How many wins can Auburn manage after an insane offseason with transfers and coaching rumors? Can they manage a decent season after all of the drama?
The 2021 Auburn Tigers finished with a 6-7 record and more disappointment. Now, the Tigers have lost Bo Nix, defensive coordinator Derek Mason took a significant pay cut to go be the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. Overall, Auburn has had more than 20 players transfer out of the program. The Tigers also did not have the best recruiting class compared to some of the teams they have to face. Bryan Harsin is in for a huge rebuild project in 2022 and the SEC schedule will never be a friendly one. That being said, let’s check out the 2022 Auburn Tigers schedule.
Week One, Home Game vs Mercer
The Tigers open the year against Mercer which will be a warm-up game for Auburn. The starters get a chance to knock the rust off and get back in the groove. The new faces on the team get some reps because this game will be over by halftime. Give me the Tigers to win by a bunch and use this game productively for there roster.
Score Prediction: Auburn 55, Mercer 10
Week Two, Home Game vs San Jose State
The easy beginning of the year stretch continues in week two with San Jose State coming to town. Despite the Spartans being somewhat of a tough opponent, this should not be much of a problem for Auburn, even with all of their own roster problems. For the Tigers, this is another game in which they should make staying healthy the main goal besides winning. It won’t be as easy as the Mercer victory, but expect Auburn to cruise in this one at some point.
Score Prediction: Auburn 34, San Jose State 7
Week Three, Home Game vs Penn State
Here is where the Tigers schedule begins to ramp up in competition level. With Penn State in town, this will be Auburns first big test on whether they are as bad as everyone expects. These teams met in a thrilling game last year where Penn State ended up winning. Penn State returned most of their talent from last year but they also had a top-10 recruiting class this offseason. This is all bad news for the rebuilding Tigers and Penn State will capitalize on that. Give me the Nittany Lions to win this one comfortably.
Score Prediction: Penn State 38, Auburn 17
Week Four, Home Game vs Missouri
The Tigers get a fourth consecutive home game to open the 2022 season. The Missouri Tigers are up next in week four and the Tigers versus Tigers matchup will not be pretty. Both of these programs are coin clips for what direction they will go in for 2022. However, Mizzou did not have such a drama filled offseason and that is more than enough for them to capitalize on. This will be a bad loss for Auburn considering they need every win they can get. I’m going to pick Missouri to get a big win on the road against an off-year Auburn team.
Week Five, Home Game vs LSU
I know I said week three was where the schedule ramps up for Auburn but week five is the true beginning of the ramp up. Brian Kelly’s LSU squad comes to town and they are on the brink of being a dangerous team in the SEC. They have a lot of young talent and Brian Kelly is a phenomenal coach, LSU could be special very soon.
If Auburn is coming off a two-game losing streak, this might be a must-win for coach Harsin. LSU is one of the winners of the transfer portal this offseason and Auburn is one of the losers so far. That is not what this Tigers program needs five weeks into the year and LSU will win this one comfortably.
Score Prediction: LSU 34, Auburn 17
Week Six, Away Game vs Georgia
Next up on the schedule, a road trip to Athens to take on the defending champs. The Bulldogs have dominated this rivalry in recent years considering Georgia has only lost to Auburn twice since 2010. The Bulldogs have not lost to the Tigers in Athens since 2005 meaning the Tigers have failed to win in Athens eight consecutive times. Georgia has far too many talented players still around to let Harsin and company beat them in Athens. Give me the Dogs to win big and once again defeat the Tigers.
Week Seven, Away Game vs Ole Miss
The Tigers will continue their road trip to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in week seven. With so many questions around this Tigers roster, a road trip to take on a tough Rebels team will not end well. You cannot lose the amount of talent Auburn did in a matter of weeks and expect to compete in the SEC West. Give me the Rebels to control this game from the start and never look back.
Week Eight, Home Game vs Arkansas
The Tigers return home in week eight to host an Arkansas team who could be competing for a division title in 2022. Auburn embarrassed the Razorbacks last year winning 38-23 in Fayetteville. However, the 2022 Tigers are far different from the 2021 Tigers like I’ve said many times. Sam Pittman will want his revenge and they will do just that in week eight. Give me Arkansas by a late touchdown and field goal in this one.
Week Nine, Away Game vs Mississippi State
The Tigers are not out of the woods yet in their schedule as they go back on the road to take on Mississippi State in Starkville for week nine. This Tigers team is not prepped for the SEC this year and Mississippi State will eat that up. The Bulldogs have that pass-first offense and I do not think the Tigers will be able to defend it well. Give me the Bulldogs in a comfortable win and another SEC win to their record.
Week Ten, Home Game vs Texas A&M
One of the biggest tests for the Tigers in 2022 comes in week ten when the Aggies of Texas A&M arrive. All of the negative activity surrounding Auburn will be their downfall in 2022 and the Aggies will definetely take advantage of this game. However, I think the Tigers still have enough talent to keep this close for until the third quarter before the Aggies pull away.
Week Eleven, Home Game vs Western Kentucky
The Tigers finally get a break with a week eleven non-conference game against Western Kentucky. In the final home game of the season for the Tigers, they host the Hilltoppers who had a fun team to watch in 2021. They lost quite a bit of their talent from last year and will be a coin flip team in 2022. That being said, Auburn will want to send their seniors out on the right note with a win. Give me the Tigers to regain some confidence for the seniors and get a win here.
Score Prediction: Auburn 34, Western Kentucky 21
Week Twelve, Away Game vs Alabama
After a break in week 11, the final game of the 2022 season is a trip to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl against Alabama. Closing out the regular season with the Iron Bowl is beautiful if the matchup had an Auburn roster from years prior. Losing Bo Knix gives Auburn one of its weaker teams over the past decade and they haven’t played well in Tuscaloosa in recent years. So, don’t expect anything similar to 2021’s Iron Bowl and expect the Tide to roll through and win this one easily.
Final Record For Auburn Football In 2022-23: 3-9 (0-8)
Call me harsh for putting the Tigers at 3-9 overall and winless in conference play but I do not see them being good in 2022. You cannot lose as many players as they did and have a poor recruiting class and expect to win in the SEC West. They need a year or two to begin the process of reloading and finding their identity under coach Harsin. Tigers fans will not enjoy this season but sometimes that is the reality of a rebuilding team in the toughest conference in college football.
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