The Auburn Tigers surprised the College Football world last season when they rolled through the SEC West, dominated South Carolina in the SEC Championship game and eventually won their first National Championship since 1957. No team has won back to back national titles in College Football since the Nebraska Cornhuskers did it in 1994 and 1995. This upcoming season the Tigers will try to produce another title but it will be very difficult for Gene Chizik to get them back to the Pinnacle of College Sports.
Michael Dyer looks to have another 1,000 yard season
The team started out ranked 22nd in the nation last season with a struggling defense, an unproven Junior College quarterback, and an incoming freshman at running back. The offense turned into one of the best in College Football, being led by Heisman trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton and freshman running back Michael Dyer. Nick Fairly led the stout defense that shut down offenses and held an Oregon team that averaged almost 50 points a game to a measly 19 points. The loss of Cam Newton and Nick Fairly will weigh heavily on the 2011 Tigers but that wont be all they have to worry about for the upcoming season.
Gene Chizik's 2011 Tigers will struggle in the SEC West and it will be very hard for them to get back to a double digit win season with the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia on the schedule. The loss of All Americans Fairly and Newton hurt but I think the loss of their two best offensive lineman (Lee Ziemba and Ryan Pugh) will hurt even more. Inexperienced quarterback Barrett Trotter will led the troops with star running back Micheal Dyer in the the backfield.
The Tigers have lost too much and don't have enough experience on the team, only 5 returning starters, to make another run at the title in 2011. The national title last season did a lot for future Auburn teams but this year looks like a rebuilding year with a 8-4 record.