Louisiana Sports: LSU, Mettenberger, Patrick Peterson, SEC Odds
Written by  // Thursday, 10 February 2011 10:22 //

There is a quarterback battle shaping up for the LSU starting quarterback job.

New offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe has already said it's going to be wide open among seniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee and junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers need more production from their passing game than they got last season, but at least Jefferson played some of best football at the end of the season.

If he's as good as expectations, Mettenberger's arrival will only raise Jefferson's level of play this spring. The 6-5, 245-pound Mettensberger has a big arm and the kind of work ethic coaches love. He has three years of eligibility left.

He's a talented player and one the Georgia coaches hated to lose after his off-field trouble last year. This is a battle that could last into pre-season practice in August.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS: LSU is a 12-1 choice to win the national championship this season. According to Bodog, Alabama is the runaway in the SEC at 15-2.

Here's how it breaks down in the SEC:

Alabama 15-2
LSU 12-1
Florida 15-1
Arkansas 30-1
Georgia 50-1
Mississippi State 50-`
Ole Miss 50-1
South Carolina 50-1
Auburn 70-1
Tennessee 125-1

HOW LSU'S five-star prospects and how many have panned out:

Let's go back to the 2007 signing class and the eight five-star signers. Of the eight signers, only one (Patrick Peterson) has made All-America or All-SEC.

Including the 2011 class, the following is a year-by year breakdown of the five star prospects with LSU going back to the 2007 class:

2011 -- 2 (DT Anthony Johnson, OT La'el Collins)
2009 -- 3 (WR Russell Shepard, S Craigh Loston, WR Rueben Randle)
2008 -- 2 (CB Patrick Peterson, DE Chancey Aghayere)
2007 -- 1 (WR Torrence Toliver)

LSU BASKETBALL? Thank goodness for LSU baseball. You can just about write off the LSU basketball season. The highest ranked team in Louisiana according to the USA Today rating of Jeff Sagarin is Tulane at 191.  Yes, The 9-10 Greenies are the reigning state champions.

Sagarin, who has been ranking teams for USA Today since 2995, ranks 345 teams. His complex formula is used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

Coming in at No. 346 is 0-23 Centenary. As bad as LSU is at 10-13 and 2-7 in the SEC, the Tigers are third in the state at No. 214 behind Tulane and No. 26 Nicholls State. The Colonels beat LSU this season for the first time.in history.

Four Louisiana colleges are in the bottom 22 -- No. 324 Louisiana-Monroe, No. 342 Gramblng, No. 343 Southern and Centenary

The Tigers have suffered from injuries, Leading scorer Ralston Turner missed the first five SEC games and has not returned to form yet. Power forward Storm Warren is on one-leg because of an Achilles injury. Still, LSU's roster look like the program is on probation, and it's not. The NCAA doesn't waste its time investigating teams this void of talent.

Tigers fans need to be patient for the rest of the season -- or at least until baseball starts on Feb. 18.

By Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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