By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn was one of five SEC teams to finish in the Top 25 this football season, and the earliest of the preseason predictions suggest a uptick for the Tigers in 2017.
One preseason prediction has Auburn in the Top 10.
The final 2016 coaches poll relased Tuesday saw Auburn finish at No. 22. The Tigers finished 24th in the final AP poll.
The Tigers finished with an 8-5 record and their five SEC wins tied for the second-most regular-season wins in the league.
"We're losing some great leadership, but we have a bunch of talented young guys," coach Gus Malzahn said after the Sugar Bowl.
Some extremely early preseason rankings — guesses, really — for the 2017 season predict the Tigers will improve on their 2016 finish. Auburn is ranked No. 10 for 2017 by Fox Sports.com, No. 11 by ESPN, No. 14 by USA Today and No. 19 by the Sporting News.
Auburn returns most of the offensive players who produced one of the Top 5 rushing seasons in school history, including the running back duo of Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, as well as eight defensive players who started in the Sugar Bowl.
The final 2016 coaches poll
The final 2016 AP poll
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine