Auburn Football: 2012 Season Preview for the Auburn Tigers

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Auburn Football: 2012 Season Preview for the Auburn Tigers
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Can Gene Chizik get Auburn back into the national conversation in 2012?

Congratulations, Auburn fans. You have made it. It is finally game week. Grills will be fired up, music will be playing and every team in America will walk onto the field as an undefeated team next Saturday. 

One of the more forgettable offseasons in the Auburn football program's history has come and gone, and it's time to turn the focus to the field.

Optimism as well as high expectations for 2012 have seeped into the hearts and minds of many Auburn fans. Much of the excitement has to do with with the addition of proven defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder and quarterback guru Scot Loeffler as offensive coordinator.

Another reason for hope is that the young team we watched struggle mightily at times against the nation's best teams is one year older. Auburn is still a very young team, but it has had a year to get bigger, faster and stronger. Most importantly, it has had a year to reflect on the stinging losses it endured.

Auburn is coming into the 2012 season unranked by the Associated Press and ranked 25th by the coaches. Does Auburn have a shot to end up in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game?

Let's take a look....

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