Gus Malzahn is feeling pretty optimistic about the 2019 season, regardless of having two inexperienced QBs at the top of the depth chart in Joey Gatewood and Bo Nix.

AU’s head coach mentioned he’ll make his decision on either Gatewood or Nix prior to the season opener against Oregon.

Malzahn’s Tigers are coming off of a huge bowl blowout over Purdue 63-14, which gives the program some momentum, and the head coach is taking back over the play-calling duties. After all, Malzahn can dial-it-up — he’s been doing it his whole life.

On Thursday, it was Malzahn’s turn at SEC Media Days, and he reiterated his optimism for the season. He ended his main press conference saying that Auburn certainly has a chance to win a championship this year.

“You know, this will be my tenth year at Auburn,” Malzahn said. “During that time, we played for two national championships. We won one. We played for three SEC championships. We won two. And when I look at the team that we have this year, there’s some of the same characteristics that those championship teams had, and that’s what’s exciting for me. Now you got to win close games. You got to make plays when the games are on. You got to stay healthy, but I can tell you today the, exciting thing for me, I tell my team, we got a chance. Not every team in the league can say that. Really exciting times as far as that goes and looking forward to coaching this team this year.”

Auburn’s offense should be improved, and its defense has a chance to become elite. All the pieces are there for Malzahn’s team to improve upon its 8-5 record from a year ago. The SEC West is brutal enough, but add in annual rival Georgia and rotating SEC East program Florida, the schedule becomes a real obstacle.

During his time at Auburn, Malzahn has been to two championships — 2010 as the OC in the win over Oregon and 2013 as the head coach and loss to FSU. So, he has a decent idea of how he feels about his team and looking ahead to the season.