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It took those making decisions for the LSU football program a long time to offer Ed Orgeron a contract extension. The Tigers made that decision to do so look golden after the team went out and accrued a 10-3 record which included a fun 40-32 win and cover the UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl. With 15 returning starters and a top-five recruiting class in tow, the Bayou Bengals will be on the hunt for bigger game in 2019-20 in hopes of making the university’s first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff. Online sportsbooks don’t expect that occur with their odds of actually qualifying for college football’s version of the Final Four checking in at +500 for “Yes” and -800 for “No.” Only Notre Dame has longer “No” odds at -950! That said, only Alabama and Georgia have shorter odds to win the SEC than the Tigers who check in at 14-1 along with the Florida Gators.
For years, fans and sports bettors of the program have always wondered what a pro-style offense would look like in Baton Rouge to go along with what always seems to be an upper echelon defensive unit. They no longer need to after the University went out and plucked Joe Brady away from New Orleans to install some of the Saints potent passing schemes into the Tigers’ playbook. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow is thrilled with the transition to the run-pass option since it’s what he grew up running. Having already shown an ability to both pass ( 2,894 yards ) and run with the football ( 399 yards, 7 TD ), it looks to be a perfect fit for the personnel on hand; especially with the running back and wide receiver corps returning almost completely intact. It might be Clyde Edwards-Helarie’s backfield for now, but incoming frosh superstar John Emery will make it tough for him to hold onto provided the veteran offensive line gets after opposing defensive fronts.
Replacing Devin White and Greedy Williams will prove to be the ultimate chore defensively, but the unit returns a bunch of playmakers and has a new crop of talent looking forward to making their presence felt. Eight starters and seven of the top nine tacklers are back in the mix along with some key contributors coming off injury riddled seasons. If K’Lavon Chaisson is fully recovered from the torn ACL that hampered him a year ago, the Tigers will be set at linebacker with Jacob Phillips and his 87 tackles also back in the fold. The secondary returns three starters with Grant Delpit the lynchpin of the group with many of the belief he’s the best safety in college football. The defensive line suffered a myriad of injuries last season, but all the walking wounded return to wreak havoc; this should be the most dominant aspect of LSU’s defense in 2019-20.
While a number of things would have to go right for the Tigers to cash in on the Championship Game odds as near 20-1 underdogs, LSU still looks to have a solid campaign ahead of it. College football bettors will know if the team has the gusto to be in the thick of the CFP race right from the outset with a road trip to Austin scheduled the second week of the season. Defeat the Texas Longhorns on their own turf, and the schedule sets up nicely for Coach O’s kids to be undefeated for when the Florida Gators pay Death Valley a visit in Week 7. Hold serve through the second bye week, and things will start to get really interesting. Just like it is for every contender in the SEC East, the schedule is an absolute nightmare. Even though it gets most of the heavy hitters at home, it still has to win those games to have a viable shot at going to the CFP. With some key contributors missing from last year’s squad, it’s tough to envision 11 wins coming out of this schedule. However, the team could still surpass its 9-game season win total at top rated sportsbooks and compete in another New Year’s Six bowl game.