2012 LSU Tigers College Football Expert Predictions, Picks, Vegas Odds and Schedule – LSU College Football Preview: Last year, LSU flawlessly navigated a regular season schedule that included Pac-12 power Oregon and a trip to Tuscaloosa to face division rival Alabama. In fact, the Tigers stayed undefeated all the way to the BCS title game, before ultimately falling in a rematch with the Crimson Tide. After coming up just one game short of their third national title in the last decade, LSU will try to seal the deal in 2012-13. Plenty of starters are back on both sides of the ball, and Les Miles’ bunch will likely open the year as the top-ranked team in country. The key for the Tigers will be making sure they are still on top when the season ends.

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A nasty, stingy defense powered the Tigers last year. LSU finished the season ranked second in the country in both points allowed and yards allowed. First-round NFL picks Morris Claiborne and Michael Brockers are gone from that group, but the Tigers still might have the best defense in the country this year. Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu is a playmaker at the cornerback spot, and safety Eric Reid might be the best player at his position. Meanwhile, defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo anchor the best front line in the country. Add it up, and opponents won’t be scoring many points against the Tigers this season.

On the offensive side of the ball, LSU is just as nasty. Tackle Alex Hurst leads an offensive line that returns four starters from a group that mauled the competition last season. The Tigers also have four running quality running that wear down opposing defenses, as well. The combination of the four-headed monster in the backfield and the strength of the offensive line should punish teams into submission all season long. There is no question that the Tigers’ rushing attack should be one of the best in country.

Of course, LSU will be breaking in a new starter at quarterback this season, and the play of Zach Mettenberger will be crucial. The transfer from Georgia is a true pocket passer, and while he can’t make plays with his legs like last year’s starter Jordan Jefferson, he can stretch the field with his arm. Mettenberger should also avoid some of the inexplicable mistakes that seemed to plague Jefferson throughout his career. Given their powerful ground game, LSU should have plenty of opportunities in the play-action passing game. As long as Mettenberger is just average, the Tigers’ offense should be even better than it was last year.

As good as LSU looks on paper, the Tigers won’t have an easy road back to the national title game. They go on the road in conference play to face Arkansas, Texas A&M, Auburn and Florida. Not to mention the fact they welcome the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide into Baton Rouge for a rematch of last year’s BCS Championship in what could be another No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown. On the plus side, the Tigers beat all of those teams last season with the exception of newcomer Texas A&M, and aside from an overtime win against Alabama, LSU easily knocked off every opponent on it regular season schedule.

Once again, Les Miles has assembled what is likely the most-talented team in the country. The defense is loaded with first-round NFL talent, and the offensive should be even more balanced. More importantly, this year’s group should be even hungrier after falling one game short of a national championship. After steamrolling through the SEC last year, the Tigers should once again be on a collision course with the BCS title game. With the Crimson Tide traveling to Death Valley, LSU has an inside track on another undefeated regular season. All the Tigers have to do is seal the deal this time.

Prediction: 12-0, SEC West Division Champions

Preseason 2012 LSU Tigers NCAA Football Odds:
Odds to Win 2012 BCS Championship: +400
Odds to Win 2012 SEC Champonship: +200
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2012 LSU Tigers College Football Schedule
Sat, Sep 1 North Texas 7:00 pm —
Sat, Sep 8 Washington 7:00 pm —
Sat, Sep 15 Idaho 8:00 pm —
Sat, Sep 22 at Auburn TBA —
Sat, Sep 29 Towson TBA —
Sat, Oct 6 at Florida TBA —
Sat, Oct 13 (9) South Carolina TBA —
Sat, Oct 20 at Texas A&M TBA —
Sat, Nov 3 (1) Alabama 8:00 pm —
Sat, Nov 10 Mississippi State TBA —
Sat, Nov 17 Mississippi TBA —
Fri, Nov 23 at (5) Arkansas 2:30 pm —

Check out NSAwins.com’s official 2012 SEC Football Predictions and Odds article.

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