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2012 College Football Win Totals – LSU Tigers

2012 College Football Win Totals – LSU Tigers

LSU finished last season with a perfect 12-0 regular season mark, and the oddsmakers seem to believe the Bayou Bengals have the talent to repeat that feat by setting LSU’s 2012 college football win totals at over 10 (-145) and under 10 (+125) and over 10.5 (+130) and under 10.5 (-170).

Helping us preview and project LSU’s 2012 season win totals is Kris Brauner of Saturday Night Slant. SNS is a great place to get the latest analysis, insight, and news on LSU Football and Recruiting.

Same as last year, only better

LSU’s strengths will be the same as they were in 2011. A stifling defense, solid running game, and outstanding special teams.

Even though they’ll be without first rounders Michael Brockers and Morris Claiborne, LSU’s defense should again be stingy.

2012 college football win totals

The Honey Badger

The secondary has received a ton of accolades over the last two seasons, winning back to back Thorpe Awards, back to back Bednarik Awards, and producing a Heisman finalist.

But LSU’s defensive success starts up front. The Tigers benefited from plenty of depth along the line, constantly rotating guys in and out. Brockers was a huge presence in the interior, but the Tigers do return Bennie Logan who is on the NFL Scouts’ radar as a potential first round pick next April. They also have a pair of sophomores in Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson who seem primed to break out.

On the edge, the Tigers have a couple of guys who are getting pub as early first rounders next year in Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. They have plenty of depth at defensive end too.

In the running game, LSU returns every single runner from a year ago which accounts for over 2,600 rushing yards. And just for fun, they add blue chip freshman Jeremy Hill to the mix.

At the same time, four of five starting offensive lineman return. They also bring back a former two year starter in Josh Dworacyzk who returns after missing 2011 with an injury. So it stands to reason that with essentially the same personnel as a year ago, LSU should once again have a devastating run game.

LSU returns their All-American punter Brad Wing, place kicker Drew Alleman who was 16 of 18 on field goals a year ago, and punt returner Tyrann Mathieu. The combination of Wing’s ability to pin opponents deep and Mathieu’s ability to provide solid returns helped give LSU an average starting field position that was 13 yards better than their opponents in 2011. Expect LSU’s special teams to once again be solid, if not superb.

2012 college football win totals - LSU QB Zach Mettenberger

LSU QB Zach Mettenberger

Improved QB play?

LSU’s struggles in the passing game over the last few years are well documented. LSU’s coaching staff did a great job of “coaching around” the lack of quality quarterback play, but that all came to a halt in the BCS Championship game.

In steps Zach Mettenberger…a guy who has the talented arm and moxie that has been missing from the quarterback position at LSU for many years. Mettenberger had big stats in juinor college and looked solid in LSU’s spring game.

But otherwise, LSU fans are expecting an improvement for the simple reason that “it can’t be any worse….right?”. The LSU fans are likely correct. Odds are that Mettenberger will be a marked improvement. And when opposing defenses stack the line of scrimmage to slow down the running game, he’s a guy that can make them pay for it. If that’s true, then LSU’s offense may actually achieve some balance. But until he shows he can do it on Saturdays, Mett remains an unknown.

Some defensive turnover 

LSU has a pair of new starters at linebacker; however, linebacker play was minimized in John Chavis’s defense last year. With so many talented defensive backs, Chavis prefers to stay in nickel and dime packages almost exclusively. And that leads to….

Cornerback. LSU suffered an abnormally high amount of attrition this spring from their secondary. Both the #4 and #5 cornerbacks left the team to pursue opportunities elsewhere. LSU likes to use three cornerbacks on the field most of the time putting the #3 guy on the outside while moving Tyrann Mathieu to nickel back where he can rush the passer and cause the mayhem that he is known for.

Therefore, that #3 cornerback is extremely important. Redshirt freshman Jalen Collins has that job this year and despite some positive reviews from his time on the practice field, it remains to be seen just how effective he’ll be. LSU also lacks depth here. One injury means that a true freshman will be on the field somewhere.

2012 college football win totalsSchedule Analysis

LSU’s schedule shapes up pretty nicely for them with zero out of conference road games (they went on the road twice out of conference last year) and two of their toughest conference games at home in Alabama and South Carolina.

However, LSU’s road schedule is not easy as they face Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Arkansas away from Death Valley. A year ago, LSU beat Auburn by 35 points, Florida by 30 points and Arkansas by 27 points. I expect both Auburn and Florida to be better defensively but will it be enough to close the large gap from last year?

LSU’s 2012 College Football Win Totals

So looking at the schedule as a whole, I think the Alabama game could be considered a toss up, with LSU having a slight edge to the home field advantage. And I think the chances of losing one of the four road games is a toss up too. Combined, I’d put the O/U for wins between 10 and 11 (right at 10.5) this year.

