Les Miles has been one of the most successful coaches in college football since LSU hired him, but he was nearly fired last year when the Tigers faded late in the season and lost yet again to blood-rival Alabama. So it’s likely a make-or- break season for Miles in 2016 but he has one of his most talented squads yet. The Tigers have a wins total of 10 on college football odds, with the over a -135 favorite.
Here’s a Closer Look at the 2016 LSU Tigers Season Total Win Prediction
Miles’ Team Loaded In 2016
In less than a month, Miles went from an undefeated season and a spot in the College Football Playoff rankings to nearly losing his job last year. And all it took was losses to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss. He might have been fired if LSU had been able to lure Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to Baton Rouge but Fisher stayed put. Miles led the Tigers to a championship in 2007, but despite a 112-32 record during his time in Baton Rouge, some feel it might be time for a change. Miles did hire a new defensive coordinator in Dave Aranda, who was highly regarded at Wisconsin. The defense should rank among the best in the SEC with 10 returning starters.
That group got some good news this week as well with the return of defensive lineman Travonte Valentine, and he’s eligible immediately. He was with the Tigers before being dismissed for a violation of team rules last summer. It followed a suspension for failing to meet academic requirements and failed drug tests. Originally a four-star prospect from the 2014 class, Valentine spent last season at a junior college and took classes all this summer to get eligible.
For LSU to win the SEC and claim a playoff spot, the passing game has to improve behind quarterback Brandon Harris. Running back Leonard Fournette will carry the offense once again. As the Tigers’ full-time starter in 2015, Harris completed just 53.8 percent of his passes for 2,165 yards and 13 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. He also went 9-3, but in those three losses (all in a row), Harris completed just 50.5 percent of his passes and threw three touchdowns to four interceptions.
Fournette is the Heisman Trophy betting favorite for 2016 at some sportsbooks. He was the early favorite last year before struggling in a loss to Alabama. Fournette still led the SEC and nation in rushing with 162.8 yards a contest. He finished with 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns – both LSU single-season records.
The Tigers were ranked sixth in the USA Today Coaches preseason poll. LSU has landed in the preseason poll 16 straight years, dating back to the 2001 campaign. This is the 10th time that the Tigers will open the season in the top 10 since 1998. The Tigers open their 12th season under Miles on Saturday, Sept. 3 when LSU faces Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. LSU is a 10-point favorite on NCAA football odds.
The Badgers might not have one of their top defensive players for the game as sophomore linebacker T.J. Edwards broke his foot during summer workouts in July. Last season, Edwards was named a FWAA freshman All-American when he had a team-high 84 tackles, including 6½ for loss, and four pass deflections last season. Edwards is working hard to be ready by Week 1 but it’s far from a sure thing.
My Expert Pick
I picked LSU to win the SEC title and reach the College Football Playoff. The Tigers get Alabama in Baton Rouge this year. Maybe LSU still loses that game but it will be favored in all the rest. Go over the 10 wins on NCAA football lines.