If Gus Malzahn's press conference at SEC Media Days is any indication, the Auburn Tigers feel very good about their chances in 2017.

The fifth-year head coach met with the media on Thursday in Hoover and sounded confident about the state of his program.

"Overall I'm very excited about this team. We have a lot of experience back. I think we've got more returning starters than we've had the last 12 years at Auburn, and of course in this league there's nothing like experience."

The Tigers have lost 16 games in three seasons since making it to the BCS national championship game in 2013, but Malzahn sees some similarities with that team that fell just short of a title.

"And probably the biggest thing that's standing out to me about this team, that they're hungry. They're hungry and they've got something to prove. And really the last time I felt this was 2013. So that's a good comfort for me. I mean, obviously, we've got a challenging schedule. We've got some great teams in our league. We play the defending national champions on the road week two.

"But I really like where we're at. And just got that feel where there's a lot of excitement around our complex, not just with our coaches, but our players. And we're really looking forward to the season."

Auburn opens the 2017 schedule with Georgia Southern at home before traveling to Clemson in week two to face the defending national champions.