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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: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:30 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

HOKIEHEN  I only needed to see your name, that explains why your post reads like a losers post! You guys blew it and did not go undefeated so now all this loser talk! You may not think the BCS was "garbage" if your team was'nt ! Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer Give 'EM Hell Alabama. Win for a change and I think you will find the BCS is fair enough. BTW VT's not garbage , at least you are one of the big boys of the fb world.



Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:07 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

LSUSMC finally a tiger fan who gets it! Kudos for not beating a dead horse, who cares about the NC ups and downs.Im for BAMA and I am looking forward like you so kudos again for sparing everyone the loser talk.



Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:15 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Death, taxes and CBS picking the Yankees to win the WS, Duke to win the NCAA tourney and an SEC TEAM #1! I M SHOCKED!
Some things never change

ya its so ridiculous to predict the top organizations in baseball and college basketball will win and rank a team from, by far, the top league in college football as #1.   How dare they make such ludicrous assertions




Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:52 am
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Death, taxes and CBS picking the Yankees to win the WS, Duke to win the NCAA tourney and an SEC TEAM #1! I M SHOCKED!
Some things never change!!!!  LSU could barely score against Bama, TWICE!  There offense is like watching POND WATER MOVE!
This site has become even more of a joke.  I didnt think that was possible!

FIGHT ON 



Since: Aug 24, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:19 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

I wonder what these guys call experts? Dodododd. All the ones I see have Arkansas USC LSU OREGON and BAMA. But of coarse these cbs dummy's always have to put a little 9 school from okie land in there regardless. Amazing their never right:-)



Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 7:18 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

Here we go again with all this fuss over a poll that really means notta. Its hilarious b/c then the my team would have beat your team BS. allways seems to go along with the poll. lol




Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 6:01 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

I do not want to be preseason #1.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:02 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

lsumsmc......a "poor performance".....how bout embarrassing 21 point blowout!....even the other teams that have been blownout have managed to score.....but keep sugar coating that jagged little pill.


I guess I am just old school, as to me, a loss is a loss.  I am not into moral victories or anything of the sort.  You won or you lost, end of story.  I would not feel any different right now if LSU had lost 21-20 instead of 21-0.  Again, a loss is a loss, and we would still not have the NC.  Actually, if either is easier, I would say the blowout loss is actually easier to take because I have not "what if, or if only" once about that game.  There is no mental anguish this way.  Other than hearing from goofballs like yourself taking great pride in showing your immaturity, I would have no issues at all.  We were beaten by a better team, and my team did not come to play on that particular night.  No matter, unless you are a Bama fan, my team was better than your team.  End of story.   



Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Phil Steele: LSU will open 2012 season No. 1

lsumsmc......a "poor performance".....how bout embarrassing 21 point blowout!....even the other teams that have been blownout have managed to score.....but keep sugar coating that jagged little pill.



Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:24 pm
 

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.













Actually, there are more voters from out west than there are anywhere else as it makes up a larger portion of the country. Also, it is impossible to say who would have beaten who without having played them unless there is some type of comparison that sticks out. For example, it's reasonable to say that OK Sate would have lost to Alabama or LSU because they are so poor at stopping the run. That can be flipped around though, and one can ask if one of those teams could have stopped State from putting up a lot of points (I think either team could).

It is also silly to try and compare a Pete Carroll team to any team from the here and now. Your coach is Lane Kiffin. Personally, I think he is a very good caoch. But why should anyone care what a Pete Carroll team could have done to a team today?

Preseason polls are just food for thought. LSU loses 4 starters on defense. That is going to change their chemistry a bit and we don't know how well the other guys will be able to step in to those leadership positions. However, based on how young last season's team was and the depth that they have returning, it reasonable to see why they would begin the season at #1. Where they finish will be determined on the field. They have to get past Alabama, which is a major road block. Here's to hoping I have to change shirts before I go into "Walk-on's"

As for USC, I don't think anyone that knows anything about football can say that USC won't be a major contender. Relax! It's just a poll. A preseason opinion poll at that.



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