Auburn has fallen well behind its rivals along the OL. Good luck, Bryan Harsin.
As many title contenders have stockpiled talent up front, the Tigers' OL Blue Chip Ratio paints a rough picture for where the program is right now.
HC Bryan Harsin (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
New Year’s Day — not just the Citrus Bowl, but also what happened several hours later — made the challenge ahead of Bryan Harsin at Auburn even more obvious.
In a 35-19 loss to Northwestern, a Tank Bigsby-less running back group for Auburn rushed for just 31 yards on 15 carries against a defense that had been torched by Ohio State on the ground in its most recent game. Quarterback Bo Nix didn’t have a lot of time to throw the ball downfield behind an offensive line that was down one of its top performers in right tackle Brodarious Hamm.
The end of the Gus Malzahn era at Auburn had a lot to do with what happened along the line of scrimmage in Orlando. The Tigers’ offensive line hasn’t been a total disaster over the last several seasons, but it hasn’t been a top-performing unit since the 2017 run to the SEC Championship Game by any stretch.
Auburn struggled to find consistency in run-blocking and pass-protecting, rarely being able to do bot…