Just one season removed from it's national championship, Auburn is rebooting its team. A new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator will be calling the plays, while Kiehl Frazier will take over at quarterback and try to put the Tigers into contention in the rugged SEC West.
Even with Sammy Watkins being suspended for this game, Clemson should give Auburn at least an idea of what they have this year. The preseason consensus puts the ACC version of the Tigers in the Top 20 nationally and among the contenders for the conference title. And the SEC team that wins the Chick-fil-A Kickoff traditionally goes on to have a pretty good year.
Then again, Clemson is looking for a reboot of its own. Sure, the Tigers won their first conference championship in 20 years last season, but the Orange Bowl debacle that followed made "West Virginia just scored again" one of the more popular running jokes of the offseason. A win against an SEC team, even one that's not projected to make a strong push for the conference title, would give Clemson something to justify the preseason hype.
They won't get it. Auburn might be starting out with a new set of coordinators, but that was a staple of the Tommy Tuberville Era. And I'm just not sure how well Clemson can do without one of its key performers. Auburn wins a game that's as close as it can get.
Auburn 24, Clemson 23