They'll be eating Hot Boudin and Cold Cush-Cush if: Jordan Jefferson becomes the second coming of Willie Beamon (Any Given Sunday) and finally takes firm control of the offense. If the Tigers can forget all-world CB Patrick Patterson and not miss a beat in the secondary, they will be a handful on both sides of the ball. As good as their secondary is, that will not be too tough.
They will be eating crow if: Les Miles begins to play QB du jour and cannot improve on their offensive rankings (12th in passing/11th overall in the SEC). The defense will not be able to bail them out every week.
Schedule: It won't be an easy one, especially because the Tigers play in the best division, not only in their own conference, but in all of college football. However, I tip my hat they are not scheduling a cupcake for the opener as they meet Oregon in Arlington. We'll get an idea of what the Tigers have under the hood after seeing that one. They won't have to worry too much until November when they go to Tuscaloosa for a winner take all battle for the Western Division with Alabama. In between, LSU should be favored in each game, as Mississippi State and Tennessee host the Tigers, and Florida comes calling. A date with Arkansas to end the year could be sticky.
Intangibles: 11 wins highlighted by a victory over Alabama, and a season ending demolition of Texas A&M gave the Tigers a huge burst of momentum heading into 2011. It could not have come at a better time as the opener against Oregon could be the catalyst for a dream season if the Tigers can get a win.
Coach Scooter's Prediction: 2nd in the SEC West
What's not to like about this team? They are talented and deep on both sides of the ball, and with an 11 win season to build on, they go into 2011 with confidence.
The reason why I think they will fall a game behind Alabama is I am not sold on Jordan Jefferson leading the team. I also think Coach Les Miles is the Nuke LaLoosh (Bull Durham) of coaching, which means you have a million dollar resume and a five-cent head. In the SEC, teams win with great talent, solid game plans and good coaching. Miles brings one of those three things to Tiger Stadium, and eventually, lucky bounces and trick plays won't win you football games.
Being old school, I wonder about the kicking game as both the placements, kickoffs and punts will be handled by someone new. This could mean the difference in a great season or just a good one.
We'll find out just what kind of season they will have on November 5th in Tuscaloosa.
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