AUBURN — As usual, Auburn has just one of the most hard schedules in college or university football this year.
But which 2022 matchup is toughest? Where does Auburn have to have to steal a match?
Right here are the 12 opponents ranked in reverse get centered on problem.
12. Mercer (property)
Mercer concluded 2nd in the Southern Meeting last period and was struggle-tested at Alabama. Can Auburn acquire by much more than the Crimson Tide’s 48-14?
11. San Jose Point out (property)
A acquainted Mountain West opponent for Auburn coach Bryan Harsin. San Jose State’s meeting title defense stalled very last period with 20 points for every game. Its defense really should be superior than its offense this yr. Cupcake match.
10. Western Kentucky (home)
The Hilltoppers are the very best non-power meeting opponent Auburn will deal with. They lost offensive mastermind Zach Kittley, but they are including sixth-12 months grad transfer quarterback Jarret Doege, a former West Virginia starter.
9. Missouri (property)
Missouri has a higher-rated freshman signing course than Auburn, including the leading receiver recruit in the state, Luther Load. He’ll examination Auburn’s overhauled secondary in the SEC opener, but the 5-star does not know who will be throwing to him however.
8. Mississippi State (away)
Auburn lovers nonetheless shiver at any mention of coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense or quarterback Will Rogers, who completed 34 of his previous 37 passes for six touchdowns previous November. The Tigers blew a 28-3 direct. Now they have to deal with Rogers whilst cowbells are egging him on.
7. Penn Condition (property)
Auburn options to counter Penn State’s whiteout activity with an orange-out. Maybe that backdrop will help the Tigers defend quarterback Sean Clifford superior than previous yr, when he was 28-for-32 passing. The Nittany Lions deficiency jogging choices. Significant-strain road activity for coach James Franklin following acquiring a substantial extension.
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6. LSU (residence)
Ed Orgeron did a minimal with a whole lot. This is not Orgeron’s LSU anymore. New mentor Brian Kelly revamped the roster with transfers, including previous Arizona Point out quarterback Jayden Daniels. Auburn’s loaded defensive entrance ought to have a discipline day against a weak offensive line.
5. Arkansas (home)
This feels like a ought to-win home sport considering Auburn’s other opponents, but the Razorbacks are improving upon at an alarming tempo. The protection added intraconference transfers from LSU, Alabama and Ga. Oklahoma’s Jadon Hazelwood patches the gap left by receiver Treylon Burks. Can quarterback K.J. Jefferson end Arkansas’ 6-sport dropping streak to Auburn?
4. Ole Miss (absent)
Mentor Lane Kiffin shed two coordinators, not to point out quarterback Matt Corral. Nonetheless, the Rebels’ expertise is imposing. Auburn’s promising defense hopes one particular point that will not transform is Kiffin’s lethal temptation to gamble on fourth down.
3. Texas A&M (dwelling)
Coach Jimbo Fisher’s prime-rated but, uh, significantly-maligned 2022 signing course has commandeered headlines. No matter whether he can flip talent into final results is another query. The Aggies have three QB1 contenders: 5-star Conner Weigman, LSU transfer Max Johnson and Haynes King, whose injuries previous year gave Zach Calzada an chance. Now Calzada might start out for Auburn.
2. Georgia (absent)
The countrywide champions are dropping 15 gamers to the NFL Draft, like 8 from the historic 2021 defense. But coach Kirby Smart’s recruiting machine motors on. The Bulldogs provide in the No. 3 class, and they have a main of returning stars on offense (tight conclusion Brock Bowers) and defense (defensive lineman Jalen Carter).
1. Alabama (absent)
Misplaced the title, but nonetheless the finest. Heisman winner Bryce Youthful is back again. Edge Will Anderson Jr. is back, spearheading what could be coach Nick Saban’s biggest defensive front. Oh, and the common rating of the previous five Iron Bowls in Tuscaloosa? Alabama 45.6, Auburn 18.