A lot can change between now and the start of the 2022 college football season. New LSU coach Brian Kelly and his team just closed the books on a transitional recruiting class that impressed, and he has also been active on the transfer portal.
But we haven’t even gotten to spring training yet, after which there’s sure to be some attrition as players realize their path to the field is slim and they seek more playing time elsewhere. And that’s not even covering some of the intriguing positional battles that could continue into the fall, like quarterback and running back.
Although we have a lot of unanswered questions, it’s never too early to try to predict the results of future games. With that in mind, here’s how we see every game in 2022 playing out as it stands.
September 4 vs. Florida State Seminoles (at New Orleans)
This game certainly looked a lot more interesting when it was scheduled, but the Seminoles have struggled under Mike Norvell, missing bowl games in each of the last two seasons and finishing below .500 in the last four. . This game at the Superdome will essentially be a home game for the Tigers, and they should kick off the Kelly era with a bang.
Prediction: LSU 34, Florida State 21
September 10 vs. Southern Jaguars
The Jaguars went 4-7 in 2021, and in their only FBS game against a mediocre team from Troy, they lost 55-3. It should be a nap party in week 2.
Prediction: LSU 58, South 7
September 17 vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
LSU avenged the loss in its 2020 opener with a win at Starkville last season, and now this series is coming home for what will be the Tigers’ conference opener. It’s a tough early test for LSU, but playing at home should give them the edge.
Prediction: LSU 28, Mississippi State 24
September 24 vs. New Mexico Lobos
The Lobos went 3-9 last season, and one of FBS’ most underdog programs won’t have much luck in Death Valley.
Prediction: LSU 49, New Mexico 10
October 1 at Auburn Tigers
LSU’s first real road game comes against an Auburn team that’s had a rocky start to the offseason, to say the least. The Tigers don’t have the brightest prospects, but this streak tends to get weird. LSU prevails in the near on Plains.
Prediction: LSU 31, Auburn 28
October 8 vs. Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols were a surprisingly capable team in 2021, but sustaining that could be tough if the SEC East improves this season. Josh Heupel’s offense makes Tennessee tough, and LSU will need to score a few points to win this one.
Prediction: LSU 38, Tennessee 31
October 15 at Florida Gators
The first half of the LSU season is pretty manageable, and I have the Tigers 6-0 heading to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This game has been wild for the past two years with the Tigers taking it close. But if coach Billy Napier can get the Gators to play at a more competitive level, they’ll be tough in Gainesville. LSU suffers its first setback of the season in yet another thriller.
Prediction: Florida 30, LSU 28
October 22 vs. Ole Miss Rebels
LSU lost that game by 14 points last year, and the Rebels have been among the most exciting college football teams for the past two seasons. But with quarterback Matt Corral, this team could be on the verge of a setback. The Tigers rebound at home.
Prediction: LSU 31, Ole Miss 20
Nov. 5 vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tigers have a bye before the big game, but that may not help them much. The Crimson Tide is returning plenty of plays in 2022, including last year’s Heisman winner to Bryce Young. They’re obviously the national title favorites, and playing Baton Rouge won’t make a big difference in this one.
Prediction: Alabama 38, LSU 24
Nov. 12 at Arkansas Razorbacks
This game looks dangerous as a potential disappointment after a tough loss to Alabama. The Razorbacks were surprisingly dangerous in 2021, and playing on the road makes this one tougher. But I like LSU’s offensive outlook, and I don’t know if Arkansas will be able to match it.
Prediction: LSU 35, Arkansas 27
Nov. 19 vs. UAB Blazers
As far as cupcakes go, this game isn’t really one. The Blazers have been one of the most consistent five-man programs since returning from the program’s hiatus. They won nine games a year ago and picked up an Independence Bowl victory. I’m not ready to call this one a potential trap game, though.
Prediction: LSU 42, UAB 17
November 26 at Texas A&M
LSU reached bowl eligibility with a victory in this game last year when dispatching coach Ed Orgeron. It was a disappointing year for the Aggies, but coach Jimbo Fisher reorganized with the best recruiting class in history. A win next year will be much tougher, especially at College Station, and the Tigers end a strong Year 1 for Kelly on a low note.
Prediction: Texas A&M 28, LSU 20
Overall record prediction: 9-3 (5-3 SEC)
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