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Auburn RB Onterio McCalebb
Auburn is still a relatively young team, but the pressure is on for the Tigers to show improvement in 2012.
People focus on the loss of former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and treat it as a negative, but he was very predictable (even in 2010), and was a big reason why Auburn's offense finished ranked No. 100 in total offense last season.
Scot Loeffler brings a more pro-style attack, but will incorporate some spread—especially if presumed starting quarterback Kiehl Frazier wins the job. The running backs will use a by-committee approach led by Onterio McCalebb, and the Tigers will get a better season from tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen now that some of his responsibilities are being taken up by fullback Jay Prosch.
Defensive end Corey Lemonier leads a deep and talented defensive line, and the addition of new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder should get the Tigers looking like they used to under former head coach Tommy Tuberville in short order.
Auburn's record won't be much different than it was last season, but they will be more competitive in games, which is how this team should be judged.
Projected wins: Clemson (in Atlanta, Ga.), at Mississippi State, ULM, at Ole Miss, at Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, New Mexico State, Alabama A&M
Projected losses: LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, at Alabama