- John Gasaway, ESPN Insider
Usually when we're asked what's about to happen in sports, we have to shrug our shoulders and say it's anyone's guess. But every once in a while, history has the courtesy to repeat itself more or less precisely. In theory that should make forecasting a much more straightforward exercise. Repeat: "in theory."
Which brings me to new Auburn coach Bruce Pearl. For the second time in just nine years, Pearl is taking the helm at a previously moribund SEC program. (This is getting to be a habit with him.) In 2005-06 he took over a Tennessee team coming off a 6-10 season in conference play.
Pearl promptly set to work stiffening what had previously been a lackluster Volunteers defense. Thanks to the new coach's pressing style, UT forced way more turnovers and allowed fewer points. That first season the Volunteers went 12-4 in conference play and entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed.
Now Pearl is the newly installed head coach at Auburn, which is coming off a 6-12 campaign in SEC play. And he's already off to a somewhat stunning run in recruiting. But that won't help much in 2014-15. So can we expect to see a Tennessee-variety turnaround from the Tigers this season? Probably not. But that doesn't mean we won't see improvement.
New Auburn coach Bruce Pearl has added an influx of talent for next season's team. But how will the Tigers fare in 2014-15? John Gasaway gives his answer.