LSU returns basically the same team, but they have a quarterback who can actually pass the ball now. They’re going to be even better. If you buy into that premise, then you’re talking about a ridiculously good football team. If you’re a little more “wait and see” with Mettenberger, then perhaps you have them losing twice.

Therefore, if you can find a book that has LSU’s season win total at 10, I’d take it and play the hell out of it. It’s REAL tough for me to see them losing more than two games, so it’s a safe bet in a sense that you’ll at least get a push.

I can’t say I disagree with that logic. This is a NC caliber team. Very tough to see LSU not winning at least 10 games in the regular season. How many games do you think the Tigers win this year? Thanks – Pez.


12 Responses to “2012 College Football Win Totals – LSU Tigers”

  1. SoonerBS says:

    I agree with you, which is precisely why I think Phil Steele is off his rocker this season. Anyone who is predicting a National Championship game without an SEC team, likely LSU or Alabama again, in it, is just not doing their homework. LSU is going to be damn tough to beat this season.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Bama and LSU should win at least 10 games. The only thing I’m not totally convinced of just yet with LSU is the QB position. I know Mettenberger is supposed to be a step up in talent, but even though he looked good in the Spring, he’s still untested in a real game against a top notch SEC defense. It also didn’t help that their top receiver Rueben Randle left early for the NFL. So he doesn’t really have a true number one go to receiver. The game I’ll be watching closely is when they pay a visit to Florida in the Swamp. We should find out all we need to know about their QB after that game.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      The Gators should have a nasty D, so they’ll definitely test him. Speaking of losing Randle and the LSU receivers, Kris (from Saturday Night Slant) did mention the following which I did not include in the write-up:

      I did not touch on LSU’s receivers, but I really expect Odell Beckham Jr. to step up and become a star. He caught 41 balls as a true freshman, and he’s one of the best looking athletes on LSU’s team….and that says something. Another sophomore, Jarvis Landry, is a tough, physical, steady player. He may not make the highlight reel plays but he’s the kind of guy that when you look at a boxscore after the game, you’ll be surprised when he has seven catches for 95 yards. I see both guys really benefiting from having Mettenberger under center.

  3. ERockMoney says:

    I’m in the minority, as usual, but I’d go under 10.5 wins for LSU. I certainly don’t discredit any of the comments in this article or follow up posts regarding the talent level the Tigers have in place, but it’s incredibly difficult to repeat what LSU did last season.

    The Tigers were on pace for one of the greatest seasons in college football history. They dismantled and embarrassed two BCS bowl winning squads away from home in Oregon and West Virginia in non-conference games. They made the mighty SEC look like a bunch of HS teams, destroying the likes of Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn and knocked the Tide off in their house. They closed the magnificent campaign railroading Georgia in the SEC title game. It truly was something special and I can’t recall a team having this type of schedule and dominating nearly every team they played, in recent history.

    However, it all came to a crashing halt in the title game as the Tigers were thoroughly embarrassed by Alabama in their own back yard. I think the magnitude of what occurred in that game is either lost or overlooked by many “experts” and media outlets. For the level of success the Tigers displayed in 2011 versus the opposition they played, the title game was a colossal failure of epic proportions. This ranks up there with some of the biggest busts in sports history, let alone college football history. Unfortunately, Oklahoma State couldn’t close the deal at the end of the season or we would be talking about how the 2011 LSU Tigers were one of the best teams ever, because they would have smashed the Cowboys similar to the names listed above.

    You don’t simply roll out of bed and move on from this, not in any sport. The stars aligned for LSU last season and it is extremely unlikely they will again in 2012. Throw in a very questionable head coach who consistently does less with more, an improved SEC top to bottom, less cohesion across the starters and new quarterback and I’d put my money on a few losses. I actually think LSU might beat Alabama this season and still fail to win the West.

    Road trips to an improved Auburn team, Florida and Arkansas should all challenge the Tigers and home games with very game and well coached teams in South Carolina and Alabama will lead to two-three losses this season IMO. The defense should again be excellent, but squads like Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina should be very dominant as well on the defensive side of the ball. The gap has closed. The offense could struggle with a transition at QB (much needed) and an offensive line that wore down as the season went on last season. I expect a lot of defensive battles for the Tigers this season in conference and expect this team to look a lot more like the 2010 version than the 2011 version. I’m going 9-3 or possibly 10-2, which many may have a hard time wrapping their head around after last season, but that type of thinking/logic will usually get you in trouble. This will be far from a one game season for LSU and Alabama (11/3) and don’t be surprised if both teams finish the season with a couple losses.

