Two traditional powerhouses in college football trying to rebound from lost seasons will meet on Sunday when Florida State takes on LSU in New Orleans.
No team has seen more changes since the end of last season than LSU. Ed Orgeron is out and Brian Kelly is in, with a new Southern accent.
People may not like Kelly, but he’s one hell of a football coach. Kelly has won more than 10 games in seven of his last eight seasons at Notre Dame.
I believe Kelly will succeed at LSU, but not right away. LSU was down to 39 scholarship players after a mass exodus before its bowling game last season. He inherits a young squad with just six returning starters, so the Tigers are a bit of an unknown this season.
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Mike Norvell went 8-13 in his first two years at Florida State. To say this is a great season for job security at Norvell would be an understatement.
The Seminoles return 15 starters, but a lot rests on the shoulders of quarterback Jordan Travis, who hasn’t been spectacular in his first two seasons.
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The Seminoles are tasked with running back, however, and rushed for 178 yards per game last season. Look for FSU to rely on their ground game to shield Travis from LSU’s aggressive defensive front.
LSU just has way too many question marks coming into Week 1 to land any points on neutral ground. I will support FSU as a little dog here.
The game: Florida State +3.5