For Alabama football fans, the Auburn Tigers have provided balm for the pain of a lost National Championship game during the offseason. Inexplicably, Auburn Power Brokers watched Gus Malzahn run their program in the ground and waited until the solution was Bryan Harsin to act.
It’s hard to get that wrong twice in a row, but somehow the Auburn group pulled it off. Bryan Harsin isn’t a bad football coach, but there was nothing on his resume that indicated he would find success with the SEC.
Realizing that hiring Harsin was a mistake, power brokers staged a coup to fire Harsin. After sticking with Malzahn for too long and then hiring Harsin, the shady attempt to fire Harsin became the most damaging of the head coach’s three bad decisions.
Now some are predicting that Auburn could go winless in the SEC. Will it really be that bad? My guess is they will win an SEC game or two to finish with five wins at best. Almost every media source has finished the Tigers last in the SEC West.
Alabama football will dominate the Iron Bowl
Iron Bowl 2022 will bear no resemblance to last season’s thriller. The Alabama football team will be at least four touchdowns better than the Auburn Tigers.
The strengths of the Auburn Tigers
- At Edge Rusher, Auburn has the best in the SEC not wearing crimson. Derick Hall had 52 tackles and nine sacks last season. If Eku Leota can take some pressure off him, Hall can be more productive in 2022.
- Auburn running back tank Bigsby is one of the best in the SEC.
- Auburn is packed with experience on the offensive line.
- The defensive line should be solid with Colby Wooden, Marcus Harris, Marquis Burks, Oregon Transfer, Jayson Jones and former JUCO, Jeffrey M’Ba.
- The Tigers may have won more than they lost on the transfer portal.
The Auburn Tigers Weaknesses
- The Tigers may have lost more than they won on the transfer portal.
- The hot seat situation for Bryan Harsin
- Harsin doesn’t have a proven game changer at quarterback. Out of four possible options, Zach Calzada and Robby Ashford are the top picks and the starter will be looking over his shoulder throughout the season.
- Experienced offensive line needs to improve or experience will not be a plus.
- Wide receiver return experience is limited due to the portal and the NFL with only one proven receiver returning, Shedrick Jackson.
- Even with a healthy Owen Pappoe, linebacker talent and depth is questionable.
Watch earlier previews of the Utah State, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Monroe games.
The most potentially dangerous situation for the Tigers is collective frustration late in the season. The Tigers will likely go into the Iron Bowl 4-7 or 5-6, and Harsin’s team may have deserted him by then. Worse in the short term, when the Aubies get to Tuscaloosa, an interim could be more likely to be on the sidelines than Bryan Harsin.