Although Auburn is returning most of its starters from a team that was seconds away from a national championship, widespread progress must be made over the long offseason.
The Tigers took the college football world by storm in 2013 with their run to an SEC title after one of the worst seasons in program history and a complete coaching overhaul.
Just like their run to Pasadena, they were also a surprise in the numbers of the sport—compared to other elite teams in recent seasons. Auburn's unorthodox style of a devastating run-heavy offense with an up-and-down defense made the team a statistical anomaly.
Here is a look at five statistics where the Tigers were lacking compared to several of the last national championship squads, including an Auburn team with a defense that was below average in several traditional stats but raised some eyebrows in other areas.
While the 2013 Tigers proved that a team does not need to be excellent in these areas in order to be in the mix for the title, improvement could make them even more dangerous, well-rounded opponents as they push for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff.