Auburn Tigers 2011 Profile
Last year at this time I was catching a ton of grief for putting the Tigers as contender for the BCS title berth (see BCS Title contenders) within the CFBMatrix modeling. They were 75 to 1 odds and they were among the small group of teams (along with the Ducks) that the model put into the BCS title mix before the season started.
What most fans don’t like about the CFBMatrix is that is it too simple. Fans want complex, well thought out and evaluated reasons for winning and losing. Maybe it is just a simple as best talent, good scheduling and solid coaching wins most of the games. In sticking to the simple model, the Tigers, while not likely to go 12-0 in the regular season, are still an elite program and a very tough team to beat at home or on the road.
The sample size for Coach Chizik’s tenure is still small at 24 regular season games. However, he is establishing some stable trends within the model. At home he is a little more shaky and that could be place to expect and upset in 2011 versus the road in which he is +1 and has modeled perfectly on 17 of their last 21 games. With only 4 road games and a W/L projection of 1-3 on those four, going 2-2 on the road is better than the most likely odds. He will do well to keep up recruiting and normal NFL development for the elite player profile they recruit.
Tigers Recruiting Rank Links:
Auburn Tigers 2011 Schedule Breakdown
What a difference one year and a new schedule makes for a team. A season ago, the CFBMatrix modeled out Auburn for an 11-1 season with the talent to get a BCS title game berth. It’s only modeled loss was to be on the road at Alabama.
But 2011 is very different. While Auburn still maintains elite talent, they have also acquired the toughest conference schedule in the entire country. It is not even close to any other school. The Tigers will be very successful in 2011 to get 9+ this year and be in the top 20.
To give it some scope, TCU is going to be a top 10 pre-season team and is modeled to go 11-1 in their schedule. The modeling shows 9 of Auburn’s games are tougher than TCU’s toughest game. But 11 wins against anyone gets you in the top 5 and 8 wins against the toughest conference schedule in the country has you at best in the top 25.
For the tigers, the start of the season should be 4 straight wins. This should build confidence before the next 3 of 4 on the road at LSU, South Carolina and Arkansas. Two wins in that stretch would be very good before the bye. The last three will yield just one or two wins.
Links to other Tigers stats, trends, and articles
Auburn Win/Recruiting Trend Chart
Yet another great example of recruiting to win. Auburn remains an annual BCS title contender with another 2011 top 25 recruiting class. The 2011 class had a #4 composite, so do not expect Auburn to step back for a BCS title contender in 2011. There biggest issue is a tough conference SOS which with put a lot of wear and tear on the whole team. This may be a bit of a down year for the Tigers. but expect 7-9 wins and a bowl win somewhere in the country. 2012, with another top 25 class, is shaping into another potential title run.