Auburn vs Northwestern Vrbo Citrus Bowl Odds

Auburn Tigers College Football Betting

Auburn Tigers NCAA Football Betting

The Gus Bus was finally ditched. Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn began his career on the Plains as offensive coordinator of the 2010 national championship team under Gene Chizik. Quarterback Cam Newton was on campus for just a few months but not before winning the Heisman Trophy on his way out the door. Incredibly enough Chizik was fired two years later with Malzahn named as his replacement. In his first year as head coach Gus led War Eagle to the 2013 season national championship game where they lost in the final seconds to Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles. And it was all downhill from there. Malzahn, for the seven seasons that followed, was able to stay one step ahead of the posse. Three wins over Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide was a major reason as to why. But Malzahn was never the coach touted as the one that would reinvent the game. Once known as an offensive mastermind, Malzahn ended up fired because of a stagnant offense.

Auburn Tigers Weekly Odds

Auburn Tigers +3.5

Northwestern Wildcats -3.5

Total 46

Auburn Tigers Weekly Matchup

On Friday, January 1, 2021, the Northwestern Wildcats will face the Auburn Tigers in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl that will be held in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Kickoff time is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET with television coverage on ABC.

Northwestern is coming off a 22-10 loss in the Big Ten championship game to the Ohio State Buckeyes as 16.5 point dogs with the game going under the total of 57. Northwestern has a record of 6-2 straight up, 6-1-1 against the spread, and 1-7 under the total. Northwestern ranks 98th for scoring offense and 5th for points allowed. It was that lack of offense that prevented the Wildcats from being able to close against a beatable OSU team.

Auburn Tigers Weekly Recap

The Auburn Tigers have been idle since their season-ending 24-10 win at Mississippi State. Auburn has a record of 6-4 straight up, 5-5 against the spread, and 2-8 under the total. Auburn ranked 76th for total offense and 87th for points allowed. Defensively the Tigers ranked 60th overall and 35th for points allowed.

It was those offensive metrics that ultimately forced Auburn to junk the Gus Bus. Consider the case of Bo Nix. The sophomore quarterback regressed in 2020 from a 125.0 quarterback rating in 2019 to a 123.7 rating this season. Nix averaged a pedestrian 6.7 yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Those are not the numbers of a quarterback led by a dynamic offensive coach.

Gus Malzahn leaves the Plains with his head held high. To be clear the Gus Bus will be remembered fondly in the years ahead for its wild ride. Many great moments will be etched forever in Auburn lore. But losing records against the Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide were too much for Malzahn to overcome.

Malzahn ran a clean program at Auburn. There was never a scandal in his eight years on the Plains. But after that initial championship run, there was also nothing in the way of dynamic offense. The great irony of the Malzahn years was that a man that made his name for the zone-read offense was done in by his inability to adapt at the end. In particular, his passing game was embarrassingly basic and easy for opposing teams to defend. Even when Malzahn brought in new offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who is well regarded for sophisticated passing attacks, he failed to give him enough freedom to fully implement the changes necessary for success.

History shows that Auburn is a strong program but also one that eats up its coaches. In the modern era, only Pat Dye was able to leave somewhat on his own terms, although under the cloud of NCAA scandal. Auburn is ideally located near Atlanta and in the state of Alabama with fertile recruiting fields. The biggest problem is 160 miles to the west. Until Nick Saban retires the Alabama Crimson Tide remains the biggest challenge that War Eagle must overcome. Also problematic is the annual “crossover” game against the powerful and talented Georgia Bulldogs.

2020 Auburn Tigers Schedule

Date Opponent Score
Sep 26 vs. Kentucky W 29-13
Oct 3 @ Georgia L 27-6
Oct 10 vs. Arkansas W 30-28
Oct 17 @ South Carolina L 22-30
Oct 24 @ Mississippi W 35-28
Oct 31 vs. LSU W 48-11
Nov 21 vs. Tennessee W 30-17
Nov 28 @ Alabama L 13-42
Dec 5 vs. Texas A&M L 20-31
Dec 12 @ Mississippi State W 24-10
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