It goes without saying We ALL love Auburn so the number of dubs should never change that.
With that said I am writing this more to document my expectations as we board that Auburn rollercoaster this season.
Game 1 - Akron Zips vs Auburn Tigers, Auburn, AL @ 6:00pm CT Televised on ESPN+
First game of the Coach Harsin era here at Auburn. Akron who went 1 - 5 in 2020 and found their only win against the 0 - 5 Bowling Green. Both teams ended up at the bottom of the Mac East which is the same division that has Buffalo in it.
Auburn has only played Akron once in 1988 and Auburn handled them 42 - 0. In 1988 Auburn went 10 - 2 in Pat Dye's 8th season and saw us with a final rank in the AP Poll 8th and 7th in the Coaches Poll.
I cannot imagine a scenario that does not have Auburn winning this game. It will be hard to come out of this game with any true measurement with how good or bad we will be based on this game as this should be a primer game. We should never discount our opponents but unfortunately all programs were hit hard last year due to practice and experience and Akron was hit harder than Auburn only getting to play 6 games.
Prediction - Akron 3 - Auburn 38
Game 2 - Alabama State Hornets vs Auburn Tigers, Auburn, AL @11:00AM CT Televised on SECN
Do I start all of these with second game of the Coach Harsin era? 😏 Why not! In our second week the Hornets come to town again. in our one and only meeting back in 2018 our Tigers curb stomped them 63 - 9.
The Hornets are actually coming in with some fresh football experience given they played their games this past spring. They went 3 - 3 but one of their dubs was a forfeit so they actually only played 5 games. The last one being on April 14th, 2021, against Alabama A&M in the Magic City Classic where they lost 38 - 14.
I believe they will be coming into JordanHare 1 - 0 as they play Miles in their first week (Look at that a bonus call). Even with these two undefeated teams coming in with some momentum I do not think the Hornets will have what it takes to outlast the Tigers.
Prediction - Alabama State 10 - Auburn 45
Game 3 - Auburn Tigers vs Penn State Nittany Lions, University Park, PA @6:30PM ET Televised on ABC
Well, here we are in week 3 of Coach Harsin era and it is a doozy! Penn State is coming in preseason ranked at #16 in the USA Today poll. Auburn and Penn State have only played twice in the history of these two universities. Auburn won the last one in the Jan 1, 2003, Capital One Bowl 13 - 9 and Penn State beating Auburn in the Outback Bowl on Jan 1, 1996 destroying the Tigers 43 - 14.
Obviously being on the road, really not being able to get a real test in our first two games will be a detriment to getting our Tigers ready for the absolute hostile environment they are going to have to execute on a very big stage. Another aspect is Penn State in week 1 plays the 13th ranked Wisconsin Badgers Team and this will be a brawl in week one. If Penn State loses to the Badgers, this will immediately put them in a position that the Auburn game in week #3 is almost a must win.
Honestly, I have never seen in the recent era where Penn State has been a dominating team, much like Auburn so this is not a given type of situation. Anyone who claims this is an easy win for Penn State is just riding a hype bus... Penn State rarely has an easy win against a D1 opponent sort of like our experience lately down here on the plains.
I just think our young team given their experience will need to do too much to knock the Nittany Lions off in their home den and our Tigers may have their tails between their legs leaving Beaver stadium. 😢 Not going to support them any less or start criticizing them, it will be what it is, just a tough road trip.
Prediction - Auburn Tigers 13 - Penn State 27
My heart says we will be 3 - 0 after Week 3 but my brain is telling me something different and to maintain some level of objectivity it is what it is....
War Eagle Y'all and God Bless!