As the Auburn Tigers prepare for their 2014 spring game on Saturday, April 19th the season, you could say, officially starts for the Tigers. The Tigers are coming off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the sport of college football and will look to build upon that this upcoming season. Auburn will be one of the favorites not only in the SEC in 2014, but in all of college football.
The Tigers bounced back in 2013 from a season in 2012 in which they went 3-9 and 0-8 in SEC play. The 2012 version of Auburn Tigers’ football was one of the worst in program history. After the firing of Gene Chizik following that miserable 2012 season Auburn went out and hired current Head Coach Gus Malzahn.
The hiring of Malzahn may have been the greatest decision in the history of Auburn Tigers’ football after the turnaround he performed in 2013. The Tigers went from a 3-9 team in 2012 to a team that was literally seconds away from winning their second national title in four years. The Tigers under Malzahn’s leadership appears to be in a great state moving forward.
Saturday Auburn plays their spring game at 3:00 eastern to start what the Tiger faithful hope is another magical season. It will be very tough to recapture the magic they had in 2013, but one thing that can’t be overlooked from 2013 is how well Malzahn’s system works.
As with any spring game the main objective is to get through the day without any injuries and let the kids have some fun after a few months off. The Tigers will look to see how much progress Nick Marshall has made in his second year starting in Malzahn’s spread system. Marshall is the ideal quarterback to lead this type of offense and it is scary to think how good Auburn can be in 2014 with an improved Marshall running the show.
Auburn has a great shot at making the first annual four team playoff in 2014 if they can sustain last year’s momentum. The Tigers return key pieces such as Marshall combined with some great recruits that have bought into the new vibe at Auburn since Malzahn accepted the job. The name of the game is recruiting when it comes to college football and combine that with a dynamic offensive system like Malzahn then you have a big time program.
The 2014 season for Auburn will be interesting to say the least after narrowly missing out on winning the national title last season. Marshall returning will be the key piece for Auburn in their quest to make the four team playoff that will crown the national champion. I feel Auburn will be a really good team in 2014 because of the respect I have for Malzahn’s system, but to recapture the magic of 2013 isn’t fair to expect again.
2014 for Auburn will be a swing year to see if they really are on the right track or if 2013 was a fluke season full of magic. I feel they really are on the right track and that 2013 wasn’t all about destiny, but instead a great team that can win big for a long time with Malzahn as their head coach. Auburn is on the right track for years to come and it appears that they have arrived much quicker than anyone expected.