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Auburn Vs. Clemson: SB Nation's Bill Connelly Previews Tigers Season

Defining success for the Auburn Tigers in 2012 isn't so easy, considering all the possibilities facing them going into the season. As SB Nation's Bill Connelly notes from the Football Outsiders Almanac 2012, Auburn has a two percent chance of going 4-8, a four percent chance of going 10-2 and a 54 percent chance of going either 7-5 or 8-4.

Of course, Auburn was ranked 22nd to start 2010, then 14-0 and Cam Newton's Heisman Trophy run happened. Here's some analysis from Connelly looking at the Tigers' future:

In the last two years, Auburn has proven both that a) recruiting rankings are rather predictive (Newton and Dyer were both five-star recruits, and in the two years leading up to 2010, Chizik had signed the No. 19 and No. 4 recruiting classes in the country, respectively, according to Rivals.com), and b) recruiting rankings aren't everything (no way should a team with back-to-back top-seven classes finish 52nd in F/+). Heading into 2012, the sheer quantity of Auburn's four- and five-star signees is the largest reason for optimism, but if you believe more in proven production, the Tigers might still be a year away from returning to the big-time.

For more on Tigers football, visit Auburn blog College And Magnolia, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.