Auburn didn't have the best recruiting class in the country, nor in the SEC, nor in the SEC West. But the Tigers will have a newcomer who could make all the difference this fall. Graduate transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham (that rule will be eventually tweaked) will play for Auburn this season after transferring from Baylor. Stidham was good enough to srart for Baylor two years ago and he is good enough to lead an Auburn offensive unit that also includes a pair of running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson who combined for 2,000 yards rushing last season. Throw in a kicker in Daniel Carlson who made 28 of 32 field goals last season and the Tigers will put points on the board every week.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
On defense keep an eye on sophomore defensive end Marlon Davidson and a secondary that is as athletic as any in the SEC.
A road game at Clemson in the second week of the season will be an early indicator of just what direction the Tigers will follow this season. But Coach Gus Malzahn has averaged almost 9 wins in each of his first four seasons at Auburn. The non-conference schedule, other than Clemson, is manageable and the Alabama game will be played in Auburn this season.
All action in the SEC West still goes through Alabama, but LSU is in transition with a new coach, Mississippi and Mississippi State have obstacles to overcome, and Texas A&M has always flamed out at the end of the season
It is silly to call Auburn a sleeper, but it is also foolish to discount them as a national contender well into November, if not beyond.[/membership]