LSU Football: Tigers Will Determine 2022 SEC Success

Syndication: The Daily Advertiser
Syndication: The Daily Advertiser /

The LSU Football team enters 2022 with new hope and raised expectations. How the Tigers fare will determine the success of other SEC programs.

Three years removed from a 2019 national championship, and a team still considered to be one of the best ever in college football, The LSU football team enters 2022 with a fog of uncertainty, but one imbued with optimism and hope. National media expectations vary as to whether LSU can compete in year one of the Brian Kelly era in Baton Rouge, but fans see a roster still replete with talent and a new coach with a history of winning.

Curiously, and upon inspection, if you gander at the LSU football schedule, you will find that LSU, and their success or failure this year, will have a massive and outsized impact on three other SEC programs: Auburn, Tennessee, and Florida.

We’re in the part of the college football calendar when teams are going full pads in fall camp, and fans and media alike start scouring coming schedules to argue wins and losses, trap games, and playoff contenders. When doing that with the LSU football schedule, something pops out at you like that girl’s hammer toes in the Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang. LSU could make or break the Auburn, Tennessee, and/or Florida seasons.

Auburn comes into this season after an off-season that would make the writers of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta jealous. A full attempt at a coup to remove a head coach that featured wild and unfounded infidelity accusations, boosters who threatened legal action, and all after only one year of said coach’s tenure. It failed. Coach Harsin is still there.

Related Story. Florida season preview. light

So, Auburn goes into this season with hurt pride, splintered factions (outside of the building), and hindered expectations themselves. However, if the Auburn version of the Tigers can get past Penn State in week three, it is very likely they will be (4-0) going into week five as they host LSU at home.

In fact, Auburn gets those first five games at home on “the Plains”. If LSU were to win, at Auburn, hoooo boy! That never goes down easy with the”War Eagle” folks, but this year? See where I’m going with this?

The Tennessee Volunteers come into 2022 with fans ramped up to eleven. After a commendable coaching job by Josh Heupel last year, who led the Vols to a (7-6) record in his year one, fan expectations on “Rocky Top” are at white lightning levels. Pick a random Vols fan and talk to him or her long enough and you’ll get a (10-2) prediction. It won’t take long.

Tennessee has a huge September schedule with tilts against Pitt and the loathsome Florida Gators. If the Volunteers were to win both of those games or even split, Vol Nation will be looking to that LSU match-up as the harbinger of whether (10-2) or (9-3) dreams thrive or dive. I’ll go ahead and tell you now, if the Vols go (8-4) this year, folks in Tennessee will be disappointed. That LSU football game looms large. If Tennessee loses to LSU, I don’t think they can get to (9-3).

As for those Florida Gators, they come into 2022 with their own new Head Coach in Billy Napier. Much like LSU and Auburn, there isn’t much media affection for these Gators, and Gator fans have noticed. Those folks aren’t used to being dismissed in pre-season polls and pontifications.

Florida still has some NFL talent in spots on that roster, and while their September schedule is beefy, with clashes against a very legit good Utah team, along with Kentucky and Tennessee, it is not crazy to see that Florida could be (4-2) or (5-1) going into that home rivalry against LSU.

However, if Florida were to lose at home to LSU football in “the Swamp”? Well, let’s just say, Google searches for Napier’s residence will see an uptick.

It is also important to note that we approached these LSU battles from the perspective of things going well for Auburn, Tennessee, and Florida going into that game. What if it isn’t?

If Auburn loses to Penn State and LSU at home, Coach Harsin, fair or unfair, will have a legit “hot seat”.

If Tennessee were to lose to any two of Pitt, Florida, and LSU, you’ll start hearing a lot of the “he just might not be the guy” talk coming out of Vol Nation. Coach Heupel is in his second year. If the Vols were to somehow lose all three, I might find a mattress company to invest in around Knoxville.

If Florida loses to any two of Utah, Tennessee, and Kentucky, or if they just lose to Tennessee, and then lose to LSU, go find a message board. It will be meme city with a foul language flare. Just don’t get upset about what they call people’s moms over there.

Like these teams, LSU has more questions than answers right now. Good roster, but new coaches. No settled Quarterback. Totally new identity and culture. They could be good, bad, or both at times.

Next. Top 25 college football fanbases. dark

But, for all that we don’t know about this coming LSU football team, we do know that those boys in Baton Rouge will have a direct impact on whether other fanbases consider 2022 a success or failure. It is a curious thing, indeed.