The Tigers top the poll in preseason. Having fallen at the final hurdle in 2011, Al Dannity says Les Miles and Louisiana State will go all the way this season. Here’s his take on why LSU will reign supreme.
The schedule Despite an inspirational speech from Sean Payton, North Texas will be huge underdogs for the season open in Baton Rouge. After that the Tigers have a pair of home dates against Washington and Idaho before opening SEC play at Auburn. Another cupcake at home to Towson follows that before the Tigers travel to Florida to take on the Gators. A tough home test against South Carolina follows that before LSU head to College Station for a first ever SEC game with the Aggies. The biggest game of the season comes a week later at home to Alabama and that’s followed by a trap game against Mississippi State. The Tigers finish their home slate against Ole Miss before the final game of the regular season at Arkansas.
The players The Tigers don’t need no Honey Badger! Tyrann Mathieu is out of the program but everything else about LSU looks great. Zach Mettenberger is a massive upgrade on Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson at quarterback and should ensure the Tigers finally have a relevant passing game this season. With 6 starters back on offense, including All-SEC offensive linemen Alex Hurst and Chris Faulk, this edition of the Tigers should cause nightmares for opposing defenses.
Barkevious Mingo has the defensive game to match his fantastic name. He is one of 6 returning defensive starters, however Eric Reid is the lone returnee from last season’s group of defensive backs. Even LSU’s special teams are elite. Drew Alleman was All-SEC as a kicker last year and punter Brad Wing was criminally ignored for the Ray Guy award.
The outlook Les Miles will feel he left a potential BCS title on the field last January and you can be sure he wants to make amends this season. Playing Bama at home should prove a massive advantage in the battle for SEC West supremacy. The Tigers won’t be home and hosed no matter what happens against the Tide. Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs will prove hard to handle in a potential let-down game for the Tigers. Then there’s the small matter of travelling to Fayetteville to take on the Hogs. This slate isn’t as tough as their 2011 gauntlet but LSU won’t take it lightly. I like the Tigers to come through it unscathed and once again win the SEC Championship Game. That will set up a BCS title game and a shot for the conference to claim its seventh straight crown. No team looks better placed to go 14-0 in my books, I’m backing the Tigers to win it all.
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