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: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 5:00 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Oh Please. LSU? Haven't we seen enough of that already? Most inept offense in a champioship game in the history of ANY level of footbal, including high school and Pop Warner. Wasn't just the players, it was the coaching. Did you see the play selection in the big game? And that warrents a pre season #1 ranking? No way.

With the return Of Matt Barkley and the rest of USC's vaunted Offense, The return of most of their defense and the return of their Post season elibility, #5 USC will be the pre season #1 Team. And Barkley is the early favorite for Heisman. I know that the East Coast Biased Commitee isn't aware that there are teams on the West coast, But USC will be hard to ignore this year.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

In all honesty, who really cares who's the projected #1 in JANUARY???

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:52 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Yo, BuckJim...I must agree:  Last LSU win..Orange Bowl 1962, Sugar (in NO) 2007, BCS Champ(in NO) 2008, Cotton (nonBCS) 2011.  The 2013 BCS Champ game is in Miami and in Pasadena in 2014.  Probably no SEC team will be in the 2014 game coz of distance and 2-1 odds against them in Miami. The first game of the 2012 season Bama/Michigan game will be key for both of them.  

Since: Jul 24, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:52 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

All BuckJim is trying to say is "I am an insane troll who hates LSU because their football program is so much better than the turds I pull for." Pretty basic stuff man.

Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:47 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

USC will be preseason #1. Who the hell is Phil Steele?

Obviously, a novice college football fan posted this....   

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:45 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

How the hell do you not know who Phill Steele is?  Thats like asking who is Dick Vitale.

Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Okay, i know that Phil Steele is a really smart guy and when it comes to College Football, he might be one of the best, but giving Michigan a 6th ranking is just crazy.  Looking at this team, they will be fairly good with almost all of their offense back minus Molk and Hemingway, and a improving defense a well.  But look at the schedule and you know that they are overrated at 6th.  At best they should start the season around 15, but a top 10 is way to high.  I know that Michigan even has a top 5 recruiting class coming in, but that doesnt mean they will suddenly be able to play with the likes of USC, Oregon, Bama, LSU, and Oklahoma.  

I honestly expect Michigan to be a better team then last year but be an overall 9-3 at best with road games against Bama, ND, Nebraska, and Ohio.  I dont want Michigan to be overrated because they were 11-2 last year, rate them like what they are...a solid 15-20 team

Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:26 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

USC will be preseason #1. Who the hell is Phil Steele?

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:35 pm

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

BuckJim, try your post again... This time in English please.  What are you trying (struggling) to say?? 

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