(video courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)
The SEC RapidReports blog is taking a look at what went wrong at the five SEC schools that didn't make a bowl -- Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.
Auburn (3-9, 0-8 SEC)
Expectations: Coming off an 8-5 campaign and a win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011, Auburn wasn't really expected to be a huge factor in the SEC race, but fans were optimistic that it could take a step forward with two new coordinators -- OC Scot Loeffler and DC Brian VanGorder. The Tigers were picked fourth in the SEC West by the media before the season.
What went wrong: Many of Auburn's struggles were caused by its inability to stop the run and its struggles at QB. The Tigers were gashed by opposing runners. They gave up a league-worst average of 197.6 yards on the ground. Opponents averaged 4.9 yards per carry and found the end zone 23 times via the run against Auburn. The QB situation didn't do much to help bail out that struggling defense. Sophomore Kiehl Frazier won the job out of fall camp. In five starts, he never completed more than 13 passes in a game and threw eight INTs. Junior Clint Moseley wasn't much better after taking over for the next three starts. Freshman Jonathan Wallace won the job down the stretch. He sparked the offense in a few situations, but, overall, struggled just like the other two. The Tigers simply never found their answer at this position. That was a big part of the reason they couldn't win an SEC game.
When it went wrong: It was pretty bad from start to finish for the Tigers. They played Clemson tough in a 26-19 loss in the season opener in Atlanta, but the offense really struggled in a 28-10 loss at Mississippi State the next week. Their five-game SEC losing streak in the middle of the schedule proved that it wasn't just a slow start. A 24-7 loss on Oct. 6 to Arkansas, a team that was a 1-4 at that point, was a sign that the Tigers had major problems.
Biggest overall disappointment: That QB position, especially Frazier, was the most frustrating part of the season. Frazier, who saw action mainly as a runner in 2011, was supposed to stabilize the position. Instead, the former four-star recruit struggled with his accuracy and overall command of the offense. His inconsistent play combined with an arm injury in October cost him his starting job.
Bright spots: Auburn ran the ball decently well, finishing with an average of 148.8 per game on the ground. Sophomore RB Tre Mason had 1,002 yards rushing and eight TDs. DE Corey Lemonier (5.5 sacks, 12 QB hurries) and LB Daren Bates (94 tackles, 2 sacks) stood out on defense. K Cody Parkey hit 11 of 14 field goals and nearly 70 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks.
2013 outlook: Auburn is trying to turn back the clock by bringing in offensive whiz Gus Malzahn as head coach. Malzahn was the offensive coordinator during the Tigers' 2010 national championship season. He should give Auburn a schematic advantage, but he can't instantly fix the QB situation or the whole defense. The good news is that a majority of the major contributors will be back. Bates, WR Emory Blake and RB/return specialist Onterio McCalebb are some of the seniors who will have to be replaced though. Another winless SEC season is unlikely, but the Tigers will likely be picked around sixth in the SEC West going into next year.
For more up-to-the minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Larry Hartstein and Daniel Lewis, follow @CBSSportsSEC.