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Even when rebuilding, LSU football is must watch in 2013

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LSU football is at its best with a degree of uncertainty. I mean, come on, Les Miles screams uncertainty. You’re never even certain as to what the heck Miles is even talking about when he opens his mouth. It’s awesome.

LSU and Alabama are the perennial top two teams in terms of talent and athleticism in the SEC West, and yet while they compare in terms of sheer talent, they differ massively in personality and certainty. Alabama is categorized as a machine with Nick Saban at the switch. LSU is more akin to a wild pack of elite athletes with Les Miles charging along with them. The LSU on-field entrance that we’ve all seen of Les Miles acting like he’s holding back his team before they bust loose and run onto the field is perfect in so many ways.

In 2012, LSU entered the season with certainty. They were expected to be dominant. They dropped a couple games and were never really in sync to win the west.

In 2013, LSU enters the season as an after-thought. Despite being 1 of 2 participants in the annual “Game of the Century” in recent years against Alabama, this year, all the rage is about Alabama v Texas A&M in mid September. LSU is an after-thought to Saban’s machine and Johnny Manziel’s encore.

Factoring into the media and public overlooking LSU is obviously the loss of talent from the 2012 squad. Eleven juniors left for the NFL draft. Seven LSU defensive players were drafted – five of which were picked up in the first three rounds. Such turnover on defense is tough to overcome.

On paper, it doesn’t look good for LSU entering 2013. And this is exactly why it looks good for LSU. This program thrives in this environment. Tough opener against TCU? Even better. Recall the thrashing of Oregon at the start of the 2011 season weeks after losing their quarterback, offensive coordinator and wide receiver? Yes, this is when Les Miles and his team are at their best.

How many teams can you say have a real chance of running the table and winning the SEC and even a national championship after having such a massive talent exodus? Two? LSU is rebuilding, yet will be unbelievably athletic and still one of the most dangerous teams in the country.

LSU is athletic enough to keep games close. Perhaps no team is more experienced with close, one-possession games that the Les Miles led LSU Tigers. Their schedule is difficult, but all games are winnable. Factor in the Death Valley home field advantage and the LSU attitude of taking teams on amidst hostile road environments, and when looking at each game individually, LSU can win every single game on the schedule.

While the world focuses on the Alabama vs Texas A&M game, don’t be surprised to see LSU quietly take care of business and setup a hugely important game against Georgia on the 28th of September. It’s possible that the game of the season for the SEC isn’t Alabama vs Texas A&M, but instead is LSU at Georgia in late September.

LSU knows how to survive. And knowing how to survive is probably the best quality for a team faced with the task of an SEC regular season schedule. Should LSU survive the first couple months of 2013, we might just have yet another “Game of the Century” on Nov 9th at Bryant-Denny.

Not sure what to expect from this team in 2013? Good. That means that the LSU Tigers are must watch football.





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Comments 18

  1. I say 8-4 on regular season dropping to Bama A&M Georgia and Ole Miss this year. I believe they will have the ability to win but will not be able to finish this year due to depth of experienced players. And the mad hatter always gives one game away each season somehow.

    Like always run defense and run offense will be a lock for LSU but both secondary and passing game is such a question mark this year.

    • You must think highly of your Ole Miss football team. LSU, despite losing many 2012 starting, might be one of the most talented teams in the conference this year. And you think that Ole Miss, because of one recruiting year, has more talent? Or maybe you think the Rebel coaching staff trumps Miles, Cameron, and Chavis. If you’re a fan of a school in Mississippi – be happy with what you have, never (under any circumstance) get your hopes up, and realize that the powers in the SEC West aren’t leaving of diminishing anytime soon. Alabama went on major probation twice since ’92 and still accomplished more than any team from Mississippi. The lines have already been set. The top programs will always find a way to return to dominance. Anything else is just a fad.

      • I think because Ole Miss lost in the final drive of a game in Death Valley and brings in practically the same roster at home this year Ole Miss does in fact have the favor in this game. And none of my opinions are based off of one recruiting class. Ole Miss will loose to Bama in Bama like they have since 84′ they will split the games between Vandy and Texas A&M possibly loose both and with the another loss to Texas puts Ole Miss with 9-3 to 8-4 record.

