If you take out 2008, with a low win total of 7 and the same year as their worst 4 year adjusted recruiting ranking, the Tigers have been at 9 wins or more since 2003. . As I showed in the returning starters Matrix, elite teams like LSU truly do ‘reload’ and the returning starter matter little for these teams. As long as Miles and Co. keeps them in the top 10-15 in national adjusted recruiting rank (FARR) LSU will deservedly have SEC Title and NCG expectations. I am concerned with the slow decline in recruiting rank over the last 3 years. It is not a lot, but in the talent heavy SEC, down trends create vulnerability. However, it is still a top 5 talented team and with that talent in Baton Rouge, 9 wins is a minimum expectation. Anything else is a down season for Tiger fans.
2012 Team and Coaching Profile
I love Coach Miles in the Matrix. In 4 of the last 5 years he has been +/- 1 game away from the exact number of total wins predicted at season’s end. The number that came up was 11. It’s that simple. LSU under Miles is what I hoped for in modeling teams as the Matrix is 53-12 in pre-season game predictions over the last 5 years. But for you Tiger fans: Y’all are fickle and impatient bunch. His one ‘bad’ year of -2 games in 2008 nearly got him run. Since then the Matrix is 30-6 in game predictions. I don’t really expect much outside 10-12 wins.
What does not hurt this team’s talent, like some other top talent programs, is the coaching level of Miles. Since he rarely gets a chance to pull off a + game effect upset, his -1 games total in his last 5 seasons and is quite remarkable. It is one of the top numbers for an ‘elite’ recruiter coach and he has effectively wiped out home field adjustments in the SEC.
The CFBMatrix has a stadium adjustment (FARR) built into each team. Most teams have some kind of home field strength, but the Matrix is more accurate with LSU when that number is zeroed out when they host the Tigers. In fact, the odds of a road loss under Miles in the last 5 years are less than a home loss. Sounds funny, but if LSU is going to be beat in 2012, it will most likely happen in Baton Rouge to Alabama over any other game.
2012 LSU Tigers Schedule
If LSU is going to loose, the odds put it at home. They, like Alabama, are wicked tough on the road, but seem to let their guard down more frequently (but still rarely) at home. Death Valley is the first place to look for an upset.
4 of the first 6 games of the 2012 for LSU are OOCs. The only real game could come from Washington. I have Sarkesian on the Matrix hot seat for 2012 and most of it comes from his inability to get road wins. UW is frequently upset on the road, and while losing to LSU on the 8th of September would be expected, they haven’t proven to be capable of getting up for games away from Seattle. At Auburn and at Florida 15 days apart will set the tone for another division title run. Both games can be lost as the Gators and Tigers have talent. But the Tigers are tough on the road so the Matrix is taking them to win both games.
The second half of the season gives no breaks with the Gamecocks and Aggies right after Florida. Spurrier is coaching at his highest level of his career so that home game is a real upset possibility. Sumlin proved at Houston he could win games against teams he vastly outrecruited but nothing else. He may prove otherwise leading up to hosting LSU, but until next year LSU gets the nod. I expect LSU to wrap up 2012 with 3 straight wins over teams in which they have a superior talent advantage. Miles usually gives up one game a year on average so a 10-2 record in 2012 is predicted.
The Tigers have just the 9th toughest total SOS in the SEC but have the #4 conference SOS. With their power rank they are in the bottom 4 in all 3 SPG categories. This is an elite team on every level and like all powers anything under 10+ wins in a season is a misstep.
|SOS Rank||SPG Rank||SOS #||SPG #|
SOS = Strength of Schedule = Ave field adjusted recruiting rank (#FARR) of all teams played. The smaller the SOS #, the tougher the schedule.
SPG = Schedule Power Gap is SOS minus the FARR ranking of the team. The smaller the SPG # the more likely the team is to win more games with average coaching versus teams with larger SPGs.