LSU traveled West for their season opener, and one college football expert is predicting they’ll be upset.
After a 15-0 run to the national title in 2019, the LSU Tigers went 5-5 last season amid player opt-outs, injuries, etc. A mulligan in the pandemic-impacted season is obvious, as head coach Ed Orgeron regroups with new offensive and defensive coordinators this year.
The Tigers open their 2021 season with a road trip to take on UCLA Saturday night. The Bruins started Chip Kelly’s fourth season as head coach with a 44-10 domination of Hawaii last Saturday. LSU will obviously be a bigger challenge, but the Bruins won’t be pushovers.
One college football expert put LSU on upset alert
As the shine of a national title fades, Dan Wolken of USA TODAY put Orgeron atop his list of coaches on the hot seat going into the season. If another season trends closer to .500 than a premier bowl game, speculation on Orgeron’s status will ramp up.
At first glance, even with their prep interrupted by Hurricane Ida and traveling to the West Coast, it seems inconceivable LSU would only be a 2.5 or 3-point favorite over UCLA. But here we are, and one national writer went a little further with his prediction.
Mike Farrell of Rivals offered his five bold predictions for Week 1 of the college football season. The LSU-UCLA game kicked off the list.
"Let’s start with LSU losing outright to UCLA. The Tigers are a three-point favorite on the road and UCLA doesn’t exactly have a great home-field advantage. But the LSU prep has been hindered by Hurricane Ida and there are still a lot of young players in key roles on this LSU team. Chip Kelly goes 2-0."
A win on Saturday night would be huge for Kelly and UCLA, and equally bad for LSU and Orgeron with the expectations that hang over the program. An upset alert is well-warranted though, as UCLA definitely has a chance to win.