There’s a new twist on preseason polls this year. Instead of your run of the mill “I think these guys are going to be good!” polls, we’ll get to hear about “playoff contenders.”
In most polls, LSU will most likely fall anywhere from 15-10. I call this Default LSU. Every year, a Les Miles team is going to have talent. The variable is how much experience that talent has. In a year where there’s little experience behind that talent, like this year, it’s a little bit of a crapshoot as to what we’ll get. Some years, an LSU team with this makeup will finish in the top 5, while others the team might not gel until late and finish somewhere in the back half of the top 25.
With this year being a Default LSU year, most prognosticators have the Tigers in the middle of the pack. Fox Sports rankings of playoff contenders has LSU 12th, behind SEC teams UGA, South Carolina, and Alabama. Auburn, last year’s title participant, is 19th, which I find intriguing.
I would imagine most polls will have the Auburn Tigers much higher; their finish last year coupled with a good mix of returning players demands it. But, Auburn could be that team that grossly overachieves in year one of a new coach, only to fall somewhat back to reality in year 2.
LSU is exactly where they should be. With the possibility of so much green talent taking the field, it’s entirely possible this LSU team finishes somewhere around the 9-3 mark.
But, the freshman coming in have the makeup to be LSU’s next great class & this team has the potential to seriously challenge for a national title this year. There will have to be serious growth on the inside of the defensive line & a quarterback, be it Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris, will have to step up and limit mistakes.
For a team build on defense and running the ball, the youth is in the right places, so to speak. It will be much easier for a blue chip RB like Leonard Fournette to acclimate, so his contributions could be felt earlier than any of the other star freshmen.
This could be one of the more interesting teams of the Miles era. Never has Miles had quite the same concoction on offense, with three highly-rated incoming freshman that have honest ability to start against Wisconsin. There may be more lumps than usual, but that just makes it more exciting.