No, it's not unlikely. First of all, it's college football. Anything can happen on any given weekend or Thursday night—just ask USC or Florida.
True, Auburn is coming off of a bad season and a new coach and staff to add...but let's roll the clock back and take a look at Ole Miss. In 2007 Ole Miss had a season record of 3-8 overall and 0-8 conference play. They get a good coach in, and next season they have a 9-4 record with a 5-3 mark in conference play.
So if Ole Miss can have a great season after a terrible one, can it happen to Auburn? Here's why I think it can.
1) Auburn's new offensive coordinator coming in and bringing in a good system. Now of course the project with the spread from the previous season didn't work out, but if we take a look back, Tony Franklin had to teach not only the players but also the position coaches, who knew nothing about the spread.
How is it different now? Gus Malzahn has had experience in the SEC, and he has a great staff around him. Franklin wasn't blessed with that luxury. Yes, the OL is a mystery, but I will mention all the positions in another article after this one.
Now some people will say that spread offense won't work on SEC defenses...just ask Florida how their system did in the SEC. OK, I know there are QB issues, but that is something that will hopefully be fixed this season.
2) Defense! Defense wins games, yes, but not if they're on the field about 75 percent of the time. If you don't believe me, ask the Auburn 2008 defense. Auburn had a great defense last year, but after getting worn out from being on the field too much, it takes a toll.
Yes, depth is something the Tigers need more of, and with a new coordinator coming in the Tiger defense may have to adjust some, but we're talking about a defense that's had four different coordinators in the past five years, and Auburn still managed to have one of the greatest defenses in the country.
Also, Gene Chizik is a defensive coach, who might I add went undefeated two years in a row and a national championship. Yes, I know he was just a D-coordinator, but his defense obviously had something to do with getting there.
Some people will bring up his past record at Iowa St. Come on people, it's Iowa State, for crying out loud. Need I remind you of Nick Saban's record before coaching at Bama? Given, it's the NFL, but there are some coaches who've had success in both college and the NFL.
3) Auburn does have talent. Yes, you must have great talent on your football team to win games, but if you don't have the coaches coaching them, then the talent is pretty much being wasted.
Auburn has great talent, but what's different this year is that they have a better staff coaching them now. Mario Fannin has great potential to be a breakout player for Auburn, and so do some of the new recruits coming in.
4) Auburn's first four games are at home. They have Louisiana Tech, Miss State, West Virginia, and Ball State. Now if they can win their first four games they go 4-0 on a hot streak into Knoxville, and if they can beat Tennessee, then they should have no problem competing against any other team in the SEC. Of course Auburn does have a lot to work on to get ready for this season
OK, thanks for reading and please comment. This is my first article, and there's a lot I can improve on. Yes, criticism is needed—I welcome it with open arms