- LSU finished 10-3 last season and beat UFC at the Fiesta Bowl
- Tigers haven’t made College Football Playoff since it began in 2014
- Can quarterback Joe Burrow lead LSU to a title?
LSU has long been hindered by poor quarterback play, but they’ve been rising in the 2020 CFP Title odds due to the strength of their returning quarterback Joe Burrow.
With powerhouse teams Alabama and Clemson the favorites, does Burrow have what it takes to lead the Tigers to a title?
2020 CFP National Championship Odds
*Odds taken 08/16/19
How Far Can Joe Burrow Take the Tigers?
Joe Burrow showed last season that he can handle the heavy workload at quarterback, but will it be enough to make the Tigers contenders this year?
Burrow has the experience of being the no. 2 quarterback for Ohio State when they went 11-2 and reached the playoffs in 2017. Burrow had a great 2018 for the Tigers and how he finished might be what’s most impressive. In his last three games, Burrow completed 66 of 100 passes for 971 yards and nine touchdowns with one interception while rushing 42 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns.
Burrow should be able to carry the success from his first season with LSU into 2019. The team is returning seven regular starters on offense including sophomore wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, junior left tackle Saahdiq Charles, junior center Lloyd Cushenberry, junior right tackle Austin Deculus, junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson and senior right guard Damien Lewis.
In addition to the previously listed returning players, wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. is back to full health and set to play a key role this season. The sophomore from Bossier was the no. 4 wide receiver in the nation when he signed as an early enrollee with LSU in the Class of 2018.
Joe Brady arrives from the New Orleans Saints to become LSU’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach, helping aid offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger. This sets up Burrow for a massive senior season.
Burrow, too, believes in the Tigers offensive capabilities heading into the season.
“I think we’re going to score a lot of points, and I don’t think a lot of people are used to LSU scoring 40, 50, 60 points a game. I think if we do what we need to do up until fall camp and continue our hard work in fall camp, we can be one of the best offenses in the country,” Burrow told the Advocate.
Tough Schedule Will Be the Difference
Even if Burrow continues his strong play, can the Tigers navigate a tough schedule?
Alabama is arguably the best team on paper in the SEC, but the Tigers don’t need to beat the Crimson Tide if they beat everyone else.
Who will win the SEC in 2019? 🤔
▪️ Other pic.twitter.com/S4uf65JHpF
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 13, 2019
The biggest game on the schedule for the Tigers will be against Texas in Week 2. If they can pull off the upset on the road, I like the chances of LSU getting to 10 wins. The Longhorns are only returning three starters on defense, but quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a force to be reckoned with.
I don’t expect LSU to beat Alabama in November, but I think they could make the College Football Playoffs with key wins at Ole Miss, vs. Arkansas, and vs. Texas A&M. The Tigers have beaten the Rebels three straight times – all by at least 16 points – and lost in seven overtimes against Texas A&M last season. These matchups won’t be easy, but I certainly see some value with LSU’s current odds.
It’s hard to bet against Alabama and Clemson for the title, but I do see value at +3300 for the Tigers.
This team is returning a ton of talent and Joe Brady is a great addition for the offense. Joe Burrow should have another strong season at quarterback, while the defense remains solid with six starters returning.
A few matchups on the schedule are going to be very tough, but at +3300 odds, I’ll take LSU to make the College Football Playoffs and win a title.
Pick: LSU (+3300)
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