The Auburn Tigers are coming off one of the more disappointing seasons in recent memory, prompting a coaching change just two seasons removed from their BCS National Championship. Gus Malzahn returns to Auburn to turn the Tigers around with his up-tempo offensive attack that turned Cam Newton into a Heisman Trophy winner. A favorable schedule in 2013 will help Malzahn get that turnaround done even quicker.
Auburn opens the 2013 season with three straight home games, starting with their season opener against the Washington State Cougars (3-9 in 2012). They play five of their first six games at home and will have nine home games in total. Two of their tougher matchups, against the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide, will both come at the end of the season at home with a bye week in between to prepare for the Iron Bowl.
Their four non-conference games are all extremely winnable with WSU along with the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Western Carolina Catamounts and the Florida Atlantic Owls coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Those should be four wins (or three at the absolute minimum), meaning that Auburn only has to win a two to three of their conference games to become bowl eligible in 2013, though that was something they failed to do in 2012.
Few people doubt that Malzahn is the right coach to turn Auburn back into an SEC contender. With the schedule set up the way it is for the Tigers in 2013, that turnaround could happen sooner rather than later for the new head coach, which would suit the Auburn faithful just fine.