6Magazine Dope 25 College Football Previews: #25 Auburn TigersAugust 1, 2012
By: CJ Clayborne
In the month of August, 6Magazine will preview our Preseason Dope 25 college football teams. Today we’ll start with #25 Auburn Tigers.
Auburn may not be on the radar of teams to watch in 2012, but they are a viable threat shake things up in the SEC this year. There are some new faces on offense and defense but Auburn is loaded where it counts along the offensive and defensive lines.
Corey Lemonier is the best 4-3 defensive end in the country along with partners in crime Nosa Eguae, Jeffrey Whitaker and Gabe Wright. Auburn’s defensive line rivals any other line in the country. Auburn returns their top 10 defensive lineman from last year which is just a staggering statistic.
The same is true of the offensive line where the Reese Dismukes, Chris Slade Blake Burgess and Tunde Fariyike all return from the 4th ranked rushing attack in the SEC. Add in Christian Westerman, Greg Robinson, John Sullen and Patrick Miller and you have the best young offensive line in the country. Auburn’s offensive line will be and you can quote me “nastier than a porn convention” this year.
The recruiting efforts of the last few years are really starting to pay dividends on the plains. Auburn is so strong in the trenches that adjustment periods for new starters will be less hazardous than they appear to be. Kiehl Frazier or Zeke Pike should be the starting QB come season opener and the job should not be that hard for either. Onterio McCalebb at running back and Emory Blake at wideout return for what should be a very solid and dangerous ground oriented offense. Tre Mason might be primed for a breakout sophomore year at running back the way this offense is shaping up.
Defensively, Darren Bates leads a young but extremely talented Tiger D in the back seven. Most people will try to tell you Auburn is a .500 team this year, but as strong as they are in the trenches look for them to be a legitimate threat to win the SEC title if they can find consistency at QB. All the other pieces are there for an Auburn team that is a year away but might just crash the party a little early.