The college football season is nearly six weeks away and the money that I traditionally waste on preseason college football magazines have already began to collect dust in my office and has gotten lost amongst the pile of more recent sports material that I have accumulated in my bathroom.
Before you laugh or roll your eyes I am sure that I am not alone in this traditional wasteful accumulation of sport magazines that were once a must have for avid sports fans who were in need of a fix to make it before college football finally graces us with its presence.
Each summer so-called experts boldly tout Heisman locks and their pre-season favorites to hoist the crystal ball at season’s end. But each year so many of their predictions are wrong and their alleged locks for gridiron dominance end the season unranked and playing in third-tier bowls. As the countdown to the college football season begins stay tuned as I inform you why several pre-season favorites will NOT hold up the Sears National Championship Trophy at the end of the season.
Lets start with several prominent experts Preseason Favorite the #1 LSU Tigers:
This past season the LSU Tigers survived a brutal schedule unblemished surviving the toughest schedule in the country defeating nearly nine top twenty-five teams as they ended the regular season undefeated. Despite their success and occasional show of dominance the LSU Tigers was shut out in their own backyard suffering painful loss to their rival the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship.
Despite the loss from last season It appears that many people have conveniently forgotten about the butt whopping that Les Miles received at the hands of Nick Saban who thoroughly out-coached him in every facet of the game, amnesia is the only reason some have mistakenly selected the Bengal Tigers to win it all.
The LSU Tigers are loaded with five-star recruits at nearly every position that may only be rivaled by one or two other programs in the entire nation (Alabama & USC). Although the Tigers only return 12 starters due to their depth several second and third string players gained invaluable experience on the field due to a steady rotation and opportunities on special teams.
Although no one will contest the talent level at LSU, their performance in the National Championship revealed the LSU Tigers LACKED essential element that is needed to win a championship, and that my friend is coaching. Before Bengal Tiger fans jump to the defense of Les Miles I remind you that it was only a two years ago that he was on the hot seat and nearly lost his job due to his inability to meet the high standard set by his predecessor, Nick Saban.
Les Miles hit a home run with the hiring of John Chavis as his Defensive Coordinator but his inability to hire an offensive mastermind to coral the speed and talent in LSU’s backfield continues to be an ongoing problem. During his seven-year tenure at LSU, five-star talent on the offensive side of the ball has come and gone with very few reaching the immense high school hype that followed them to Death Valley.
As many pundits mistakenly hail Zach Mettenberger to be the savior of the LSU offensive air show I remind everyone that despite his promise and potential that he was third on the depth chart last year. Although he was praised for his strong-arm and accuracy last season he was a non factor despite the two quarterbacks ahead of him being an interception machine (Jarrett Lee) and an option quarterback who could not throw accurate if he tried (Jordan Jefferson).
The Tigers will rely on their defense and smash mouth running game yet again but an inexperienced offensive line and tremendously undersized secondary will struggle against teams with a high-powered offenses, if the Tigers fall behind early they could be in serious trouble.
Will the Honey Badger become a leader and lead his team to the promise land? Will Zach finally fulfill his promise? I certainly do not believe so, I predict a two loss season and Chavis returning to UT as head coach next season. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)