So as we inch closer to fall practice beginning down at Auburn, I thought I would list 5 reasons to be pessimistic about the upcoming season. First, let's begin with the doom and gloom outlook, because after all we are Auburn fans and - historically speaking - luck has not always been on our side. I'll follow up next week with reasons for optimism next year as well...
1. The schedule is obscene. Auburn's 2014 schedule ranked as the second most difficult in all of college football, with road traps galore, including Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. And lest we forget the two rival games at the end, which for the first time in history are both road games. Auburn could actually be a better team in 2014 and have a worse record.
2. Regression to the mean. Auburn won 3 super close games in 2013. A bounce the wrong way here or there means perhaps three more losses last season. I know what you are going to say: good teams make their own luck. This is true, but to say that Ricardo Louis made his own luck is a stretch. A break here or there means the difference between an SEC Championship and the Music City Bowl.
3. Auburn's a lousy Front-runner. Let's face it. When Auburn's expectations are high they have a nasty habit of letting us down. 2003 is a pretty good example. Auburn was loaded for a title run, and never recovered from losing the first two games.
4. How will Nick Marshall handle the spotlight? So far this summer, not so good. You have to think defenses this season will find a way to make Marshall throw the football. We keep hearing he is immensely improved as a passer, but what if he falls into the same habits of lousy accuracy. He left two easy TD's against Alabama if he only put the ball in the vicinity of Louis in the Iron Bowl.
5. Our stud pass rusher is likely out for a while. Carl Lawson is a beast, but who knows when we see him in 2014 - if at all - due to off season knee surgery. Lots of pressure now falls on LaDarius Owens, Gabe Wright and Montravious Adams to pick up the slack. Elijah Daniel is no slouch either, mind you, but we will miss Lawson for sure.
So there you have it. 5 reason to worry about 2014. Before you toss the tomatoes at me, keep in mind that I don't necessarily feel like all these negatives mean the end of the world. I'll be back next week with 5 reasons to think Auburn will be right there in the thick of the national title discussion.
Till next time, War Eagle...