I don’t know if you have been paying attention or not, but there is some nasty shit happening on the bayou. The LSU Tigers have taken over for the Oklahoma Sooners as the top team in the AP poll, and it is about fucking time. Don’t get me wrong, this article is not to celebrate the Sooners sliding down a poll faster than your mom. This is about a team who is blowing up my pre-season college football predictions. (FN 1) LSU is 4-0. They cock-face-slapped the vaunted Oregon offense, an offense that was returning a lot of talent from an appearance in the BCS Championship Game, about as well as you can in a neutral site game:
The Tigers then destroyed Mississippi State on the road. I know that 19-6 doesn’t sound too dominant, but I watched enough of that game to see the LSU defense physically abusing the Mississippi State offense Ike Turner style. You may also think that Mississippi State is not that great, but that would make you an idiot. If you put them in the Big East, ACC or Big Ten I would put money on them winning the conference. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they are probably (on a good day) the fourth best team in the SEC West.
Last night LSU put a pretty good beating on a West Virginia team that will probably play in a BCS game, and they did it in that back-water hick hole that the Mountaineers play in. And that, my friends, is one of the scary points. LSU has been dropping these beat-downs on the road. Imagine what will happen when teams have to try and move the ball against this defense at night in that LSU snake pit with 90,000 drunk cajuns yelling for the other team’s head. Les Miles is a colossal fuck-up who will do his best to blow a game or two this year, but I don’t know how any team shows up to Tiger Stadium and doesn’t shit their pants.
The other scary point is how young this defense is. I didn’t realize this through the chicken and beer haze of April, but three LSU defenders were among the first 90 picks in last year’s draft. Now they have a defense that features only three seniors and a junior. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of Dandy Don, but according to my calculation that means this bad-ass wrecking crew consists of seven sophomores and freshmen (including the entire defensive line). The Tigers D has one guy that will go in the first round in 2012 (Morris Claiborne), but I would expect a lot of these guys to be millionaires starting in 2013.
The sad thing is that LSU is the best team in college football and I don’t think they will sniff a national championship. First, they have a ginormonious (FN 2) game against Alabama on the first Saturday in November. LSU is better than Alabama, but not by a lot. It’s going to be really difficult for LSU to overcome their own coach and Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. A loss in that games means that Alabama would have to lose two games in order to get LSU in the SEC Championship game and that’s not going to happen. Second, the aforementioned Les Miles. Even if he can navigate this team through the regular season with no losses or one non-Alabama loss (both of these are doubtful), he would then probably have to out-coach Steve Spurrier in what would be a violent, first team to 13 points wins, SEC Championship Game.
It’s hard to figure out if Miles would do better with less talent. He keeps getting an army of great athletes at LSU, but he has this urge to prove himself as a genius that constantly bites him in the ass. It’s the type of thing that made undermanned Tommy Tuberville teams great at Auburn. But when you have better players you just need to line up and kick the other team’s ass. (FN 3) Miles coaches like an underdog when he should coach like a bully. He usually has the most chips at the table, but he uses them all wrong. Ironically, it is the incredible talent that LSU brings in that covers up his mistakes. For the sake of some of my friends and readers, I hope LSU can put it all together. I get the feeling, however, that I’ll be getting sad face texts in a couple of months.
FN 1 – In fairness, a bum shoulder and subsequent Seminole collapse is what really killed my predictions.
FN 2 – TM
FN 3 - It’s a lesson my beloved Longhorns have been trying to learn for years.