Unfortunately for Tigers fans, games aren't played on paper, and even more unfortunately, the Tigers have a history of choking at inopportune times under Les Miles, like last season's single field goal at Auburn, despite outgaining the Teagles by 103 yards, harassing Brandon Cox to the tune of 4 sacks for 29 lost yards and a pick, and driving into Auburn territory six times, and the '05 fourth quarter collapse against Tennessee. Looking at this schedule, there are a few tough but winnable games, and several opportunities for the Tigers to simply choke.
09/08 - vs Virginia Tech
This one's at home, so the advantage is clearly LSU's, but the typically stellar defensive and special teams play of Virginia Tech is no laughing matter. This early in the season, we'll get to see if Matt Flynn's Peach Bowl performance was a fluke or if he can be the every week QB LSU fans hope he is.
09/22 - vs South Carolina
Again, the Tigers are lucky to get this one at home, but a potent 'Cock offense matched with an improving D makes this team dangerous. Many consider them a dark horse contender for the East, and this has an outside shot at being an early preview of the SEC Championship game.
10/06 - vs Florida
The Gators bested LSU last year 23-10 in the Swamp, but the core of Florida's boa constrictor defense has moved on. The Gators will be solid again this year but, as Kyle so helpfully elucidated, they won with defense last year and will likely find themselves unable to stop the LSU offense this season.
11/03 - at Alabama
This might seem like a homer pick, but Alabama has had the talent to play with anyone in the league the last few years, and finally has the coaching staff to do so, so this has upset written all over it. It's their only quality road opponent, Miles is prone to make some reckless decisions in his quest to beat his predecessor and win over the Tiger faithful once and for all, Saban is allegedly already preparing for the game, and so on.
11/23 - vs Arkansas
Last season Ole Miss caught LSU napping and took them to OT at the end of the season, and Arkansas, while likely not the team they were last year, will still be a physical team.
SEC Championship Game
If things go like I see them, we'll see an LSU/UGA rematch from '05, where the Tigers fell 14-34 to the Dawgs.
Tomorrow we'll get some feedback from Southern Papa about LSU fan's expectations and the importance of beating Nick Saban.