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Much to see before predicting LSU's 2013 fate

We are approaching reporting date for the 2013 LSU Tigers football team.

Media days, the SEC's version of the circus, concluded last week in Birmingham after 14 SEC head coaches, 42 SEC players and 1,200-plus credentialed members of the media gathered.  LSU head coach Les Miles used the platform to discuss the SEC schedule and the imbalance that exists.  He is correct, but I do not know how much he will impact the schedule makers (whoever that is), especially in the near future.  Time will tell.

One thing that we do know is the schedule for 2013.  Last year, for the first time that I can remember, I correctly picked LSU to go 10-2 in the regular season.   One would think that that means I have no chance of correctly picking this season’s record!  I have some thoughts at this point (late July) but will make my prediction when we inch a little closer to the season opener. 

I have to see more to come to an informed decision between now and then.  Things I need to observe are:

1) Zach Mettenberger

Will the year of experience last season yield enough improvement? It is not that he had a “bad” year in 2012 but it was also not a great year. Can a better LSU senior quarterback make a difference in the “win” column?  He is arguably not among the top six quarterbacks in the league.  As we know, seven straight BCS champions have come from the SEC, and each had a quarterback who was significantly better than Mettenberger appears to be today.  So, will he better?  We shall see. 

2)  Wide receivers

A good receiving corps will certainly make Mettenberger better. I feel that there is a lot of talent, but someone needs to become the “go to” guy, whether it is Odell Beckham, Jr., Jarvis Landry or perhaps someone else to break out. 

3) Jeremy Hill

Will he be on the team or when will he be on the field if he does stick around?  He was the leading rusher last season.  Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard are certainly capable but having Hill -the best of the bunch - would be a plus.  

4) The defense

Many players are gone from last year's solid unit. I feel that there is still a lot of talent in uniform and trust defensive coordinator John Chavis will put the pieces in place.  Fall camp will be interesting as the depth chart solidifies. 

5) Special teams

New kickers and returners mean Miles will emphasize this part of the game even more this fall camp. In a tight league like the SEC, the kicking game can prove to the the difference more often that most realize.

Overall, a tough schedule is on the slate for the Tigers.  Las Vegas has the over/under on LSU wins at 8.5.   Where will they be?  I will share my guess in late August.

Tommy Krysan is the host of “Tigers Roar” a live TV show each Wednesday night at 8:00 pm on Pelican Sports TV in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans.

He also hosts Pelican Sports Radio, Monday – Friday, 3:00-5:00 pm in Baton Rouge on Fox Sports Radio Baton Rouge, WUBR 910 AM,  online at: pelicansportstv.com -  and “Tune In” app smart phones

Follow us on twitter @pelicansports and on Facebook via the official Pelican Broadcasting Network page.

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