Commentary

Auburn could be in for a drop-off

Tigers, Cowboys and Spartans among the teams that could regress in 2011

Updated: June 21, 2011, 6:35 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Michael DyerMark J. Rebilas/US PresswireEven with Michael Dyer back, Auburn figures to fall well short of last season's BCS title run.

Last week we took a look at five teams that should rise in 2010.

This week we will flip that around and take a look at five teams that finished with a winning record in 2010 (and in certain cases, reached 10 wins) but may see a significant drop-off in the win-loss column in 2011.

We evaluated their fall-off potential by looking at five critical categories: (1) a loss of at least eight starters; (2) a tough schedule that includes at least seven teams that went to a bowl or had a winning record in 2010; (3) a significant offensive hurdle to overcome; (4) a significant defensive hurdle to overcome; and (5) an X factor.

Auburn Tigers

14-0 overall, 8-0 SEC, 2010 SEC and national champion
Returning starters: offense 3, defense 4, kicker/punter 0

Difficult matchups: Mississippi State (9-4 in 2010), at Clemson (6-7), at South Carolina (9-5), at Arkansas (10-3), Florida (8-5), at LSU (11-2), at Georgia (6-7), Alabama (10-3)