This is simply an overview of each of the LSU Tigers' games this season; predictions come Thursday.
9.5 :: at Washington
Usually, you have to applaud a BCS team for scheduling another BCS team two time zones away. So can you blame LSU that they end up playing last year's only undefeating team. The Huskies might be better this year -- they could hardly be worse -- but this game is one of the reasons we will likely end September without any idea of how good LSU really is.
9.12 :: vs. Vanderbilt
Travel back through time with me to 2000 and imagine that I told you that, one day, a team would likely regard a home game against Vanderbilt as a more difficult game than a road game at Washington. You would laugh at me. But the fact that this is a credible statement is a sign of how far Vanderbilt has come over the last nine years and how far Washington has fallen. This will be the first game between the Dores and the Tigers since 2005, when the Bengals crushed Vanderbilt 34-6
9.19 :: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Do we give LSU a pass for scheduling an in-state Sun Belt team? I say no, though given last year's harrowing experience against Troy, maybe the Bengals should be applauded for following through on a scheduled game with a team from the functional equivalent of an FCS conference. One assumes that LSU's defense will show up for the first half this year.
9.26 :: at Mississippi State
Over the last five years, LSU has defeated the Bulldogs by a combined 215-48. That's an average 43-10 score, last year's 34-24 margin notwithstanding. Expect the usual.
10.3 :: at Georgia
Last year's tilt with the Dawgs marked the second time since 1933 that LSU allowed 50+ points in regulation in an SEC home game. Why is 1933 significant? That's the year the SEC first played football. Of all the defensive meltdowns that happened last year -- and we'll get to another in a second -- the Georgia game might have been the most embarrassing. It happened in at home in a loss that was not to the eventual national champions. LSU would like revenge. Georgia is going to lose at least one and probably more of its first six; why not here?
10.10 :: vs. Florida
The Gators' 51-21 romp in the Swamp last year marked only the fifth time in conference history that LSU surrendered 50+ points. (The Georgia game, which came later in 2008, was the sixth.) The Tigers would love to finish off Florida's hope of an undefeated season, though I wouldn't hold my breath.
10.24 :: vs. Auburn
Tiger vs. Tiger in a game that is guaranteed to be bizarre. From a barrage of missed FGs to fires in the background to controversial calls, this series has seen it all. It will also probably be close. The last time a game between these two was decided by more than a TD? 2003.
10.31 :: vs. Tulane
LSU doesn't play any FCS opponents this year, so that's something. There are a lot of important games before and after this one, so it could serve as a tra--no. Please forget I even started to say that.
11.7 :: at Alabama
One of three games that will probably decide who wins the SEC West. Last year's game ensured that thousands of children in Alabama born in late 2008 bear the name Rashad. Oh, yeah, and Nick Saban used to coach at LSU. Not that that bothers LSU fans or anything.
11.14 :: vs. Louisiana Tech
The tour of Louisiana mid-majors continues. What, you couldn't squeeze in Louisiana-Monroe?
11.21 :: at Ole Miss
Another game that will go a long way toward predicting the SEC West Champion. Last season's loss to the Rebels marked the first in seven years for LSU. Houston Nutt has made a habit of causing trouble for LSU over the last few years, both at Arkansas and at Ole Miss.
11.28 :: vs. Arkansas
This game will be played on a Saturday this year because CBS executives are barbarians. In any case, Arkansas has won the last two in dramatic fashion. Bonus note from reading Phil Steele closely (which is not good for your eyes): Last year's loss to the Hogs marked the first time in Les Miles' tenure that LSU has lost a second consecutive game; he was previously 10-0 after a loss.
MONDAY: LSU Addresses Its Chief Concern
LATER TODAY: Les Gets His Groove Back
WEDNESDAY: The Depth Chart
FRIDAY: Feedback and Conclusions