On3 predicts Auburn’s floor to rise in 2024

Auburn football suffered its third consecutive losing season in 2023. With the number of talented recruits and transfers that Hugh Freeze has landed this offseason, it is hard to imagine that the bar will be lowered again in 2024.

Andy Staples of On3 feels those sentiments as he also projects Auburn to improve this fall.

Staples recently revealed the ceiling and floor for every SEC team in 2024 piece, where he projects Auburn’s ceiling to be 9-3. Auburn will boast an easier schedule than in years past, but will also have the luxury of facing Texas A&M and Oklahoma, and rivals Alabama and Georgia on its SEC docket.

However, with new offensive weapons and a rule change, Auburn could experience an upward trend in 2024.

Hugh Freeze deciding to call the offensive plays in the same year that the NCAA will allow electronic coach-to-quarterback communication could be the paradigm shift that pushes the Tigers back toward contention even faster.

It always seemed curious that Freeze decided to give up playcalling in his first season as Auburn’s coach. It is Freeze’s superpower, and it was clear last year when Freeze decided to get more involved. But he couldn’t go all the way in. Now he can, and it should allow QB Payton Thorne to be better than he was in his first season on the Plains.

Although Staples’ highest expectations for Auburn may not rise above nine wins, he does not expect the Tigers to repeat its six-win trend for the fourth time in five years. Staples expects Auburn to bottom out at 7-5, which ensures a winning regular season and would prove to the SEC that they are in a competitive state once again.

How Auburn fares defensively probably depends on how quickly some of the Tigers’ young linemen develop, but Freeze clearly understood his mandate to raise the talent level in the program. Auburn might not be ready to make the CFP quite yet, but the Tigers feel ready to be competitive in the SEC again.

Auburn opens the 2024 season on Saturday, Aug. 31 against Alabama A&M at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn’s SEC opener is scheduled for Sept. 21 when the Tigers host Arkansas as part of a five-game homestand to open the season.

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire