Auburn's 2011 campaign was supposed to be an embarrassing debacle. When Auburn showed up at No. 23 on the preseason polls, many felt it was too high. Well, they were half-right; Auburn finished the season as No. 25 in the BCS.
Auburn is still ranked, however, and is far from the seven- or eight-loss team that too many expected.
Graduation and the NFL draft does that to a school. The Auburn players loved being in underdog status coming into 2011. That mindset carried them into some very nice victories, including thumping ranked South Carolina and Mississippi State, as well as Florida. All three were teams they were supposed to lose to.
The team is young, with almost half the starters being underclassmen. Critics will say that's a foolish excuse, but what happens when these "young" players are grown up in 2012?
Here are the top five most exciting players to look forward to watching in 2012, with their class listed as what they will be next season.