AuburnSports.com has added to its panel of participants for its annual College Pick'em contest. The panel will now include Auburn beat writers as well as three former Tiger players. Former quarterback Ben Leard, former offensive lineman Joe Cope and former receiver Brad Smith will make their picks each week and include their prediction and thoughts on Auburn's upcoming game.
WHAT THEY THINK: La. Tech at Auburn
Jeffrey Lee: Auburn 38-16.
Auburn may be thin on offense Saturday. It'll have key players out or playing injured. It'll have young and inexperienced folks all over the field. But those folks are fast. They're talented. They're playmakers. They'll make some mistakes, but they'll make even more plays. And then there's Ben Tate and Mario Fannin. Should be fun to watch. Chris Todd unveils his new right arm (doctors attached it in the offseason). Kodi Burns unveils his new role in the offense, and Auburn unveils the Gene Chizik Era on the Plains with a solid win.
Mike Szvetitz: Auburn 28-13.
Auburn's best are just better than La. Tech's best.
Luke Brietzke: Auburn 20-13.
La. Tech gives the Tigers a scare, but Gene Chizik gets his first Auburn win in a close game determined in the final minutes.
Bill Cameron: Auburn 31-17.
Nobody knows what to expect, but the Tigers should have enough talent and be very motivated.
Andy Bitter: Auburn 24-17.
Tigers have some first-game sloppiness but still pull out a narrow victory.
Mark Johnson: Auburn 20-13.
This score would make for some anxious moments in Jordan-Hare Stadium, but until I see Auburn's offense produce -- or see proof that the defense can overcome its glaring depth problems -- I'm keeping my expectations very low. You should too.
Evan Woodbery: Auburn 24-17.
Tough to get a read for this game without much knowledge of the offense. We should know more in Game 2.
Bryan Matthews: Auburn 34-17.
Ziemba and his o-line buds have a goal to dominate. I think they will and Auburn will put up big rushing numbers.
Charles Goldberg: Auburn 30-16.
Auburn coaches have seemed to lower the expectations with all the talk of the rookies. Are we buying it? Just a little.
Jay Tate: Auburn 24-14.
Too much Malzahn. Not enough quarterback from the Bulldogs. Personally, I think Tristan Davis would have been a big upgrade for Tech. I guess they like their little guy, too.
Mr. Quarter: Auburn 69-0.
If Gene Chizik had a quarter for every win he's had as a head coach, he'd have enough to buy … well, can you buy anything for $1.25 anymore? How about $1.50? That's how much he'll have late Saturday night.
Andrew Gribble: Auburn 24-14.
It ain't pretty by any means, but Chizik rallies the masses -- for this week, at least -- with his first Auburn victory.
Rachel Morand: Auburn 31-7.
I'll give Louisiana Tech one touchdown because of how impressive Daniel Porter and Phillip Livas are. One or the other will make it to the end zone, and if they do it, it was probably only because Eltoro Freeman was in the bathroom at the time.
Ben Leard: Auburn 27-10.
Chris Todd will get the monkey of last season off of his back with a solid performance leading into Auburn's first SEC matchup of 2009. The defense will be very stingy and possibly get a pick-6 in the fourth quarter to put everything out of reach. This will be the first of four very winnable games at home for the Tigers so long as the build momentum and stay healthy!
Joe Cope: Auburn 34-10.
Auburn comes out fast and mad. This team has heard from every person they know … "What happened to ya'll last year?" The first-string D will come out aggressive and dominate the game upfront. I see there being a hick-up or two early in the game as the O gets started, but after that it should be a fun game to watch with some big plays out of the skill guys. La Tech's only TD comes late in the game when it is too late.
Brad Smith: Auburn 45-14.
Gus Malzahn makes a statement against an outmatched La Tech defense. Ted Roof's defense flies around and plays solid, but the youngsters give up a few big plays for some long scores.