SEC Breakdown 2009: How Will Auburn Fare This Season?

L.C. MayCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Ben Tate #44 of the Auburn University Tigers runs against Chris Chancellor #38 of the Clemson University Tigers during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on December 31, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Auburn Tigers are entering the 2009 season with a coaching staff that is new. Following the 2008 season, Auburn fired head coach Tommy Tuberville. They did this mostly because of his 5-7 record and the spread offense fiasco. This, in my opinion, was the worst possible thing they could have done considering how good of a coach he was.

What is even more embarrassing for the complete athletic department was the hiring Gene Chizik. I do not have a problem with Chizik because he was a great defensive coordinator. But, my opinion on him being a head coach is different, all you have to do is look at his record at a school where he should have done better than he did.

Firing a man that won five games in one season and hiring a guy that has won five games in two years was not a wise choice. Do not get me wrong—Chizik already turned some heads when he was able to round up a pretty good assistant coaching staff, but that might not help Auburn as much as they need.

Auburn, I predict, will be lucky to be able to go to a bowl game. That might sound a little harsh, but Auburn is just having too many problems.

First off, they are having quarterback problems.

Kodi Burns is a very athletic quarterback but is not bringing enough to the table. Burns stepped in and did a good job. He just didn't perform up to Auburn standards. I predict he will have a good season, but not as good of a season as many sports reporters have predicted.

Secondly, on defense, they will not be terrible, but they will not be amazing either. The loss of Sen'Derrick Marks hurt the defense more than anything. The defense will be fine, if they just work on stopping the running game.

Thirdly, Chizik will not be able to deliver at the Auburn University. He will win games, and if they give him enough time, he might take them to a small bowl. Despite that, he will not be very successful at Auburn. He will be better than some people expect, but he will not be able to get a struggling offense on track again.

If there are two things I feel Auburn will be powerful in, it would be special teams and running backs.

I know, when you go up to most people and ask, "What do you think about Auburn's special teams," they say it isn't good because of all those field goals Auburn missed against LSU that year. If you ask me about Auburn's special teams, I think of their good punter and their pretty good kicker.

Auburn has always been a strong team, when it comes to running backs, simply because they have at least five, and every one of them is good. Therefore, I think Ben Tate will probably lead the running back core.

So tis is what I believe will happen to Auburn in the 2009 season. Feel free to comment.