Auburn Tigers 2023 College Football Preview
July 27, 2023
Record – 5-7
ATS – 5-6-1
The Tigers posted their second consecutive losing season for the first time THIS CENTURY ** and failed to make the postseason. They didn’t even manage to post a quality win, although we suppose Western Kentucky was decent. They endured a five-game losing streak and fired your boy Bryan Harsin during the season, but at least they won two of their final three contests to put LIPSTICK on the PIG. Auburn rushed for over 300 yards (!) vs ROLL TIDE in the regular season finale but still lost by 22 points.
There’s reason for optimism as ace HC Hugh Freeze arrives in town with a plan to turn this BAD BOY around. Let’s goooo!
** fact check: you betcha
Auburn Tigers 2023 Outlook
It appears that Auburn will roll into the 2023 campaign with the mobile Robby Ashford (710 rush, 7 TD LY) at QB who still needs improvement operating the THROW GAME (49%, 7-7- TD to INT LY). Ashford is extremely elusive and Hugh Freeze made great use of mobile QBs at Liberty so there’s hope that he can become a useful dual-threat option. The RB room is very deep and includes options such as legit #1 back Jarquez Hunter (675, 7 TD, 6.5!) and the MIGHTY NIBLET transfer from South Florida, Brian Battie (5-7, 165; 1,186 rush, 6.7 LY). Auburn was atrocious throwing the ball LY (dead last SEC passing offense) but they’ve added some SPICY WR/TE transfers via the portal and they return their top-two from LY’s squad. The OL features three returning starters and over 90 career starts and they should form into a decent group. We look for significantly improved production on offense as long as Ashford takes a meaningful step forward in his development.
The Tigers were a yuuuge disappointment on defense LY as they allowed an unseemly 29.5 PPG (#12 SEC) whilst getting steamrolled by opposing rushing attacks (173 YPG, #11). They also came up short in the PENETRATION department (26 sacks, #9) so there’s lots of work to be done on this side of the football. Thankfully, new DC Ron Roberts (Baylor) has nine returning starters to work with and a BOATLOAD of transfer portal specimens to add to the mix. They’ve also got a lot of highly-recruited defenders that could blossom under the new coaching staff. They’ve got experience and size up front but appear to lack a dangerous sack-master. The LB unit looks a bit sketchy but the secondary should be really good given that the entire starting unit is retained (!) including star CB DJ James. We expect Auburn to be better on defense this season but their ceiling appears limited based on the lack of proven DOODS at DL and LB.
PK Alex McPherson did good work in limited action LY (6-7 FG, 9-9 XP) and punter Oscar Chapman is one of the best at his position in the SEC (43.8, 42.3). They’ve got continuity at KR and PR which is also a positive.
Overall – The non-conference schedule features three TOMATO CANS and a road trip to battle the Communists in Berkeley. It’s always insanely difficult to play in the SEC West and they’ll battle Georgia from the East in late September.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Vanderbilt (Nov 4)
This could be a letdown spot as it follows battles with LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi St. Also note that they’ve got WOO PIG on deck and Hugh Freeze is just 13-16 ATS in his career as road chalk.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 27
Over 6.5 -150
Under 6.5 +120
We project them to win four non-conference games and think they can win three or more SEC contests to hit the ‘over’.
HC Hugh Freeze is an EYE-POPPING 75-49-1 ATS during his career which equates to 60.5% over ten seasons. That’s some SWEET ACTION. Freeze has been great in every ATS role other than road favorite as noted above.
Our DEEP SEC INSIDERS expect much better things from Auburn this season. They’ll be better on both sides of the football and Hugh Freeze is a proven winner with experience coaching in the SEC. We’re not crazy about the QB situation and the schedule is tough but we’ll call for seven wins with an outside shot of doing a bit better if everything comes together. WAR EAGLE!