We head down Looziana way for installment number six of wild blind dart-throwing predictions. And sonofagun there ain’t much fun on the Bayou.
GAME 9, November 5: at LSU TIGERS
Coach: Brian Kelly (first season at LSU; 263–96–2 overall; 145-61-2 in FBS)
2021 record: 6-7 (3-5 in SEC, T–6th in the West Division, lost Texas Bowl)
CB969 2021 Prediction: 9-3; “It is a critical year in the tenure of marble-mouthed Coach O. This campaign might just determine which season was a fluke: 2019 or 2020?”
Looking back: The Tigahs wasted no time showing what kind of season they were going to have when they opened up with an inexplicable 11 point loss to a meh UCLA team. After two cupcake Ws and one over Missy State, the Bayou Bengals dropped two in a row to Auburn and Kentucky, turning the natives restless. Despite a subsequent win over Florida, it was announced that LSU would be moving on from meathead Orgeron. The Tigers would drop the next three straight to Ole Miss, Bama and Arky with the second two defeats coming by less than one TD. They would beat quit-mode TAMU to round out the regular season but faceplant against a mediocre K-State in the Texas Bowl 42-20. Two garbage time touchdowns by LSU made it look closer than it was.
Returning starters: 2 on offense, 3 on defense!! 0 specialists!!
Key losses: Ed Orgeron (maybe a good thing?), DB Derek Stingley (Round 1, Texans), G Ed Ingram (Round 2, Vikings), CB Cordale Flott (Round 3, Giants), RB Tyrion Davis-Price (Round 3, 49ers), K Cade York (Round 4, Browns), DT Neil Farrell (Round 4, Raiders), LB Damone Clark (Round 5, Cowboys), OL Austin Deculus (Round 6, Texans), C Chasen Hines (Round 6, Patriots), LB Andre Anthony (Round 7, Buccaneers), QB Max Johnson (transfer to TAMU), DB Eli Ricks (Alabama), QB Myles Brennan (retired), RB Corey Kiner (U. of Cincinnati), CB Dwight McGlothern (Arkansas), WR Devonta Lee (La Tech), WR/PR/KR Trey Palmer (Nebraska).
Key loss first two games: RB John Emery suspended for the first two games, likely academic issues.
Top returnees: Offensive line coach Brad Davis (the only assistant retained), WR Kayshon Boutte, DE Ali Gaye, QB Garrett Nussmeier, EDGE BJ Ojulari, DL Maason Smith, S Todd Harris (sixth season), S Jay Ward, WR Jack Bech, WR Malik Nabers.
Top newcomers: Brian Kelly, QB Jayden Daniels (Arizona State), CB Jarrick Bernard (Oklahoma State), RB Noah Cain (Penn State), CB Greg Brooks (Arkansas), S Joe Foucha (Arkansas), DB Mekhi Garner (ULLaffy), CB Sevyn Banks (Ohio State but had knee and hip issues in 2021), P Jay Bramblett (Notre Dame), OT Miles Frazier (FIU), frosh LT Will Campbell (projected starter), LG Tre’mond Shorts (East Tennessee State/FCS All-American, projected starter).
Name you need to know: Derek Stingley had a big freshman year and then mailed in for the next two season and STILL got drafted number three overall (smh). Wide recevier Kayshon Boutte had a big frosh year but then last year shut it down after the loss to UK in Week 6 due to “ankle injury”. What kind of effort he will put forth this season will be quite interesting.
Strengths: Orgeron needed to go; It’s unclear if Kelly was the right pick but at least he familiar with the spotlight and knows what he is doing from an organizational point... D-Line should be solid... Talent in the secondary but most of them are new transfers... Daniels and/or Nuss at QB should be decent... If he doesn’t shut it down again, Boutte can be a game-changer...
Weaknesses: The VooDoo hex spell cast in 2019 has completely worn off; Pretty much every Tiger who contributed to that championship season is gone... Projected starting QB Myles Brennan retired from football two weeks before the opening game... New starters on the offensive line (all five), tight end, RB and QB... Linebackers are meh... Replacing main punt & kick returner, kicker, punter, and long-snapper... That November schedule...
Outlook: Several of the talking heads in the media seem to think that Kelly is up there among the top coaches in the nation. But there will be a learning curve coaching in the SEC. In addition, this team had SUCH a large turnover of players. I think it’s going to be a tough one for the Tigers and so does Vegas. ↓↓↓
Win Total Odds
Over 7 +105
Under 7 -125
Sunday, Sept 4 vs Florida State (in New Orleans) - W - FSU, still not back.
Sept 10 vs Southern - W - HBCU
Sept 17 vs Mississippi State - W - home field advantage.
Sept 24 vs New Mexico - W
Oct 1 @ Auburn - L - Jerdin Hair is a weird place.
Oct 8 vs Tennessee - W - not sure the Vols are ready to win a game like this.
Oct 15 @ Florida - L - This one could go either way against the rebuilding Gators.
Oct 22 vs Ole Miss - W - home field advantage.
Oct 29 bye
Nov 5 vs Alabama - L
Nov 12 @ Arkansas - L
Nov 19 vs UAB - W
Nov 26 @ Texas A&M - L
* All of those October games could go either way. 7 wins seems about right.
ALABAMA SCHEDULE PREVIEWS:
Sept 3 vs Utah State 6:30pm SECN
Sept 10 at Texas 11:00am FOX
Sept 17 vs Louisiana–Monroe 3:00pm SECN
Sept 24 vs Vanderbilt
Oct 1 at Arkansas
Oct 8 vs Texas A&M
Oct 15 at Tennessee
Oct 22 vs Mississippi State
Oct 29 bye
Nov 5 at LSU
Nov 12 at Ole Miss
Nov 19 vs Austin Peay 11:00am SECN+
Nov 26 vs Auburn