On Monday, ESPN’s Bill Connelly released his updated SP+ metrics. This element of analysis measures a team based on three categories.
Return of production
Offense: 31.7 (#40)
The attack is in the top 50 but it still leaves a lot to be desired. The unit lost a lot with the departure of Kobe Hudson and Bo Nix. These two veterans left a void for less experienced players to try to fill.
Still, the offense has its best running back in Tank Bigsby and backup Jarquez Hunter, who will appear to be the star players on offense. Success in 2022 will depend on who wins the quarterback job and a few wide receivers who take over.
Defense: 17.7 (#11)
The strength of this team comes from the defensive side of the ball, at least that’s how the metrics see it. The Tigers’ defense led by new coordinator Jeff Schmedding ranks in the top 12 in the nation by Connelly’s metric.
The team returns the one-two punch to the pass rusher with Derick Hall and Colby Wooden. Not to mention Owen Papoe on the second tier. On the backend, Nehemiah Pritchett and Zion Puckett are looking to keep it going with some newcomers.
Overall: 14.0 (#22)
Todd Van Emst/UA Athletics
Auburn still finished in the top 25 overall in the SP+ standings as they land just ahead of SEC foes Florida Gators. It would seem that the data is higher on the team heading into the 2022 college football season than on analysts.
With a lot of pressure already on the team and the head coach at the start of the season, the road will not be easy. Especially with one of the toughest schedules in the country.
We will soon find out if a diamond can form due to pressure or if it will collapse under Harsin.
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