Blog Entry

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:42 pm
  •  
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For all their explosive Mathieuan brilliance, LSU failed to finish the 2011 season ranked No. 1. But Phil Steele does have a small bit of good news for the Tigers: the numbers guru says that's where LSU will start the 2012 season.

For the fourth straight offseason, the preview magazine maven has projected the preseason AP top 10 based on returning starters, bowl performance, and other factors. Despite their BCS championship game pratfall, Steele expects the Tigers to open 2012 as the AP No. 1, one slot ahead of much-hyped USC.

Steele's assessment:

Last year LSU was picked 2nd in the SEC West behind Alabama and would go on to have arguably the best regular season in school history going 13-0 winning the SEC Championship and would beat EIGHT Top 25 teams! While the National Title loss to Alabama still stings, many of the Tigers’ star players return for 2012 including Heisman candidate DB Tyrann Mathieu along with their top 3 rec’s and their top 4 rushers. Throw in QB Zach Mettenberger who Miles said last year was his best pure passing QB and a home game vs Alabama and the Tigers will be the favorites to win the National Title! 

Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma round out the projected top five, with Nos. 6-10 going to Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Arkansas and West Virginia, respectively.

Based on Steele's track record, Les Miles should go ahead and start preparing his team to wear that familiar top-ranked bullseye, at least for its opening week matchup against North Texas. All three teams pegged by Steele to earn the AP's preseason No. 1 nod have gone to do so, including Oklahoma last year. Steele has also correctly predicted 9 of 10 teams all three years of the exercise and 13 of 15 total teams in the top five. 

Which means it's not just Miles that can go ahead and start worrying about managing expectations--assuming Steele is correct (or even close to it), the Bulldogs, Wolverines and Mountaineers will all be graced with a substantially higher preseason ranking than any of those programs has faced in years. And though that's not always a recipe for disaster (look at what Oklahoma State accomplished this past season), an appearance in Steele's projected top 10 proved to be a terrible omen for other supposed up-and-comers like 2009 Ole Miss, 2010 Iowa and 2011 Texas A&M.

So we're guessing Mark Richt, Brady Hoke and Dana Holgorsen -- not to mention Jimbo Fisher and his perennially overrated Seminoles -- are all hoping that this once, Steele isn't quite as accurate as he's promised to be.

Steele also recently released a comprehensive look at the entire FBS's projected returning starters for 2012; you can read the Eye on CFB's breakdown of those numbers here.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

  •  
Comments

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:57 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

The fact that your own words say that you got beat by ONE GUY says it all.  It took a great team full of future NFL players to beat LSU in the NC game.  Granted, a pretty poor performance by LSU, but at least it was against a whole TEAM, and not just superman.  Of course, Vince Young may have looked like super man because of who he was playing against. 



Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:32 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

it took a super man performance by vince young to beat sc by three points it took who? to beat lsu by 21...yeah i thought so!..sc laid a chicken sized egg lsu laid an ostrich sized one that got stuck in there rear.and every time sc got screwed by losing a game lsu had just as many loses...but as i stated lsu will not sniff the nat'l title game this year with that sorry three and out flagfootball offense that they put on the field.....i think miles needs to google up some pop warner offensive plays with a little more creativity to add to his playbook and maybe you have a chance!....na no way!



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:27 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Oh, lord here we go again with the unsung USC vs LSU rivalry. Look I want to see us play each other already so this can finally get squashed. Next season I would love to see a early season matchup like you guys had with Oregon. But no offense no one actually though Oregon had a chance and that's why your AD took that risk. I really don't see our AD or yours scheduling a game with this much firepower.



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:12 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Damn, JungleLove, when I went to bed last night, you were crying about the USC Trojans.  LSUSMC said it best.  PRE-SEASON Polls mean very little.  They give chump beat writers something to do until August, and guys like you something to whine about.  USC loses games in pathetic fashion EVERY year as of late, and has not deserved to be mentioned with the Big Boys of College Football in the past 7 or so years.  During their Cheating Era, they got to the game twice, winning with Illegal players once, and laying a BIG EGG by allowing Vince Young to beat them.  Last year for example, they give up 56 in a loss to Stanford and 43 in a 21 point loss to Arizona State.  PATHETIC.  These pre-season polls, as worthless as they are, use past performance as a guide. That is why LSU is Number one for now.  It doesn't take a genius to pick an LSU or an Alabama number 1 after this year's performance.  USC is up near the top, which is a typical West Coast bias.  They will disappoint, as usual, by blowing a game this year (probably 2) and will be watching the BCS Championship again next year.   



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:33 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

lsusmc....any one of those 1 loss or even the two loss pete carroll usc teams would have dimantled lsu like a cheap chinese import at the junkyard..... but the corrupt bcs that is run imo mostly by "good ole boys" from the south did the best to keep the sec teams from having to face usc in the nat'l title game....they did not want an sc beat down to expose there fraud racket.


You are entitled to your opinion, but it is not shared by many of the experts that actually get to make the picks, not the voters or the computers.  It would give you a bit more credibility if you actually had a clue what you are talking about.  The voters come from all over the country, and I doubt a whole lot of these computer geeks are from the south.  But, if it makes you feel better to tell yourself these things, then go for it.  It just so happens that most people from all around the country think other schools were more deserving of a shot at the title.  USC was screwed in 2003, but other than that, they have no arguments for being left out of any other NC game. 




Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:19 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

lsusmc....any one of those 1 loss or even the two loss pete carroll usc teams would have dimantled lsu like a cheap chinese import at the junkyard..... but the corrupt bcs that is run imo mostly by "good ole boys" from the south did the best to keep the sec teams from having to face usc in the nat'l title game....they did not want an sc beat down to expose there fraud racket.



Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:36 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

drjellyfinger - I agree with your points as well.  Are you a proctologist, because you just bent him over and shoved it up his a$$.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:43 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Clearly there is bias in these polls, but all bias is based on reason.  Not always correct reasoning, but reasoning none the less.  Teams from the SEC have won the last six NC's, so there has to be something to that.  In all but this last year, they were going against a team that most agreed should be there, and the SEC won.  The CBS BCS guru, and I use that term very loosely, basically had every Big 12 team in his rankings as he thought that conference had by far the toughest conference schedule.  Based on what?  It would be nice and responsible if the voters actually paid attention to the results on the field when voting, but as the good doctor said, most are sheep and just follow the pack.  I am happy that LSU will be ranked highly in the preseason polls.  I do not care if they are #1 or not, but anywhere near the top is fine with me.  Based on how last season ended, I may even have USC at #1.  They, of course, will lose a game to a 30 point underdog and then still act like they belong, and cry like babies when they are left out of the NC game.  Quit losing to weaklings and that would stop happening.  LSU's schedule is not near as strong as it was last year, and I find that kind of sad.  Other than hosting Bama and going to Arkansas, the schedule is far from daunting, and I hate rewarding that.  There is no way you will ever be able to limit preseason polls, and people need to stop posting about that because it makes you look foolish.  Those, we have to accept.  It is the voting by idiots in the polls that matter, that matter.  It is a shame that so many are either sheep and follow the pack, or are just plain idiots that break out on their own and make no sense with their votes.  We need a playoff. 



Since: Sep 14, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:30 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

EAT MO GRASS. LOONEY Les thinks he is a part cow too.



Since: Sep 14, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:28 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Looney Les thinks this means there is a pre season national champion and he has won it. The cat is LOONEY.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com