Auburn's Season Depends on a Number of Wild Cards | SEC 2013

USA TODAY Sports

How good or bad are the Tigers going to be in 2013? That's a good question, and I'm not sure I know the answer

I don't know if Auburn will have the most "swing" games this year -- defining those as possible wins or possible losses -- but it's got to be pretty close. I've got almost half of the Tigers' games this year as either possible wins or losses, and that pretty well defines how I feel about this team. If everything breaks well, Auburn could not only go to a bowl but a relatively decent one. If things go South ... look out below.

The issue is figuring out just how much of an impact Gus Malzahn's offense returning to the Plains is going to have, how much trouble the Tigers will have transitioning to the 4-2-5 on defense, and whether there are going to be any other hiccups along the way. If Auburn runs the table on all those things, this could easily be an eight-win team. But if one or more goes wrong, things could go very differently.

The schedule doesn't do them any favors. As much as Les Miles likes to complain about having to play Florida every year, it's Auburn who's going up against the two-time SEC East champion in a Georgia team that is at least one of the favorites this year. That doesn't count the road games against LSU and Texas A&M, and perhaps the two most winnable games on the schedule being on the road.

All that seems to point toward modest but not overwhelming improvement this year, taking the Tigers from the basement of the SEC West ... to still in the basement of the SEC West, but with a far more respectable record and an outside shot at bowl eligibility. But a difference of a few games either way wouldn't surprise me.

Place: 7th in the SEC West
Record: 5-7, 1-7 SEC
Could be: 3-9 to 8-4
Best chance for an upset: at LSU
Bowl: NONE

8.31.13 | WASHINGTON STATE | POSSIBLE WIN
9.7.13 | ARKANSAS STATE | PROBABLE WIN
9.14.13 | MISSISSIPPI STATE | POSSIBLE LOSS
9.21.13 | at LSU | LIKELY LOSS
10.5.13 | OLE MISS | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.12.13 | WESTERN CAROLINA | WIN
10.19.13 | at TEXAS A&M | LIKELY LOSS
10.26.13 | FAU | LIKELY WIN
11.2.13 | at ARKANSAS | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.9.13 | at TENNESSEE | POSSIBLE WIN
11.16.13 | GEORGIA | LIKELY LOSS
11.30.13 | ALABAMA | LIKELY LOSS

Key (from least likely to win to most): Loss, Likely Loss, Probable Loss, Possible Loss, Possible Win, Probable Win, Likely Win, Win

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