Auburn Tigers football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Tigers will do this year?
What kind of season will the Auburn Tigers football program have? The Tigers need to come up with some big moments in key games, but will it happen with the 2016 schedule? What will Gus Malzahn’s team come up with this year?
Sept. 3 vs. Clemson
I keep going back and forth on this one – and will probably waffle a few more times before kickoff. It’s at home, the AU defense should be frothing at the mouth, and even if it turns out to be great, the Clemson defensive front has some reworking to do. Deshaun Watson will be the difference in a Tiger fight – but check back in a few weeks.
Preseason Prediction: Clemson 26, Auburn 24
Sept. 10 vs. Arkansas State
This will be dangerous. Malzahn’s old team has the ability to win the Sun Belt, and it has the pop to keep things close if Auburn’s offense isn’t rolling quite yet. The Tigers will win, but the defense will have to be the star.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 31, Arkansas State 17
Sept. 17 vs. Texas A&M
The Tigers must come up with a home statement, and the SEC opener should have an air of desperation. A&M might turn out to be the better team with the better season after it’s all over, but Auburn will pull this off when the offense rolls to its best performance of the young season.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 34, Texas A&M 27
Sept. 24 vs. LSU
It’ll be a good first half for Auburn, and then the LSU offense will go to work with a grinding attack that’ll be brutally effective. It’ll be more like a trickle than a waterfall, but the Bayou Bengals will find a way to control the game throughout the second half and keep Auburn’s offense off the field.
Preseason Prediction: LSU 27, Auburn 13
Oct. 1 vs. ULM
It’ll be tough to get up for this after the loss to LSU. This will be the fifth-straight home game, and the Tigers will play like it with the offense exploding. The game will be nothing short of a cathartic performance after being held down by LSU.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 48, ULM 10
Oct. 8 at Mississippi State
Finally, the Tigers are going to be on the road, and that’ll matter. It’ll be a back-and-forth fight with the two defenses coming up with key stops. However, at home, the Bulldogs will find just enough balance to pull out a thriller late. The biggest key: MSU had a week off to prepare.
Preseason Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Auburn 24
Oct. 22 vs. Arkansas
Following a desperately needed bye week in the middle of the season, the Tigers will return refreshed enough to handle an Arkansas team coming off battles with Alabama and Ole Miss. Auburn’s offense will look great in a shootout.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 34, Arkansas 30
Oct. 29 at Ole Miss
What kind of shape will the Rebels be in? They’ll be coming off road trips to Arkansas and LSU, but being at home will do just enough to charge up the Ole Miss defense to pitch a gem. A great performance from the Auburn pass rush won’t pick up the slack.
Preseason Prediction: Ole Miss 38, Auburn 17
Nov. 5 vs. Vanderbilt
The Commodores should be ready to roll after getting a week off to prepare, and it’s going to be a grind. The Tigers have to avoid the sandwich moment between two high-profile road games, but they’ll fight their way through it.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 23, Vanderbilt 14
Nov. 12 at Georgia
It’s Georgia’s SEC finale, and it’s not going to disappoint. It’s also the Bulldogs’ first home game in three weeks, and they’re going to play like it with a balanced attack, a nice performance from an improved running game, and an efficient day from quarterback Jacob Eason on the way to a relatively worry-free rivalry victory.
Preseason Prediction: Georgia 28, Auburn 17
Nov. 19 vs. Alabama A&M
Alabama gets UT-Chattanooga as their opening act warm-up for the Iron Bowl; Auburn gets Alabama A&M. Neither game will be particularly entertaining.
Preseason Prediction: Auburn 41, Alabama A&M 0
Nov. 26 at Alabama
The Tigers will fight the good fight for a half, and then it’ll be all Alabama the rest of the way. The rotation on the Crimson Tide defensive front will take over, stifling the Auburn ground game and forcing turnovers to turn the game into a breather.
Preseason Prediction: Alabama 31, Auburn 14
2016 Prediction: 6-6
2016 SEC Prediction: 3-5