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Auburn Expectations: SEC Media Days (a.k.a. "SEC Kickoff") is less than a month away. During the countdown, I'll fill the column with college football topics. It's what I do most of the year anyway.

Hugh Freeze will make the trek to Nashville. It's Music City's first time as host for this event. It's not the first go-round for Freeze. Of course he attended SEC Media Days while head coach at Ole Miss.

You may have heard of Charles Dickens. He gave us the literary classics, "A Christmas Carol" and "Great Expectations" - to name a few. For Freeze, expectations at Auburn probably aren't "great" quite yet.

We have to put things into perspective. South Carolina is bragging because they're picked to finish third in the SEC East. That's South Carolina. Auburn has won at a higher level than the Gamecocks, but we have to look at the starting point for Freeze in year one.

The Tigers are projected by most pre-season prognosticators to finish near or at the bottom of the SEC West. Why? That's where the Tigers were last year, tied with Texas A&M at 2-6 in the SEC; and the year before that, tied with LSU at 3-5.

Both of those seasons had Bryan Harsin at the helm. Before him came Gus Malzahn. Malzahan had success but was a four- or five-loss coach. He went 67-35 in eight seasons, for an annual average of 8.4 wins and 4.4 losses.

Ironically, Malzahn's best season was his first. Go back and look at Auburn's history. That happened with Terry Bowden as well.

It is year one for Freeze on the Plains. And if there is one thing we can predict is that Auburn can be unpredictable. Sometimes that's a good thing.

The Tigers have slipped in recruiting since the end of Malzahn's run which led to a deep dive into the portal for Freeze. Only Colorado has more transfers.

Yes, most anticipate that the best will come later than sooner. But, the same was said last year about LSU. After the Bengal Tigers' dead-last finish the preceding year, they reached the SEC Championship Game.

What did first-year coach Brian Kelly do? He went to the portal after a mass exodus of LSU players.

I'm not predicting an SEC title trip for Auburn this year, but things could be better than the "experts" anticipate. Freeze, like Kelly, can coach. And unlike Harsin, Freeze has experience and success in this league.

ESPN FPI ranks Auburn No. 39 in its preseason breakdown. It also gives them a .2 percent chance of winning the SEC West. Of course with just .2 percent chance in its own division, there is zero chance of an SEC title or national championship.

Those numbers are insane. We're not talking about UMass, which is 133 out of 133 in the FPI and just happens to be Auburn's first opponent.

We'll hear what Freeze thinks in July. Be sure to listen to the Wake-Up Call, presented by CB&S Bank and River Region Sports live from Nashville on July 18 and 19 on WTLS - Score 94.7/Hit 106.9.