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CenLA Tiger
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It's that time of year again Tiger Fans and the LSU faithful are raring to get this season started. Of course you have all read about Les Miles and Jordan Jefferson for the last several months. The media seemed to focus its efforts and firepower on these two people and in some cases the arguments are justified. On the other hand they are blasting a team that improved its record from the previous season going 9-3. In any other conference that would be a successful season but such is not the case for the Tigers. The fans in the bayou and most beat writers seem to think that 9-3 is a subpar year. I don't want this thread to become another bashing of Miles (which I am against). I would prefer for it to take a realistic look at the strengths of the team and maybe make a few predictions about the upcoming season. With these goals in mind I will start by identifying what the Tigers do well. LSU has been know over the past decade as a team with a dominant defense and despite all of the negativity associated with offensive play last season, the defense improved greatly under the direction of defensive coordinator John "Chief" Chavis. Chavis burst on to the scene last season with a different defensive philosophy than his predecessors. The LSU defense has historically been know for dominant defensive line play. Coach Bo Pellini concentrated his effort on the defensive line and getting to the quarterback. Coach Chavis takes a different approach to a dominant defense by focusing his efforts on the line backer position and building a defensive secondary built on speed as opposed to huge bruisers. This approach proved to be instrumental in LSU's return as a dominant defenses force in the SEC. He also has pre-season all SEC player in lock down corner Patrick Peterson and Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. Both project to be high draft picks following this season. There is an intense battle raging for the starting free safety position. Craig Loston was ranked the best safety in the nation when he was recruited the year before last. It also helped that he is a first cousin of outstanding WR Russell Shepard. Both came out of Texas as the #1 player at their position. Opposite Peterson is a player that flew under the radar during the recruiting process but ended his freshman year as the starting right corner by beating out juniors and seniors on the depth chart. Remember this name for he will be the CB that keeps the national attention on LSU DB's......Morris Claiborne. Another couple of RS freshman that will likely see significant playing time are DE's Sam Montgomery and Barkevious "Ke-Ke" Mingo. They are both extremely fast. Mingo recorded a 4.5 40yd and Montgomery booked a 4.6. There will be plenty of speed coming off the ends. Senior Drake Nevis and sophomore Josh Downs with anchor the line at the Tackle positions. Of course there is more depth at all of the defensive positions and you are likely to see many substitutions during the games. The most difficult decisions for Coach Chavis may be deciding which players take the field as starters. An additional strength of the LSU team is the quality of skill positions on Offense. The Tigers boast three 5 star players at wide receiver. Terrence Tolliver, Rueben Randle, and converted QB Russell Shepard who can play the slot, wildcat qb, or running back. Expect Shepard to play a Percy Harvin type role for the Tigers this season with the addition of WR Coach Billy Gonzales from the University of Florida. Converted WR Deangelo Peterson (4 Star) is a lethal threat at the tight end position with great speed and excellent hands. The running backs are very deep: Richard Murphy 6-1, 206, Sr. 5 Star Stevan Ridley 6-0, 223 Jr. 4 Star Michael Ford 5-11, 202 RsFr. 4 Star Spencer Ware 5-11, 225 Fr. 5 Star Jakhari Gore 5-9, 175 Fr 4 Star Alfred Blue 6-2 207 Fr 3 Star The QB position should be much improved as this is Jordan Jefferson's junior year and second full season as a starter. His backup that has been pushing him is a matured Jarrett Lee. Lee has shown vast improvement as well as knowledge of the offense. Finally my predictions: I predict that LSU will Geaux 9-3 this season. They will split wins will the following: Alabama or Florida Arkansas or Auburn UNC or WV The record may be 10-2. I was actually predicting that a loss may come from UNC and not WV. As a result of current events and investigations surrounding academic violations of the Tarheels, that loss may not come. 10-2 could very likely be the record. Well that wraps up the first edition of LSU football. More to come.
August 28, 2010  09:13 AM ET

Wow,

It posted as one HUGE paragraph. Not how it was written. I'll try to fix this on the next post.

- CenLA

August 28, 2010  07:09 PM ET

Nice indepth work CenLA. 9-3 is a good guess, I believe, but 8-4 is more possible than 10-2. LSU is talent-rich, though, so they're always a threat to put it all together and rattle off a strong string of W's.

The West is now what the East was 2-3 years ago, a strong group of teams led by one prohibitive favorite. It'll be interesting how the LSU/AU/Arky group competes with Bama.

 
September 10, 2010  06:11 PM ET

Nice post, Cen.

10 wins is possible if the offense stays on the field. I'm thinking 9-3 or 8-4.

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