      • Capstone, I believe you do worry about Ole Miss becoming a power in the next few years. Almost every one of your posts that I read has a derogatory slant towards Ole Miss. This shows that you are legitimately worried or, perhaps, you are just a gigantic douche. Neither is desirable.

        Now, I think my fellow Ole Miss fan believes we are going to beat LSU this year because we came within an LSU punt return for a TD (with a minute to go) from beating them in Baton Rouge last year. We return 19 starters, while they lost most of their starters. Not to mention, the game is played in Oxford this year. For those reasons, we believe we can beat LSU this year. Recruiting class aside (that is for the future, not this year), we should be a team to be reckoned with this year. Based on your negative-Nancy comments, I surmise you already realize this. Try not to be so negative, while at the same time, please try to be more informed. You’ll sound more intelligent & have more friends. Hotty Toddy.

  2. @addisonjaco21 you obviously don’t know anything about the LSU football team and depth. They did lose 8-10 starters, but the backups played just as much as they did last season. The press considers LSU to have a down year every single year. Their offense will not be run oriented this season. Perhaps you are unaware of the recruits we got at WR and who we are returning at that position, and also our new OC Cam Cameron. The Tigers will definitely spread the field this year and utilize their deep backfield once again to their benefit. Our defense is probably even more talented than previous years, especially at LB. incredible speed all over the field. Tigers will go 10-2 worst scenario, 14-0 best scenario with all that returning talent and capability. I think your high that LSU loses to ole miss and also A&M at home. Only games that are questionable are the two away games at Georgia and Alabama, but we always beat bama at home, so I feel pretty good about that game, I’m just worried about Georgia early during the year.

    • Landry and Beckham could be an awesome receiving tandem this year. But that’s just what they are right now: a potential awesome like practically everything else with LSU this year. Landry is ready to explode in 2013, but Beckham was the most inconsistent in 2012. But their success rides on the back of Mettenburger.
      Mettenburger couldn’t produce at Georgia and was so unreliable that LES MILES himself didn’t trust him to carry the team! That’s why LSU RAN the football the last few years. Non existent QB play and that will be the case again this year.

      Yes I know Cam Cameron is bringing the Spread to Baton Rouge however this may (and yes I said MAY) prove as horrible as Auburn bringing in Scot Loeffler. Essentially I know it’s moving pro to spread not the other way around however you leave no room for a transition in your argument and there is always going to be some. The key everyone is leaning on is the nine veterans coming back on offense being able to grasp the new system quickly but it’s not always the case simply put a new system is a new system no matter how you spin it. But LSU needs to go in this direction for the future no doubt!

      The defense LSU has always leaned on to complement their smash mouth running game does take a step back this year with losing seven starters including all four linemen. Three of them, Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Bennie Logan, are elite playmakers who declared early for the NFL draft. There is a ray of sunshine in the thought of keeping Craig Loston but that’s the only real returning playmaker in the secondary to cover the ever growing spread everyone is changing to. LSU will primarily lean on the Jalen Mills and Collins duo at corner but these 3 star recruits just aren’t the material LSU has had patrolling for them in the years past. Barrow is a complete monster and will continue to get Xbox stats if he stays healthy however that’s the only returning front seven unless you consider Micah Eugene. Eugene played more of a hybrid roll registering 3.5 sacks last year and can be considered for either secondary or linebacker position. He will be the dark horse star on the defense this year.

      All in all yes I must be smoking some good tobacco to think along these lines and know nothing of LSU football to think this rebuilding team is an 8-4 squad.
      —My opinion with more facts to justify it. And I did have to look up Micah Eugene out of all this.

