2021 LSU Tigers Football Predictions: Season Win Total Picks
2020 Record: 5-5
2021 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 8.5
2021 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: ‘Over’
I am certain that somewhere in college football history there are bigger falls from grace than the one that LSU experienced between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. But I can’t think of one.
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The 2019 Tigers were one of the greatest teams in college football history. They went 15-0, averaged 48.4 points per game, beat their opponents by an average of 26.5 points per game, and won the SEC championship and college football playoff games – all against other Top 5 opponents – by an average of 26.3 points per game. It was total domination.
Then last year the wheels fell off. Yes, LSU lost an overwhelming amount of talent to the NFL between the two things. And that pesky coronavirus pandemic didn’t help matters a single bit. But it was still somewhat bizarre to watch LSU play terrible football en route to a sloppy, nondescript 5-5 season in which they were actually outscored on the year by an average of three points per game.
That makes the 2021 Tigers one of the most interesting stories in college football this fall. Marble-mouthed Ed Orgeron dropped the axe on most of his coaching staff this offseason, bringing in new offensive coordinator Jake Peetz (who worked on staff with 2019 OC Joe Brady) and defensive coordinator Daronte Jones from the NFL.
LSU will also have a wealth of experience back. Last year they had just five returning starters, total, and were the least experienced roster in college football. Now they have 18 starters back, nine on each side of the ball, and another banner recruiting class to offer support. This group won’t threaten the 2019 class but should be closer to the 2017-2018 versions that combined to win 19 games over two seasons.
The Tigers did suffer a tough break, literally, when projected starting quarterback Myles Brennan broke his non-throwing arm in a freak fishing accident prior to the season. Brennan had surgery to repair the break, and there is no timetable for his return. That means that Max Johnson, who took over for an injured Brennan last year to start the final seven games, will be the Week 1 starter this season. How long he holds onto the job is anyone’s guess.
LSU won’t have an easy road this season. Hurricane Ida has forced the Tigers out of their home, making preparation for this week’s season opener at UCLA even more challenging. They also have to face two tricky SEC foes, Mississippi and Mississippi State, in the Magnolia State, and the Tigers have to head to Tuscaloosa for their annual clash with Alabama.
A three-game closing stretch ends with Texas A&M coming to Baton Rouge in the regular season finale.
Regardless of the schedule, I am expecting a resounding bounce back effort from LSU this season. They took their lumps last season but are stronger this year because of it. There is talent and athleticism all over the roster. Johnson was good enough late last season in wins over Florida and Mississippi. And he should get more support from a defense that I expect to be vastly improved this year.
I’m bullish on this team and I think that they will threaten 10 wins again. I’ll take the ‘over’.
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