The Argument For LSU
by Mike Fink
Last season LSU had one of the greatest seasons we have ever seen from a program in College Football history. While going 15-0 the Tigers seemed to not only beat their opponents but blow most of them out, including defeating the Oklahoma Sooners and Clemson Tigers in the playoffs by a combined score of 105-53. The Tigers also had the Heisman trophy winner and sent 15 players to the NFL Draft this past year. LSU can become the next dynasty of College Football but can they keep the momentum from last season and can they win another National Championship?
The first part of the argument and most convincing is Ed Orgeron, who can possibly be building the next dynasty of College Football. One of biggest question marks of the past decade will have to be USC’s decision to let Ed Orgeron go, after doing a good job with the situation of Lane Kiffin’s mid-season firing, the Trojans replaced Orgeron with Steve Sarkesian (who they fired the next season). Orgeron got his second opportunity as an interim when Les Miles was fired a few games into the 2016 LSU season, this time around LSU saw the potential and took advantage. Ed Orgeron has immediately turned the Tigers into one of the best programs in College Football, showing that he can find talent and have his players playing in a different gear. It could be argued that Coach O is ready to overtake Nick Saban as the best coach in the SEC West, he’s younger, recruiting at a top level with Saban and is able to outcoach anyone on any given Saturday. It’s possible that the victory in Tuscaloosa was a changing of the guard as LSU is poised to become the next great team of College Football.
Ed Orgeron is one of the few coaches or pieces that is returning from the LSU National Championship season. Many are skeptical about the ability to repeat simplify because of the talent they have lost from last year. The list of players seems impossible to replace starting with Hiesman winner Joe Burrow. The major priority for Orgeron will be finding a replacement and someone who can lead the Tiger attack. The Tigers will hope that Myles Brennan is ready to fill what seems to be the impossible shoes of Burrow. While it’s hard to see Brennan replicating the success of Joe Burrow it should be noted that nobody expected to see Joe Burrow make the leap to stardom and Brennan can quite possibly be ahead of Burrow in that regard (Myles Brennan also wasn't a transfer quarterback like Burrow was, therefore he doesn’t have to learn the new playbook and a new offense).
While LSU lost a lot of talent in the off-season, it’s easy to forget that they still possess one of the best rosters in College Football. The players that remain on the roster from last season include possibly the best receiver in the Nation in Jamarr Chase and possibly the best cornerback in Sophomore Derek Stingley (both are possible top five draft picks). Myles Brennan won’t have to worry about being the hero that Burrow sometimes had to be with the supporting cast, which also includes top receiver Terrence Marshall and one of the most highly recruited tight ends in Arik Gilbert.
What made LSU’s defense as great as it was last season was their secondary. The defense was good but the secondary was great. The Tigers lost Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton to the NFL but LSU will continue to be “DBU”. The Tigers secondary will boast the best lockdown corner in Derek Stingley but they also return two veteran safeties in JaCoby Stephens and Kary Vincent Jr. The SEC is trending towards pass-happy offenses and a team that has a shutdown secondary will close out games. LSU may not return the best defense but if their offense continues to be explosive the only thing that will matter will be their pass defense and their dynamite secondary.
The SEC doesn’t look to be Alabama’s conference as it did in previous years. While Alabama still has the best recruits in the Nation and the best coach, they are currently in a similar situation as LSU, they also will have to replace one of the best quarterbacks they have had in Tua Tagovailoa. The SEC West will likely come down to one game that will be in November in Death Valley. The schedule continues to change with the circumstances constantly changing in our country and it’s possible we might not even see College Football this season. One of the big changes is that the SEC will not play out of conference games. This removes the Texas Longhorns from the Tigers schedule and essentially makes the LSU schedule easier. LSU will play a tough schedule but the ing game that will likely decide their fate will be against Alabama, while it might not be in front of fans Death Valley is still a difficult place to play and it looks like we still have another incredible battle. Alabama is looking to avenge their loss from last season but LSU is looking to overthrow the Alabama reign of the conference, LSU has a strong case for taking over the SEC West and possibly the SEC.