2008 CFN LSU Preview |
2008 LSU Offense
2008 LSU Defense |
2008 LSU Depth
2007 CFN LSU Preview |
2006 CFN LSU Preview
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about LSU or SEC football?
As college football historians look back on all the national
champions, the nuts and bolts of the 2007 season might get lost
in the shuffle and the translation. LSU didn't win the national
title; it survived the season.
Oh sure, in hindsight it appears obvious. After all, LSU had the
best team in America. Everyone knew that going in, and while all
turned out to be right with the world, at least as far as who
the national champion should've been, LSU also turned out to be
one of the luckiest teams ever, and one of the toughest,
gutsiest, and most resilient.
What had to happen? What did the Tigers have to go through to
win the big prize and not just be a 50-point Sugar Bowl winner
over Hawaii? Consider ...
Head coach: Les Miles
7th year overall: 51-25
Off. 22, Def, 19, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 24
Best Tiger Players
1. OT Ciron Black, Jr.
2. OG Herman Johnson, Sr.
3. DE Tyson Jackson, Sr.
4. DE Kirston Pittman, Sr.
5. LB Darry Beckwith, Sr.
6. WR Demetrius Byrd, Sr.
7. DT Ricky Jean-Francois, Jr.
8. WR Brandon LaFell, Jr.
9. DT Charles Alexander, Sr.
10. TE Richard Dickson, Jr.
CFN Prediction: 9-3
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 Troy
Sept. 13 North Texas
Sept. 20 at Auburn
Sept. 27 Mississippi State
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 at Florida
Oct. 18 at South Carolina
Oct. 25 Georgia
Nov. 1 Tulane
Nov. 8 Alabama
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 Ole Miss
Nov. 28 at Arkansas (Little Rock)
CFN Prediction: 11-1
at Mississippi St
L 45-37 3OT
Alabama W 41-34
at Ole Miss
L 50-48 3OT
Dec. 1 Tennessee W 21-14
Jan. 7 Ohio State W 38-24
1) LSU had to win the
SEC title game without its starting quarterback.
2) West Virginia had to lose at home to a lousy Pitt team.
3) Missouri had to lose the Big 12 Championship to Oklahoma.
4) LSU was the first two-loss team in the BCS era to get a shot at the
5) Not only did LSU lose twice, but it lost in triple overtime to two
mediocre teams: Kentucky and Arkansas.
6) The star defensive tackle, and the heart and soul of the team, Glenn
Dorsey, was playing on one leg after being on the wrong end of a cheap
shot block against Auburn, fellow starting tackle Charles Alexander was
lost for the year early on with a knee injury, and rising star tackle
Ricky Jean-Francois missed almost the whole season because of academic
7) Les Miles was almost certain to take the Michigan job, couldn't
pursue it because his team was playing for a conference title, and then
really couldn't pursue it (even after his now-classic "damn
strong football team ... have a great day" speech) because his team was
playing for a national title .
8) Miles hit the equivalent of an unnecessary 54-jump shot that went in
with his controversial call for a 22-yard throw for a touchdown with one
second to play to beat Auburn when a 40-yard field goal would've won the
9) Going for it, and making it, on fourth down instead of hitting a
field goal that would've forced overtime against Florida on the way to
the game-winning touchdown.
So, basically, LSU had the best team in America and needed every gamble
to go right, every break from the college football gods, and the ability
to overcome a variety of bizarre and tough obstacles to earn the right
to hold up the big crystal ball at the end of the year.
This year's Tigers aren't as good and they're not going to get the same
breaks twice, but they should still have one of the five best teams in
America once the quarterback situation is settled. The precedent has
been set over the last two seasons; win the SEC title and you get the
benefit of the doubt when it comes to playing for the national
While nothing's set in stone considering the teams LSU lost to last
season, if it can split the road games at Auburn and Florida and hold
serve at home, and that includes beating Georgia and Alabama, Miles will
likely be playing for another SEC championship with a shot to play for
the national title. This is yet another damn strong football team, even
if it's rebuilding a bit.
What to watch for on offense: The quarterbacks. Everything else
is in place from the veteran offensive line to the NFL talents at
receiver to the four-headed monster in the backfield. The quarterbacks
don't have to play like JaMarcus Russell or even Matt Flynn; they just
have to keep things moving, make a big third down throw here and there,
and get out of the way. Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch will keep the
battle going throughout the summer.
What to watch for on defense: The line to be every bit the killer
it was last year, if not more so. Losing Glenn Dorsey hurts no matter
what, but Charles Alexander, Ricky Jean-Francois, Marlon Favorite and Al
Woods will keep the production going. If Tyson Jackson plays like the
top ten pick he's supposed to be, no one's doing anything against this
The team will be far better if … the penalties slow down.
For the second year in a row, LSU struggled mightily when it came to the
sins. After committing 83 in 2006, the Tigers were 117th in the nation
(only South Florida and Cincinnati committed more) averaging 8.36 per
game committing 117 on the year.
Opening up with lamb-for-the-slaughter games against Appalachian State
(stop it ... this won't be Michigan Part 2), Troy and North Texas will
give the team time to jell before going to Auburn for what could be the
battle for the SEC West. The defending national champions don't get much
of a break from the SEC scheduling gods facing road games at Florida and
South Carolina before hosting Georgia in Death Valley. Get through those
three, and the end of October, with just one loss, and the national
title could be there for the taking with a manageable November facing
Tulane, Alabama, Ole Miss and a road trip to Arkansas.
Best Offensive Player:
Junior OT Ciron Black.
Black is big, quick, and athletic enough to become a ten-year NFL
starter. He can maul the speed rushers and push around the bigger run
defenders. In his third year as the main man on the left side of the
line, the spotlight will be on as he could become the top tackle for the
2009 NFL draft if he keeps improving.
Best Defensive Player:
Senior DE Tyson Jackson. The 6-5, 291-pound senior has NFL scouts
drooling; players his size aren't supposed to play on the end. The ideal
3-4 end at the next level, he needs to flourish in his final year and
has to become a better finisher as a pass rusher. He's great against the
run and good at getting into the backfield, but a player of his size and
talent needs to come up with more than 4.5 tackles for loss.
Key player to a
Redshirt freshman QB Jarrett Lee and/or sophomore QB Andrew Hatch. It's
not like LSU put an ad in the student paper looking for someone to
quarterback the team. Lee and Hatch are at LSU because they can play. No
one's expecting either one of them to be special, at least this year,
but if one of them turns out to be more than just solid, LSU might go
from being a national title contender to a national title favorite.
The season will be a
... LSU wins the SEC title. There's no real reason to shoot any lower
after the level the program has ascended to. There are too many new
starters and the SEC is too good to get through the year unscathed, but
there's no reason the Tigers can't win the West and have a shot against
Florida, Tennessee or Georgia. Win the SEC championship and everything
else could fall into place.
Sept. 20 at Auburn. It's the SEC opener and it could decide the West.
Auburn will be rocking with its big shot to beat the defending national
champions, while LSU knows that if it comes out of Jordan-Hare alive,
the SEC will be there for the taking. If this is half as good as last
year's classic, it'll be one of the must-see games of the season.
2007 Fun Stats:
- Second half scoring: LSU 291 - Opponents 119
- Penalties: LSU 117 for 880 yards - Opponents 67 for 566 yards
- Fourth down conversions: LSU 13 of 16 (81%) - Opponents 6 of 21 (29%)