Auburn Tigers Football: Pre-Spring Predictions for the 2011 Season

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Auburn Tigers Football: Pre-Spring Predictions for the 2011 Season
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

2010 saw a historic year for the Tigers.

After starting the season No. 22 in the polls after an 8-5 record in 2009, the Tigers were an unstoppable force, going 14-0 and shutting down Oregon's high-powered offense to capture their second national title in school history.

Auburn QB Cameron Newton brought in the Heisman Trophy among other. Gene Chizik was named coach of the year by many organizations. Nick Fairley, barely known as a decent defensive lineman before the season, made offensive lines look softer than a pillow company sponsored by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on his way to winning the Lombardi Trophy. Gus Malzahn, Auburn's offensive coordinator, won the Broyles Award for the nation's top assistant coach.

The real attraction of the season was the aforementioned Cameron Newton, who scored 51 touchdowns on the season and became the third player in college football history to throw and run for 20 TDs in a season (Florida's Tim Tebow did it in 2007 and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick did it in 2010).

Newton's Law reigned supreme in 2010: An object that goes in motion remains in motion. The more Auburn rolled, the faster they got, leading up to a point where they won the SEC Championship Game by 39 and beat the No. 2 team in the nation for a crystal football that should have been awarded to Auburn's Lovelace Museum about six years ago.

The Tigers faced their hardships, including early-season offensive struggles and an investigation into Newton's recruitment by Mississippi State, which briefly put his eligibility in jeopardy.

Auburn fans remained faithful and some of these struggles only added to the already-roaring fire in Tiger fans' souls. They were rewarded.

Out of all the BCS champions since it formed in 1998, no team has beaten as many as seven Top 25 teams in one season. Except for the 2010 Tigers, who beat great teams like Mississippi State, South Carolina (twice), Arkansas, LSU, Alabama and Oregon.

But all good things must come to an end. 2010 is over and can only be looked back on as the greatest year in AU's proud history.

Here I will break down the projected depth chart, list the pros and cons facing the Tigers, and give game-by-game breakdowns and predictions for the 2011 team.

Will War Eagle repeat as the national champion?

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