In last year's national championship season, the Auburn Tigers provided the Alabama Crimson Tide their only loss of the season.

The Tigers begin their journey toward a repeat trip to SEC Championship Game September 1 against Washington in Atlanta.

Although they lost  running backs Kam Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, four contributors on the offensive line and three-time All-America placekicker Daniel Carlson.

Despite those losses, the Tigers return quarterback Jarrett Stidham, receivers Ryan Davis, Darius Slayton and Nate Craig-Myers and one of the best corps of defensive linemen in the SEC in Dontavius Russell, Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown.

According to a veteran scout and contributor for Saturday Down South, Auburn has enough talent to win the national championship based on Stidham's return along with  an experienced defensive, particularly along the line of scrimmage.

During Wednesday's edition of Inside the Locker Room, Alabama News Network weekend sports anchor Darrell Puckett looked into his crystal ball to see how much potential that Auburn football has in 2018.

Puckett laid out the expected strengths that could carry the Tigers to another conference title run including at quarterback and defensive line.

The Alabama News Network sportscaster also cautioned Auburn fans about setting expectations too high and what he thinks are realistic expectations for the season.

"If you're an Auburn fan, you're expectations need to be that you have a shot for an SEC West title for an opportunity to get there by the time you get to the Georgia game." Puckett said.

Early in the season, Gus Malzahn's squad faces Washington in Atlanta, LSU and Arkansas at home along with Mississippi State on the road in the first six games of their schedule.

Puckett also emphasized the importance of building momentum in September and October so that they are in contention for an SEC Championship Game trip when they travel to Athens, Georgia, in November.

The Alabama News Network sports anchor later touched on the scheduling discrepancy regarding playing at Georgia and Alabama in even-numbered years, Malzahn's use of the tight end in the passing game and Auburn's season opening clash against Washington.

Inside the Locker Room airs every weekday from 7-9 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the Tide 102.9 app.

More From Tide 100.9