Gus Malzahn led the Auburn Tigers to a remarkable turnaround in his first year as their head coach. The team won the Iron Bowl, then the SEC title and were only 0:13 away from a National Championship.
The defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers begin their title defense against the Arkansas Razorbacks in a battle of SEC West Division rivals.
The Auburn Tigers went 7-1 in the SEC (12-2 overall) thanks to a now-infamous Iron Bowl win over the Alabama Crimson tide on a 109-yard missed FG-return TD. The Tigers would beat Missouri to win the SEC title and went to the National Championship game, where they lost to Florida State.
The Razorbacks struggled throughout the entire 2013 season, going 0-8 in the conference and 3-9 overall for their second straight losing season since the departure of Bobby Petrino.
Who Is Gone?
Auburn lost mauling Offensive Tackle Greg Robinson, who was drafted No. 2 overall by the Rams. The team also lost star defender Dee Ford to the Chiefs and Heisman trophy candidate Tre Mason to the Rams.
Who Is Here?
QB Nick Marshall is the Auburns dual-threat, who along with Tre Mason helped the Tigers lead the NCAA in rushing yards. However, the amount of time Marshall may see could be diminished after being cited for marijuana possession. WR Sammy Coates is the team’s leading receiver and OT Shon Coleman replaced Greg Robinson as the starter.
Battles between the best and worst in any element of college football almost never leave room for the underdog to pull the upset. Auburn has a dominant offense while Arkansas simply lacks the firepower of most SEC teams.