Your fearless forecaster is back. This time, it's Auburn's turn.
Last week, you might recall, The Journal predicted a 7-4 season and a Peach Bowl bid for the Crimson Tide. Now let's tackle the Tigers.
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn (9/4) - Crank up the "Carnell for Heisman" campaign. Four quick touchdowns in the first half for the Cadillac. THIS is how coaches want the season to begin. As opposed to last year, when the Tigers were shut out at home by eventual co-national champion Southern Cal. Auburn 56, Louisiana-Monroe 7.
Auburn at Mississippi State (9/11) - An early kickoff (11:30 on WSFA) can sometimes lead to a sluggish first half. Ronnie Brown gets his turn in the second half, and the Tigers grind out a victory over an over-matched Bulldog team. Auburn 23, Mississippi State 16.
"Those We Don't Speak Of" (LSU) at Auburn (9/18) - My apologies to Bengal Tiger fans for the "Village" (movie) reference. LSU returns most of its national championship defense. Nick Saban is without peer in the current SEC coaching hierarchy. A win here could launch Auburn to a special season. It says here it's going to happen. Auburn 28, LSU 27.
The Citadel at Auburn (9/25) - Letdown City, baby. You beat the defending national champs the previous week and it's only natural to celebrate until the following Friday. Thankfully for Auburn fans, Tre Smith is always happy to get his carries. Auburn 31, Citadel 14.
Auburn at Tennessee (10/2) - The Tigers have played the Vols 20 times in Knoxville. Auburn has won only 4. That's a serious home-field advantage. And on this day, it will be too much for the Tigers to overcome. Tennessee 24, Auburn 21.
Louisiana Tech at Auburn (10/9) - No longer undefeated, Auburn exacts revenge on the Bulldogs. With Arkansas on deck the following week, Tommy Tuberville is able to rest his first-teamers in the 4th quarter. It's Auburn's 13th straight victory on Homecoming. Auburn 42, Louisiana Tech 14.
Arkansas at Auburn (10/16) - The Razorbacks typically give Tommy Tuberville a migraine. Arkansas returns only one starter on offense, but his name is Matt Jones. Two years ago, Matt covered just about every inch of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Get ready for a shootout, with Jason Campbell saving the day. Auburn 42, Arkansas 35.
Kentucky at Auburn (10/23) - By now, the Tigers have gotten the hang of Al Borges' "Gulf Coast Offense." Between the running of Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown, and the passing of Jason Campbell, defenses don't know how to line up. But one of these days, the Tigers are going to need to kick a field goal to win a game, and Tommy Tuberville is the anti-Will Rogers when it comes to kickers: he's never met one he DOES like. Auburn 35, Kentucky 20.
Auburn at Ole Miss (10/30) - Nine games in nine weeks makes for a banged-up and vulnerable group of Tigers. Over in Oxford, they still would like nothing better than to take Tommy Tuberville to the woodshed, even though six years have passed since he relocated from the Grove to the Plains. But Ole Miss returns only one of its front seven on defense, and when you're playing Carnell and Ronnie, that's not a good thing. Auburn 28, Ole Miss 21.
Georgia at Auburn (11/13) - Auburn, with a record of 8-1, welcomes the Dawgs to the Plains. The off week was great for allowing players to "heal up" (as coaches are fond of saying), but it messed up the players' routine and disrupted the rhythm of the passing game. Remember what I said about needing a field goal to win a game? This is the week. And the last two words Auburn fans want to hear are these: wide right. Georgia 28, Auburn 27.
Auburn at Alabama (11/20) - Thanks to the early season win over LSU, the Tigers can clinch a trip to the SEC Championship game if they can beat Bama. That's the good news. The bad news is they'll have to play Georgia again when they get to Atlanta. Tommy Tuberville is 2-0 in Tuscaloosa. And there's nothing he relishes more than beating Bama in Bryant-Denny. Auburn 24, Alabama 20.
We'll cross the "SEC Championship Prediction Bridge" when we come to it. But a 9-2 regular season and a top 10 ranking could be enough to catapult the Tigers into the Bowl Championship Series, if they play well in the Georgia Dome.
It's almost here, folks. The season opener is just 3 weeks away. I'll see you at the Stadium.