Scroll down ESPN’s FPI rankings until you find LSU’s projected win-loss in 2018.
In past years, that scroll wasn’t likely to take very long. The Tigers have been picked as high as No. 1 as recently as the 2016 preseason and usually hover in or around the top 10.
This year’s predictions, however are less kind to LSU, the No. 26 ranking far kinder than the 6.2-5.8 projected record. Vegas is equally pessimistic on the Tigers’ 2018 changes. According to sportsbettingdime.com, LSU’s odds to win the 2018 College Football Playoff are 30/1 – about a 3.2 percent chance. That’s well behind SEC rivals Georgia (8/1), Alabama (2/1), and Auburn (26 to 1).
If those not-so-positive preseason prognostications bother Ed Orgeron and his team, he’s not letting on.
“We’ve already addressed that, but not that particular subject,” Orgeron said Thursday. “We block out the noise. We control what we can in that room, with the people in that room. The way we speak, the way we act. We feel like we have an excellent football team.”
ESPN’s FPI bases its projections on a number of factors, including returning starters, recruiting rankings, and coaching tenure. The biggest strike against LSU’s 2018 hopes seems to be its schedule – rated the fifth-hardest nationally. That slate features Miami, ranked 14th in the FPI, plus Alabama (2), Georgia (3), Auburn (7), Mississippi State (16), Texas A&M (19), and Florida (21).
“We’re excited about the schedule,” said Orgeron. “We’re confident in what we’re going to get done. Whether they pick us high or low, favored or not favored, it doesn’t really matter to us. We have to go out and play the game.”