      • I am well aware of the obstacles that LSU must overcome in order to be successful. I understand that their success on offense depends on the efficiency of Mettenberger, rather than Cameron’s play-calling. And I understand the major holes left to be filled on the defense. What I don’t understand is your thinking that Ole Miss can beat them. Ole Miss has to rely on their QB as well, which is not the best person to have to rely on. Ole Miss also lacks the type of running game to beat a hard-nosed defense. Of course, you could argue that the Rebs ran pretty well against LSU last year, but take away Wallace’s long run and you’re left with a lackluster running game. Take away Mackey’s carries and you’re left with Jeff Scott, a guy that has proven he cannot make a difference between Alabama or LSU. LSU does possess the type of runners that can take over a game, which means that Cameron doesn’t have to rely on his signal caller as much. Ole Miss doesn’t have that luxury. Their production is solely based on how well Wallace throw to the players that have the same uniform as him. You can counter-argue with a bunch of statistics (I could too) but I can’t come to a conclusion that says that Ole Miss “should” beat LSU this year. That’s not a prediction I would bet on. Ole Miss is a team that should be respected, but they are not as talented or as physical as the other powers in the West.

        • Not even arguing with stats or the fact ole miss does have a question mark on Bo. Bo may play to the same degree as he did last year yet I still feel comfortable with the offense but this is my personal opinion nothing more. However I am simply giving ole miss the edge in the game because of home field asvantage, all systems from last year are still in place and virtually the same team returns to face in a revenge game. All of these cannot be stated for LSU and that was the simple point I have placed for duhoss and I guess you capstone. We will of course agree Bama has the best overall team in the West but just have to disagree with the assumption Ole Miss does not stack accordingly to the talent or physicality of the West.

        • Capstone, aren’t you a Bama fan? Why are you defending LSU? Do you hate Ole Miss that much? That hate only means that you worry a power is growing in Oxford.

      • blah
        Commented : 10 months ago

        A new system can sometimes be the determining factor. I mean, Texas A&M got a new system, and they went 11-2 and was the only team to beat Alabama. There are plenty of instances where a new system was the answer. As far as Ole Miss goes, I can see them going 9-3 or 6-6. Ole Miss did play LSU close and lost in the final drive. But LSU played Bama close and lost in the final drive too. How did you guys fair with that matchup? Honestly, Ole Miss had better win more than six games, or that recruiting class will not get another to go along with last year’s. And let’s face it. Nkemdiche came because of his brother, and other recruits followed him. If Ole Miss doesn’t win soon, those same recruits won’t do the same. And one player doesn’t win an NC. As awesome as Jadaveon Clowney is, he can’t win them all on his own. Even when Lattimore was healthy, he couldn’t beat LSU last season. I’m not saying Ole Miss can’t be LSU. The writer isn’t saying it. He’s just saying that LSU is dangerous. Last year’s Bama game proved it. When LSU is counted out, they man up. LSU’s problem in the past has been that they play a team they should beat, they don’t show up and play at full potential. Believe it or not, that’s happened all too often. Even while Saban coached LSU. LSU fans blame it on Miles, but it’s just a part of the culture and the party scene that these kids seem to get caught up in. Anyway, LSU will be good. Even if they go 8-4, those four losses will be hard fought games.

        • That same new system was the sole reason for A&M’s loss to Florida last year and just further solidifies my argument for a transition period. Also should be noted of your example is the inexperienced offense did have to learn a new system but was not grounded and recruited for a pro style game plan. But I digress, simply answering your question of how did ole miss fare against Bama this year it was one of the three decisive losses on the year. However anyone with two cents of intelligence knows this was the #1 most watched game by your aggie coaching staff. First team to lead Bama last year at any point and was also killed in only 2:40 of a 60:00. Granted thats college football at its finest but since you asked a legitimate question I figured you needed the answer to it. As for your tangent on the recruiting class glad you could get that out of your system but seeing how I made no argument on it merely acknowledging your statement will suffice. And lastly as for Kevin’s article it was initially what I commented on with a win-loss estimate and which teams i felt they could or would loose to this year.

  3. Probably go 10-3, maybe win 11. They don’t really seem to rebuild, tons of depth on the team. But they may be just the 3rd-5th best team in the SEC this year.

  4. @KevinDuffey looks like I have found a way for you to get a few more comments on your articles. Just say your predictions! Enjoyed the read and have enjoyed the ramifications of responding to it almost as much. Keep em coming while we weather the down time between God’s time of football.

  5. The margin of error for LSU in 2013 will be as slim as Florida’s last season. LSU could win eight, or they could win 10. I’m somewhere in the middle around the nine-win mark. Losing five front seven starters, along with Eric Reid and Tharold Simon, this defense will have athletes, but the program could take a step back this year.