    • jed says:

      certainly cant expect another season like last from LSU. but they will have the best D, special teams and OL in the country. that will hide minor potential deficiencies in WR and nickle back. saying they will lose two games is not based on logic, just some historical expectation that teams lose. hell, LSU could lose to any SEC foe and UW.

      Alabama will be very tough. Arkansas and USC will be very tough for 3 Qtrs. Florida and Auburn will be tough for a half.

      The DEs will dominate. There will be tons of take aways and ST plays leading to many short fields. Their will be more INTs by the O but more passing TDs too.

      Bottom line–no solid reason to predict anything other than 1 loss to Alabama.

      • ERockMoney says:

        Jed –

        I don’t fully disagree with you, but do think its rather audacious to assume LSU would have the best OLine, defense and special teams in the country.

        I’ll play along – I could see defense and special teams, but the offensive line won’t even rank in the top ten of the country, very good no doubt and deep, which will help, but this unit eroded down the stretch last season and was outplayed in their last three-four conference games, the SEC title and the championship.

        Granted, the superior defense masked this, which could happen again.

        In addition, we must have different parameters around judging coaches, as well. If I understood your comment, you think Miles is number two behind only Saban? I don’t see it, not by a long shot. I could think of 20-25 coaches who would do a better job at LSU than Miles. Miles doesn’t bring the talent there, it will always be there regardless of who the HC is. Bottom line, he continues to fall short of expectations, year in and year out and 2012 should be no different.

        • Chad says:

          So you honestly believe Miles deserves no credit for winning 80% of his games (highest of any LSU coach including the all mighty Saban). You mut be young and not remember LSU pre-Saban because LSU lost all instate talent and was a mediocre program. Miles and staff recruit their butt off and evaluate talent like no other team as evidence with Claiborne and Mathieu. So go ahead and bet under 10 wins for LSU this year (I’d like to see proof you did cause I think you’re talking out your ass) and we’ll all laugh at your dumb ass.

          • ERockMoney says:

            Chad –

            Thank you for chiming in. You are correct – I likely won’t be playing Under 10.5 wins for LSU this season, but simply stating that would be the direction I would lean. There are totals with more value available IMO.

            As for Miles, I think he is good coach, just not a great one as many media outlets suggest. Bottom line, he was expected by the experts to win more games than he has and he holds one of the worst records of any coach in games he is not expected to win (29%). Those figures are fact. If someone wins 80% and is expected to win say 85% its no different than coach who wins 50% and is expected to win 55%, still falling short of expectations.

  4. Northshore says:

    Les does “less with more”????

    11 wins per season. Guess he could average 12 per season

    68% of stats are made up on the spot

    • ERockMoney says:

      Northshore –

      I fully understand that LSU has won a lot of games under Miles (10.7 per year including post-season – avg 13.3 games per year), but you can’t look at wins in a silo. In nearly every season under Miles LSU has fallen short of expectations or met expectations.

      Miles has only been an underdog 17 times in seven years at LSU, but has a 5-12 record in those games. In addition, LSU have averaged more than one loss per season as a favorite.

      In 2005, they lost twice as favorites at home to Tennessee and were blown out by Georgia in the SEC title game. The Tigers were expected to be unbeaten that season.

      In 2006, they lost the only two games they were underdogs in. The 2007 team, which was incredible, lost at Kentucky and at home to Arkansas in the finale, both as double digit favorites. 2008 produced two more losses as favorites and 1-3 mark as dogs, 2009 another loss as a favorite and again a 1-3 mark as a dog.

      2010 the Tigers split four games as dogs and last season they lost the title as a favorite, although they did win both regular season games as dogs.

      To me, seems like the Tigers can’t beat teams that are considered better than they are (29.4% win pct) and lose to slightly more than one team on average (1.14 per year) they should beat.

      I’m not rolling out any coaching awards for those numbers, especially given the talent the Tigers have. A better coach would have more wins and Miles fell short of the experts expected returns. I don’t care if you average seven wins or ten wins a season, LSU was projected to win on average one more game per year under Miles than they have.

      • jed says:

        just looking at #s is way too simplistic. its all you can do if you are analyzing the entire field, but when you look at one team you can examine the reasons. 2007 was an NC so its real hard to ding CLM for 2 losses (in OT). 2008 and 2009 struggles were largely because of the perilloux problem. freshmen QBs were forced into action, had abysmal performance and were scarred forever.

        the real issue i have with this is who is better when you take all that a coach is into consideration? i say saban is the only one better (and they are even head to head). others either cant bring in the talent or arent consistent.

  5. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    Northshore & ERockMoney,

    According to the CFBMatrix coaching effect chart (, Les does have a negative coaching effect, but it is only -1 over a 5 year period (about -.20 per year).

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