Top 25 playoff teams: Auburn

The offense will dominate, but luck might finally run out for SEC champs

Updated: June 3, 2014, 1:46 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider

MalzahnKevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesGus Malzahn's offense should be potent again, but there's a smaller margin for error this season.

From May 27 to July 3, Insider's college football experts will preview the season for the 25 teams with the best chances to make the inaugural college football playoff, based on Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections. This is the entry for Auburn.

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Fremeau's projection

Projected finish:  8-4 (5-3)
Chance to make playoff: 3 percent
Chance to win SEC: 4 percent
Toughest games: Oct. 25 versus South Carolina (52 percent), Nov. 15 at Georgia (50 percent), Nov. 29 at Alabama (22 percent)


Why they'll make the playoff

1. No one can stop Gus Malzahn's offense

Consider this for a moment: Only seven of 125 Division I FBS teams threw fewer passes than Auburn did last season. Why? Because the Tigers really didn't have to throw the ball. No one can stop Coach Malzahn's rushing attack, which he brilliantly shields with his own cloaking device (an up-tempo spread attack). Even Alabama coach Nick Saban hasn't been able to solve it. The Tigers' run game plays faster than cars move in the "Fast & Furious" movies. They run plays while defenses are still trying to line up, and just when defenses believe they're getting a bead on Malzahn's scheme, Malzahn changes gears.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.