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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Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:09 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

junglelove, you are an idiot and not worth responding to.  To educate you, Miles won the BCS Championship in 2008 (after the 2007 season).  Saban left LSU in 2004, so any recruits used to win that game were roughly 75% Miles' recruits.  LSU will be more talented next year than they were this year.  Whether that translates to the same success, we shall see.  The Talent level will be better and very plentiful. LSU has 4th stringers transferring out that would be starters on most Division I college teams.  So, Phil Steele knows quite a bit about college football, and you apparently do not.   



Since: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Another year with OU coming up short and USC I thought was vastly overrated last year beating one quality team. Sorry but LSU or Alabama would handly beat both both those teams. People wanna get mad and say the BCS is bias to the SEC tell the 2004 Auburn team that. This is just a very early preseason poll and very rarely do the teams at the top make it all the way to the title game. I agree with another poster who said rankings shouldn't be released till about the 5th week so we can better access the teams and what they got.



Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:02 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

"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."

I read Steele's reasoning behind the picks and agree with his thinking about Michigan and why he picks them 7th. I would like to add that the Wolverines are having a great recruiting season with a lot of the big beefs on both sides of the ball that could see a lot of playing time next year. GO BLUE!



Since: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:56 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Typical Sparty Fan, worried about Big Brother! you are a douche. The sign during the sugar bowl said it best, " spartan tears taste like sugar!". You jerk-off. You have no comment on Georgia being in thoses talks but not the Spartans. No your only worried about Big Blue. Duck a Sick Sparty nation. You will always be lil brother.



Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:55 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

lsu with that pathetic flag football offense they showed up with in the nat'l title game with two seasoned qb's....and they are now breaking in a new qb and are supposed to be better.....hilarious!....phil steele must be smoking something good.....remember les miles is coaching lsu....he won his nat'l title with most of sabans recruits but he has shown that he will choke when left to his own devices.



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:53 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.



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:53 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Look, to be honest, any non-SEC fan should hope the sytem stays the same.  If College Football ever goes to a playoff system, it will be 2 SEC teams playing for the title many many times.  At least with the BCS, someone else usually gets into the big game for an SEC mugging.    



Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:47 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

I hate the preseason polls that have a SEC team number one. If LSU loses in a nonconference game, loses a SEC game and wins the SEC championship they will play in the title game with two loses. Yet if USC, Oregon, Michigan, Florida State, or West Virginia lose a nonconference game their title shots are pretty much done. The BCS is in love with the SEC, like they were with Florida State and Nebraska in the beginning. SEC fans if USC and Texas ever become relevant again the BCS will turn on you like they saw a prettier girl at a party. SEC fan insert sheep for girl (sorry could not resist). Can you imagine what the BCS would do if Notre Dame went through the regular season undefeated. The hype of the Super Bowl would be nothing compared to the fiasco we would witness. The real scandal would be who they play but nobody will wonder how a five lose Texas El Paso made the title game.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:41 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Most of the USC faithful are frothing at the mouth at the prospect of playing an SEC team for the NC game.  Just hope USC can avoid mistakes and trap games and make it to the NC game.  We'll see.



Since: Aug 9, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:40 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

I am in total agreement, except...who will be calling the plays???


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