FEINSWOG: Mike VI guides you thru 07 sked

LSU's got a new Mike. He might not be ready for the season. The other Tigers had better be.

And so, as a two-year-old Bengal tiger from Indiana acclimates to Baton Rouge – good luck with the heat, big cat – we break down the 2007 schedule as all eyes point to January 7, 2008, and the Louisiana Superdome, site of the national championship game.
LSU opens its season on Thursday at Mississippi State.


LSU will be 1-0 with a couple of extra days to prepare for the first of "the biggest game of the season" games.

Virginia Tech comes to Baton Rouge on Sept. 8 in a game that will pit the second-ranked team in the nation against No. 9. There are those who will tell you Virginia Tech deserves to be higher.

Regardless, the Hokies will also be 1-0 when the LSU home season begins.

I don't bet on sports, but if I did, this is a game I wouldn't touch with your money.

This game has strange elements written all over it for LSU, from the time the Tigers lost their season opener up there in 2002 to the subsequent rescheduling of this game from 2003 to now. Of course, that worked out in LSU's favor in 2003, as it won the national title that season. But LSU's schedule this season is overburdened with "biggest games of the season."

You have to give this one to the Tigers, because they're really good and playing at home, but don't be shocked if Virginia Tech comes away with a victory that jumbles the rankings.

Regardless, LSU will then roll to victories over Middle Tennessee, South Carolina (overrated), and Tulane, which sets up the "biggest game of the season," when Florida comes to town on Oct. 6.

The atmosphere will be nuts and the stakes high, because the loser will likely have to win out to win its respective SEC division and make it to the SEC Championship Game.

Conventional wisdom tells you LSU wins this game because it's at home; but until LSU beats Florida, we're picking Florida.

LSU will win at Kentucky before coming home for – assuming LSU beats Virginia Tech and Florida – "the biggest game of the season" when Auburn visits Tiger Stadium on Oct. 20.

LSU owes Auburn one, and if it doesn't collect on its debt all chances of a national title will likely be gone, and, well, the radio-talk-show guys will be having a ball.

The Tigers have a bye week before, regardless of how any of the other games turned out, "THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON."

I heard a couple of rabid LSU fans say recently they'd rather be 10-2 at season's end than 11-1 with the one loss coming to Alabama.


LSU should be so fortunate as to be 8-0 heading into November 3 in Tuscaloosa. And if it works out that LSU finishes 11-1 and the only loss is to Alabama, that would be one hell of a season.

But that's not going to happen.

LSU might well finish 11-1, but its one defeat won't be at Alabama. LSU will win that game because the Tigers are way better and Nick Saban is not a magician or miracle worker. He'll do well at Alabama but will not beat any of the big-time powers on the Tide's schedule this year – Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee, LSU or Auburn.

Which leaves LSU to beat Louisiana Tech, win at Ole Miss, and then have that annual showdown the day after Thanksgiving with Arkansas.

LSU has beaten Arkansas the past four years and five of the last six. Make that five in a row this year.

What does it all add up to?

There are plenty of people who think LSU can go unbeaten. There are plenty of others who think the Tigers will lose to Virginia Tech, Florida and Auburn and never make it to the SEC title game.

Well, I've been thinking the Tigers go 11-1 all along with the lone loss coming to Florida. They get a rematch in the SEC Championship Game and lose to Florida again before heading to a big bowl game and whipping up on someone to finish 12-2.

But I wouldn't bet on that Virginia Tech game.



Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show "Sports Monday." He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book "HoopDaddy" is available at www.HoopDaddy.net. Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com or (225) 926-3256.

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