Auburn Football: Gus Malzahn's 6 Biggest Challenges for the Tigers in 2014

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Auburn Football: Gus Malzahn's 6 Biggest Challenges for the Tigers in 2014
USA TODAY Sports

When Gus Malzahn became Auburn's head coach in December 2012, the challenge facing him was immense.

The Tigers were coming off their worst season in recent history, an embarrassing 3-9 campaign that featured zero conference wins. Auburn would have to adjust to a new coaching staff while trying to preserve its recruiting prowess in the competitive SEC landscape.

A year-and-a-half later, after a dramatic turnaround that finished with an SEC championship and a spot in the final BCS title game, Malzahn's initial challenge has been accepted and conquered.

Now, the second-year head coach has to deal with a new set of tests.

Malzahn's Tigers will open the 2014 slate with great expectations, as they return a majority of their starters from last year's storybook season. But there are still holes to fill in the depth chart, tough matchups on the schedule and a shift from underdog to trendy preseason favorite.

Here is a look at six challenges standing in the way of Auburn's ultimate destination for 2014: a trip back to the college football's biggest stage to grab what it narrowly missed in 2013.

 

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