanks again for the comments.


      • Kevin says:

        Don’t get too carried away with recruiting rankings. If we took them to the letter then Texas should have been competing for National Championships the last two years and should be the favorite this year.

        Also, don’t under estimate the “Willie Martinez” factor. Auburn’s secondary could take a huge step back this year (which would be tough considering they weren’t very good last year).

        • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

          True about Texas the last few years. However, from a talent perspective, they are still loaded (especially on defense), they just underachieved because of:

          1. bad QB play
          2. bad coaching
          3. sense of entitlement

          As we’ve discussed before, I think Texas takes out some two years of frustration on a few unlucky foes this year.

          You don’t seem to be a big fan of ex-Bulldog coaches huh? LOL!

          What about VanGorder?

          • Kevin says:

            I love Erk Russell!

            As a college DC, I think BVG is a really good coach, although not a great recruiter (which won’t hurt at Auburn as long as they have Trooper and his money). As a Falcons fan, I’m lukewarm on BVG right now.


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