The Texas Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats left a sour taste in the mouths of the LSU football program. The Tigers will be back on the practice field soon enough as spring football approaches.
It will be the first opportunity for Brian Kelly and the staff to see their 2022 team on the practice field and the evaluation period begins. There are a plethora of questions that need answers, such as the quarterback position and who will start on the offensive line.
Those questions will be addressed in the future, for now, we will fast forward to the 2022 campaign that begins in New Orleans. Much like he did in 2021, Brian Kelly kicks off the season against the Florida State Seminoles.
Looking at the season as a whole, we ranked the most important games on the docket.
Sept. 10: vs Southern Jaguars
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The first game on our list is the LSU Tigers matchup with the Southern Jaguars. The battle in Baton Rouge is the second game on the schedule after the Bayou Bengals open the 2022 slate in New Orleans. This game likely won’t be very competitive. Last season the Jaguars finished the 2021 campaign with a 4-7 record and 3-5 in conference play. They didn’t play any Power Five teams and lost the opener 55-3 against Troy.
Sept. 24: vs New Mexico Lobos
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New Mexico comes to Baton Rouge sandwiched between two SEC tilts with Mississippi State on Sept. 17 and Auburn on Oct. 1. This will mark the first time that the Lobos have tangled with the Tigers. Last season New Mexico finished the year with a 3-9 record. They traveled to College Station last season and were blanked by the Aggies 34-0. The Lobos scored seven or fewer points in five games.
Nov. 19: vs Alabama-Birmingham Blazers
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UAB and LSU have met on the football field twice with each team coming out victorious once. In 2000 the Blazers beat the Tigers 13-10 in Death Valley. They wouldn’t play again until 2013 when LSU returned the favor with a 56-17 thrashing. The Blazers return to Tigers Stadium in the late-season matchup for the rubber match.
Sept. 4: vs Florida State Seminoles (New Orleans)
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It has been 30 years since the Florida State Seminoles and LSU Tigers met on the field. The Noles are riding a four-game win streak in the series dating back to the 1983 season. The team that hails from the Sunshine State is a shell of their former selves, but this is a good test for the Tigers under new head coach Brian Kelly. Kelly faced the Seminoles in the season opener of 2021 with Notre Dame surviving the trip to Tallahassee, 41-38 in overtime. Hopefully, we don’t get another poor attempt at an old John McKay line.
Oct. 8: vs Tennessee Volunteers
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After back-to-back trips to Knoxville in this series, the Volunteers travel to Baton Rouge for a cross-divisional showdown. LSU has won the last five games in the series but Tennessee holds the series advantage 20-10-3. These teams have met twice in the SEC title game with LSU winning both.
Sept. 17: vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
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This marks the first time that Mike Leach and the Bulldogs venture into Death Valley since they shocked the defending national champions in 2020. It was also the first game where Myles Brennan took over for Joe Burrow as the starting quarterback. No doubt the Tigers want to defend the home turf in the SEC opener. Last season LSU built up a huge lead and had to hold on for dear life to get the win.
Oct. 15: at Florida Gators
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The return to the site of the game in the fog, or the scene of the thrown shoe. However you want to spin it, the Tigers return to the swamp where they shocked a team looking for a spot in the College Football Playoffs in 2020. The big hero of the game was Cade York and the nemesis was Marco Wilson. Neither will be in this game but it will feature a pair of first-year head coaches in Brian Kelly and Billy Napier. Can LSU make it four in a row? The two teams combined for 91 points in their 2021 slugfest.
Oct. 1: at Auburn Tigers
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The good news is that the LSU defense doesn’t have to chase Bo Nix around in 2022. Instead, they will likely face a quarterback they harassed in the season finale in Baton Rouge, Zach Calzada. The former Aggies quarterback transferred to Auburn and LSU will be looking for a similar result against Calzada after losing to the Tigers for the first time in two decades in Death Valley last time out. The Bayou Bengals don’t have great memories of Auburn having lost 48-11 the last time they played in Jordan-Hare, look for the Tigers to get revenge on War Eagle.
Nov. 12: at Arkansas Razorbacks
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Revenge is best served cold. LSU will look to take back The Boot that they held for six years before last season’s loss in Death Valley. LSU is 3-0 against the Hogs in Fayetteville since 2016. Last season’s overtime loss came at a cost, it was the loss of quarterback Garrett Nussmeier as he sat out the rest of the year to maintain his redshirt status. This offseason the two teams swapped multiple players in the transfer portal, which makes this game all that much more interesting. Landon Jackson and Dwight McGlothern joined the Razorbacks while the Tigers snagged Joe Foucha and Greg Brooks Jr.
Oct. 22: vs Ole Miss Rebels
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This year’s matchup will be a little different without Ed Orgeron facing his old friend Lane Kiffin. The Rebels have quite a bit of rebuilding to do after losing Matt Corral to the NFL. They did add top transfer running back Zach Evans but who will be their quarterback? The team didn’t have Kayshon Boutte, who set a freshman record against the Rebels in 2020. Does Boutte make the difference in 2022?
Nov. 26: at Texas A&M Aggies
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We have storylines galore with this game in 2022. Max Johnson transferred to the Aggies and his brother Jake flipped his commitment to Texas A&M. Let’s not forget that former offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher is the head coach, we heard a lot about him coming to Baton Rouge in 2021. It was never happening but that didn’t stop anyone from discussing it. This game could decide who is No. 2 in the SEC West behind Alabama, which means a New Years Six bowl berth could be on the line in the season finale.
Nov. 5: vs Alabama Crimson Tide
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The top game on the schedule, not including the postseason has to be the annual battle with Alabama. It is the measuring stick against which everyone is gauged. They didn’t win the national championship but the SEC champs were once again in the title game. The Tigers gave the Tide their best shot in 2021, with a hopefully improved offense can LSU take down Alabama in Death Valley?
Dec. 3: SEC Championship Game (Atlanta, Georgia)
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Without question this will be the biggest game on the schedule, but can the LSU Tigers get there in year one of the Brian Kelly era? It seems to be a farfetched idea that it could come to fruition. The Tigers have plenty of questions that need to be answered but that is what makes college football so great, anything can happen.