How will Auburn do under first-year head coach Bryan Harsin?

The former Boise State head coach was brought in to replace the fired — and now-UCF coach — Gus Malzahn. The Tigers won just 6 games in 2020, and Malzahn’s firing was largely based on recent average seasons.

How well Auburn plays this year will be largely based around quarterback Bo Nix’s development under Harsin and the offense. While Auburn has some holes to fill, the cupboard isn’t bare. Derek Mason will look to improve Auburn’s defense, too.

So, how many games will Auburn win in 2021? ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts 7-5. The wins come against Akron, Alabama State, Georgia State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina. The losses come against Penn State, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama.

The non-conference showdown against Penn State could be the catalyst for a big season. Should the Tigers upset the Nittany Lions, it would create a lot of momentum headed into the conference slate.

Below are the FPI’s game-by-game predictions for the Tigers:

  • Sept. 4 vs. Akron: 99 percent chance of winning
  • Sept. 11 vs. Alabama State: 99.8 percent chance of winning
  • Sept. 18 at Penn State: 38.5┬ápercent chance of winning
  • Sept. 25 vs. Georgia State: 91.6 percent chance of winning
  • Oct. 2 at LSU: 45.2 percent chance of winning
  • Oct. 9 vs. Georgia: 36.8 percent chance of winning
  • Oct. 16 at Arkansas: 58.3 percent chance of winning
  • Oct. 30 vs. Ole Miss: 68.4 percent chance of winning
  • Nov. 6 at Texas A&M: 21.3 percent chance of winning
  • Nov. 13 vs. Mississippi State: 68.4 percent chance of winning
  • Nov. 20 at South Carolina: 74.8 percent chance of winning
  • Nov. 27 vs. Alabama: 18.7 percent chance of winning