With the highest number of tied returning starters in the SEC (at 18), arguably the single-most electrifying running back in the nation in Leonard Fournette, one of the toughest stadiums to play in (Tigers Stadium) and a defense that can feast on you for days; there is every reason to believe that the LSU Tigers will be a formidable football force in the 2016. Can legendary coach Les Miles take advantage of his talented squad and lead his team into the best success story in the SEC this year? Join us as we preview how the Bengal Tigers are likely to perform in the NCAA Football odds this season, with central focus on their game-by-game predictions.
2016 College Football Schedule Expert Predictions For LSU Tigers
Sept. 3 vs. Wisconsin (in Green Bay)
The Badgers will be an improved front on both sides of the ball, but this isn’t the type of game Miles will allow himself to lose. This coach is under pressure to perform and the Tigers are better-loaded than Wisconsin, so LSU Tigers should eventually find a way of claiming a hard-earned win in this game.
Prediction: LSU 33, Wisconsin 22
Sept. 10 vs. Jacksonville State
I wouldn’t necessarily call Jacksonville State a subpar team, but when compared to a powerhouse like LSU, they simply don’t measure up. A touchdown or two sounds just about right for the JS team, with the Tigers tripling that output in a highly likely one-sided game.
Prediction: LSU 47, Jacksonville State 13
Sept. 17 vs. Mississippi State
Besides the fact that the Bulldogs lost their record-setting quarterback Dak Prescott plus standouts Will Redmond and Chris Jones, reports from the offseason indicate that Mississippi State didn’t load enough replacements to help them have a good rebuilding season. As if that is not enough, the Bulldogs will have to deal with Fournette-led running game that torched MSU for 266 rushing yards when they met last season. You fancy your chances with a Mississippi State win at the Death Valley? Me? I certainly don’t!
Prediction: LSU 36, Mississippi State 18
Sept. 24 at Auburn
Until Brandon Harris proves that he is capable of passing the ball efficiently, I will be wary of trusting LSU in big games that involve dangerous opponents like Auburn at the Jordan Hare. Even so, last I checked, the SEC Tigers didn’t have a good running defense, and that should give the Tigers a good chance to win this game. Oh, and just so that you don’t forget, LSU manhandled Auburn when these two teams met last season. It won’t be a blowout, but it will still be a win as comfortable as any in the SEC trenches.
Prediction: LSU 31, Auburn 20
Oct. 1 vs. Missouri
If you know Mizzou, then you know very well that their ball-hawking defense will be chasing Harris and Fournette all day. Fortunately, LSU will have a game plan that involves using star defenders like S Jamal Adams (S), Tre’Davious White (CB/S), Christian LaCouture (DT) and Kendall Beckwith (LB) to protect and take pressure off the offense. This should allow time for the LSU team to get into the end zone a couple of times and record an ugly win.
Prediction: LSU 22, Missouri 14
Oct. 8 at Florida
By this time, the talks about LSU and the playoffs will be heating up. That is until the Tigers visit the vaunted Gainesville for a hellish showdown against another defense-first team. But unlike Mizzou that lacks a solid offense, the Gators know how to score. Fortunately, Fournette will go psycho, carrying LSU on his back as he’s done so often and lead the Tigers to a very, very tough victory.
Prediction: Florida 27, LSU 24
Oct. 15 vs. Southern Miss
After handling Mizzou and Florida, playing Southern Miss will be a welcome relief for the Tigers as they prepare for a showdown against Ole Miss in their next game. Southern Miss’ offense will get its points and LSU fans will be kicking themselves silly at LSU’s complacent defending in the first half. Come second half, things will be different, thanks to a swear-word-filled half-time rant from Miles, and the Tigers get the easy win in the end.
Prediction: LSU 40, Southern Miss 18
Oct. 22 vs. Ole Miss
It is no secret that both LSU and Ole Miss are bringing back several starters from last season, and that should (on paper) allow them to build on their solid 2015 campaigns. As a crucial note, though, LSU will be playing Alabama after this game and will need all the confidence in the world by taking care of Ole Miss handily. So while many people think the look-ahead-to-Alabama factor will work against them, I think the exact opposite, feeling it will give them a winning impetus. Ole Miss will play well on both sides of the ball and Mr. Chad Kelly (who passed for 280 yards and two TDs plus 81 running yards and two additional scores in Ole Miss’ 38-17 win over LSU the previous season) will outplay Harris and make a joke of new defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s 3-4 alignment in LSU. But with LSU having more proven players and coming better-prepared with a full game plan, the Tigers will get their revenge in a pulsating encounter. This will set a befitting backdrop for their mother-of-all showdowns on…
Prediction: LSU 41, Ole Miss 37
Nov. 5 vs. Alabama
Game of the season right here for you. Alabama has won its last five straight meetings vs. LSU and will be looking to make it 6 on the trot, albeit with a very young squad. Considering LSU is returning with a more experienced offense and 18 total returning starters, the Tide will certainly not have it easy. Still, Bama’s Nick Saban-coached defense should continue being fearsome, and that will guarantee a tough game for the hosts. Case-and-point, LSU’s star running back Fournette was easily the best player in the nation when going to Bama last season, averaging well over 100 rushing yards per game. Come the end of that game, the unstoppable Fournette only had 31 rushing yards to his name while quarterback Harris was left frustrated with two interceptions. At Baton Rouge, Fournette and Harris will probably play better, and so will LSU’s defense. But then again, with Saban’s ability to nurture talent and the fact that the former LSU coach has had Les Miles’ number in this “Saban Bowl” fixture, I think I am better off taking my chances with the Tide for the win in this season-defining game.
Prediction: Alabama 29, LSU 24
Nov. 12 at Arkansas
Losing to Alabama will sting like hell and the physicality of the clash against the Crimson Tide will see LSU players come into this game very energy-less. Fortunately, the Razorbacks will also be coming here on the back of a tough battle against Florida, which should level the playing field for both teams. And given how the Tigers have owned Arkansas in recent years, you should expect nothing other than a win by LSU.
Prediction: LSU 36, Arkansas 23
Nov. 19 vs. South Alabama
This being the last home game of the season, the Tigers should come out inspired for their Senior Day. And a strong showing against South Alabama should boost the team’s confidence ahead of the season-finale road trip at A&M.
Prediction: LSU 51, South Alabama 9
Nov. 26 at Texas A&M
The Tigers couldn’t have a worse game than this to end the season. Kevin Sumlin is an outstanding coach and his A&M offense (see SEC’s best receiving tandem of Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds) can really light it up on a good day. Add that to the road pressure and the fact that the Aggies have the talent to avoid giving up too many big plays in the defense; the Tigers will certainly have their work cut out for them in this potential trap game. Good news, though, is that Texas A&M has struggled at home in Kyle Field against ranked opponents since joining the SEC, and the Tigers should be able to take advantage of that weakness to see out their near-flawless season with a final win.
Prediction: LSU 30, Texas A&M 21