Sure they can. Inconsistency occurs for any number of reasons, but the three primary reasons are coaching, quarterback play, and injuries. The Tigers can get a lot closer to consistency if they can keep their lines healthy, something they didn't do last year. Jordan Jefferson took steps forward in his first full season as a starter. I don't expect him to be an elite college quarterback, but his progression last year before injury gives LSU fans reason to think he could continue to grow into the position and get to a more consistent level of play.
Coaching is the wild card here. Les Miles is under fire, as is offensive coordinator Gary Crowder. And John Chavis enters his second season in Baton Rouge on the defensive side needing to get his unit to improve. LSU has talent everywhere on the field. I'm not impressed by this trio of coaches, but Chavis's unit alone could also go a long way towards making them more consistent.
Can Arkansas avoid the Ole Miss 2009 curse?
I think they will be better than some expect but they are still not going to win the SEC West because the lack of defense is enough to hurt them in games when the offense is either taken out by a good defense or neutralized by a ball control team.
Arkansas isn't cursed; they just can't play defense. The SEC West is a smash mouth division. Offense wins games, but defense wins titles.
Yes. Ryan Mallett is a much better QB than the pretend-to-be QB Jevan Snead was last season. Mallett has all the physical gifts that all great QB's possess and he is coached by one of the best QB coaches in America in Bobby Petrino. The offense will not be a problem for Arkansas, as it was for Ole Miss last season, but the defense is the area of major concern. Arkansas is going to rely on scoring points in bunches to win because I'm not sure if the defense will be able to stop anyone with any consistency. The difference here is that Arkansas is not predicted to win the SEC nor be in the Top 5 in the country. The pressure they feel will be from themselves, whereas Ole Miss was getting patted on the back by everybody and just caved from there.
Nope. They're the same team: flashy skill position players on offense and only Jerry Franklin on defense. Mallett still has to show me more mental toughness, and their receivers are going to have to consistently get separation. If Mallett matures, Petrino has some weapons and they can put up points…until they run into tough SEC opponents that play in all three phases of the game. If Arkansas plays even mediocre defense, they have a chance to avoid the curse of the hype. But we have seen nothing in Petrino's two years in Fayetteville to think better defense is just around the corner. They made no substantive changes on the staff and no sub-unit on the defense emerged as a strength to play to on that side of the ball.