The 2016 college football season is fast approaching and the Auburn Tigers will fancy their chances of a successful campaign. Last year, Auburn missed out on the chance to compete for the ultimate prize in college football but Gus Malzahn’s men were able to record a fairly convincing victory over the Memphis Tigers in the Birmingham Bowl at the end of the year.
Auburn lost three key men to the NFL this year – including highly touted youngster Shon Coleman. The offensive tackle was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the draft and fellow Tiger Ricardo Louis will team up with his Auburn colleague at the Dawg Pound after the Browns moved for the wide receiver in the latter stages of the draft.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) April 30, 2016
At the time of writing, Betway Bookmaker is pricing Auburn at 50/1 to win the NCAAF championship game this season – and Malzahn’s men will be quietly confident ahead of the new campaign. Auburn have prepared well since the NFL Draft and only needed to replace eight players (five more joined NFL teams via free agency) during the offseason. If truth be told, Auburn are looking much stronger this time around; especially on offense.
John Franklin III is incredibly talented and the youngster should be given the opportunity to lead the Tigers to the top of the college football ladder. The Auburn signal caller, who is currently battling Jeremy Johnson for the starting role, has been spotted training with NFL star Michael Vick and Franklin III could learn plenty from the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. After all, Vick has been there and done it all – his experience and advice alone could be brilliant for the Auburn youngster’s development at the position.
In a way, Franklin III is a carbon-copy of Vick. He is exceptional in the rushing game and will give the Tigers a competent option out of the backfield. If running back Kerryon Johnson doesn’t quite live up to the hype, Franklin III’s speed and agility will help to keep the Auburn offense on the front foot. And a sleek, fluent offense is exactly what Malzahn’s side needs in order to compete with the likes of Alabama and Louisiana State University.
Auburn aren’t the finished article just yet but they have enough offensive talent to climb the college rankings this year. The Tigers struggled for form in 2015 and finished 7-6 in the regular campaign but their difficult schedule was a key reason for their mediocre stat line. If they are able to push on and convince Malzahn that they are ready to challenge the big boys, the Auburn coach may go hell for leather and let his offense roar in 2016.
If nothing else, it is an exciting time to be an Auburn fan. Nobody really knows what to expect ahead of the new season and fans are desperate to see if Franklin III can lead this offense. With a bit of luck, the Tigers may have found their new quarterback for the next few years and Franklin III could well go on to enjoy a very successful career; both in college and as a professional in the National Football League.
The Auburn Tigers mean business this season. Watch this space…