Some of you have been waiting for this one. Seventh installment in the series takes us to Red Stick, Looziana:
Coach: Les Miles (103-29 in ten seasons at LSU; 56-24 in SEC)
2014 record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC, 5th in West Division)
CB969 2014 Prediction: 8-4 "LSU is talented but very young. There may be some growing pains this season.."
Look back:defensive coordinator John Chavis mailed it in for the Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame leaving a wretched taste in the mouths of players and fans alike.
Key losses: DC John Chavis (TAMU), OT La'el Collins (Cowboys UFA), CB Jalen Collins (Round 2, Falcons), DE Danielle Hunter (Round 3, Vikings), OLB Kwon Alexander (Round 4, Buccaneers), RB Kenny Hilliard (Round 7, Texans), RB Terrence Magee (Ravens UFA), SS Ronald Martin (Seahawks UFA), FB Connor Neighbors.
Returning starters: 8 on offense, 6 on defense, kicker and punter.
Top returnees: RB Leonard Fournette, OG Vadal Alexander, FS Jalen Mills, MLB Kendell Beckwith, WR Travin Dural, OG Ethan Pocic, DT Davon Godchaux, P .
Top newcomers: CB Kevin Toliver (Jacksonville, FL), DE Arden Key (Atlanta, GA), OT Chidi Valentine-Okeke (Ludowici, GA), WR Tyron Johnson (New Orleans, LA), RB Derrius Guice (Baton Rouge, LA), DL Coach Ed Orgeron!
Strengths: Fournette, the first two months of the schedule, defense, WRs, punting.
Weaknesses: QBs Anthony Jennings & Brandon Harris, if the defense lacks anywhere it might be edge rush, a brutal November schedule, kicking.
Outlook: LSU returns some great talent on offense except that key spot of QB... They are also filling holes at left tackle and center... The placekicking game has been an adventure but Australian Jamie Keehn was ninth in the nation in punting... Defense is pretty solid but can new DC Kevin Steele keep this defense together?... The Tigers should be a CFBP contender but for lack of that field general to lead them. Ya think Miles is regretting not going after a little more aggressively? Discuss.
Sept. 5 McNeese State - W
Sept. 12 at Mississippi State - W
Sept. 19 Auburn - L - This could go either way.
Sept. 26 at Syracuse - W - Not exactly sure why LSU agreed to this game. Anyone?
Oct. 3 Eastern Michigan - W
Oct. 10 at South Carolina - W
Oct. 17 Florida - W
Oct. 24 Western Kentucky - W
Oct. 31 off week
Nov. 5 at Alabama - L - This should be a tight game between two similar teams.
Nov. 14 Arkansas - W - Deaf Valley at night, y'all. It's majuckal!
Nov. 21 at Ole Miss - L - This is probably a pick 'em. Lean towards the home team.
Nov. 28 Texas A&M - W - This should be interesting.
Let's go Bowling! Yup, probably somewhere in Florida with a shot at New Orleans.
* Fun Fact: LSU and Syracuse have only met twice all-time with each team winning once. The Tigers took the Sugar Bowl in the 1964 season 13-10. The Orange got "revenge" in the Hall of Fame Bowl of the 1988 season by the score of 23-10.
★ UPDATE: DB Jalen Mills (fibula) reportedly out 4-6 weeks.