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.

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Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:48 pm
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Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:24 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Keep trying to convince yourselves that the SEC teams don't have good offenses or that they don't play any good quarterbacks or that the SEC "ballwashing has to stop" or any other whining you want to do.  Botton line:  for 6 straight years, the SEC is SUPERIOR to any and all others.  Their defenses dominate all opponents, and the quarterbacks must not be too bad, because LSU or Alabama or Auburn or Florida ALWAYS has more points than Ohio State, (twice), Texas, Oregon, or Oklahoma.  And please, if USC did not lose games by 21 to Arizona State, and give up 40 points even in wins, then they can step in and get their beat down next.  Defense wins Championships in College Football.  USC does not have one.  Please, somebody argue with some facts instead of simply hi/her mouth.     

Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:13 pm
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Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:09 pm
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Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:06 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

they can be no 1 in th polls, but without a quarterback that is any good they will not win the national championship. the ea to watvh is usc. barkly will have a super year. the coaches dad  has the talent to have an exceptional defense. alabamz still has the good quarterback and saban just reloads on defense. 

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:58 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

USC is bringing back a 100 starters back from last year!!!!!! They should win the national championship, if they don't they will be the laughing stock in football.

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:57 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

There is no way that LSU should be number 1 next season. Sure they should be ranked in the top 5 but not number 1.
The only reason that LSU and Alabama looked so good defensively is that both teams didn't play a legitimate QB the
whole season and the BCS did everything in their power to make sure both schools avoided Weeden of Oklahoma ST.
and Andrew Luck of Stanford.

Think about it. If all the teams you faced didn't have any real QB's, how good would your defense look??

USC should be ranked number 1 based on who's coming back for them and that they have a legitimate QB that
can attack any college defense. And Barkley's numbers last year were better across the board the Andrew Luck's

This ball washing that everyone does for SEC has got to stop. They are a bunch of teams with no offense
that everyone drulls over for no reason.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:50 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

3rd week? Ok, let's vote on teams that play a bunch of cupcakes in their first game and then get a week off. Week 5 at the earliest. Unless you are the Big Ten, you've at least played a conference game at this point usually. The cupcakes are done as well.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:47 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

As they should be - alabama is overrated, that was proven by the score of the first game against LSU and by the way they won the championship game, again by kicking field goals otherwise they wouldnt win. They lost to LSU once, they were given their spot in the championship game, further proof of being overrated
Well we know who was overrated in '92 don't we?!?!?!?!  With all the trash talking and overrated players that year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Dude you need to stop with the hating, if you think Alabama won the second game because of FG's then you are smoking a lot of crack and weed down in Miami...hell it maybe too much fried cunck...cock....however you wanna pronounce and spell it!!! LOL

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:09 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Considering that the polls are used within the BCS formula, and once a team is listed ahead of another, it is difficult to justify leap-frogging without an actual loss - there should be NO polling done until after, say, the third week of games. Polling based on prior year performance + or minus recruiting projections is the stupidest part of the whole BCS formula. Wait and see how teams sort themselves out in their non-conference schedule. Then, after seeing how they perform on the field, go ahead and rank them.

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