Asmussen's Top 50: No. 7 Auburn
Bob Asmussen takes a glance at the latest college football team in his Top 50.
No. 7: Auburn
Coach: Gus Malzahn
2013 record: 12-2
Projected 2014 record: 10-2
Circle the date: Nov. 29 at Alabama
Why No. 7: The Tigers shocked the world and made it all the way to the national title game last season. It won’t be so easy to sneak up on everybody this year. But the Tigers might be so good that it won’t matter. Quarterback Nick Marshall returns for what should be an even better season. Six other starters are back on offense, including four lineman. The Tigers need to replace running back Tre Mason, but there is returning talent at the position. Former Illini fullback Jay Prosch won’t be easy to replace after opening holes for the other runners. Six starters are back for a defense that Malzahn hopes isn’t quite so generous this time around. The secondary should be the strength. Auburn needs younger players to fill some gaps on the line and at linebacker. Other than a game against Kansas State, the nonconference schedule is soft. But the league games make up for it with the Tigers playing LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama during one stretch.
No. 8: UCLA