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Story Archives: LSU will surprise in 2010
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|LSU will surprise in 2010|
The LSU Tigers are getting very little respect this offseason and that's a great thing for LSU fans.
In early July I didn't expect a whole lot out of LSU this upcoming season, but after seeing the preseason SEC rankings, my thoughts began to change.
LSU is picked to finish fourth in the SEC West. That's right, not fourth in the SEC, but fourth in their division in the SEC.
Something I've learned over the years is that LSU responds well when they're overlooked or disrespected.
The 2005 Peach Bowl is a prime example of that statement.
The Tigers were set to face the Miami Hurricanes in what many people believed would be a one-sided beat-down by the Hurricanes.
We all know how that turned out. The Tigers blew out the Hurricanes, 40-3, and earned the respect they deserved.
So don't get upset at the preseason rankings, Tiger fans.
Let everyone be stuck on the A's in the west (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn) while LSU flies under the radar for a change.
I feel like a repeating robot when I say Jordan Jefferson has to be better, as well as the coaching for the Tigers to have a better year.
I'll give you three reasons why the Tigers will be better than you think.
The first reason is talent. I believe LSU won it's 2007 national title not by coaching or team unity, but by their talent.
Don't think so?
Let me remind you of some games that went down that year.
The LSU-Florida game that year was one of the greatest games I have ever seen. LSU went for it on fourth down over and over again and made huge plays to win that close game.
Still not convinced?
What about the Auburn game that year?
Remember how LSU won on a last second touchdown by Demetrius Byrd.
Had Byrd dropped that pass, the Tigers would have lost the opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal and would have lost the game.
How about the Alabama game that year?
LSU trailed the Crimson Tide by a touchdown in the fourth with less than four minutes to go in the game and it was fourth down on Alabama's 32.
Early Doucet made a magnificent play late to tie the game, followed by huge plays from Chad Jones and Jacob Hester to seal the win.
A lot of people say they won it on just talent alone, but I know enough about football to say that is just not possible. But I will say that was the main reason they won it that year.
The point I'm trying to make is this 2010 team has loads of talent, and with just a little bit of discipline and coaching they can do big things.
The second reason to expect a big year from the Tigers is the coaching.
Yes, the coaching was horrendous last season.
From Les Miles' game day coaching to Gary Crowton's suspect play-calling, the Tigers looked like they were run by a circus ringleader.
The coaching was so bad last season that I think I might hit my head against the wall if I see them run another option with Jefferson to the weak side.
It may be wishful thinking, but I think the coaching staff will do a better job this year.
The Tigers added a big addition to the coaching staff by adding passing coordinator/wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales to the team.
Gonzales should be able to use Russell Shepard like he used Percy Harvin at Florida.
I believe we will see improved game-day coaching from Miles as he's sworn that the Ole Miss debacle will never happen again.
I'm very down on Crowton right now, but part of me feels like the reason his play-calling was so suspect is because Miles told him to pump the breaks on his inventiveness due to the lack of experience at the quaterback position the previous two seasons.
With Jefferson having an entire year under his belt, I'm hoping the Tiger's will loosen his reins and get back to making dynamic plays.
The third and final reason is the Tiger defense.
John Chavis had a great first season as LSU's defensive coordinator.
With Chavis returning the same system along with two superstars in Kelvin Sheppard and Patrick Peterson, the Tiger defense enters 2010 with a swagger to them.
Peterson and Sheppard are among the few starters that return to the defense.
The defense will have a lot of new faces on the defensive line and at linebacker.
The defensive line is loaded with depth as it has eight to 10 guys that can step in and get the job done.
The only problem is they're lacking in the experience department.
The Tigers secondary looks about the same except cornerback Morris Claiborne will be on the other side of Peterson.
There's a lot of hype around Claiborne, and I expect big things from him this season.
Look for the Tigers to be more physical on defense as some of the new starters are known for laying the wood.
I'm not saying the Tigers are going to win the SEC or even the SEC West, but I look for them to surprise a lot of people this season.
If the Tigers play up to their potential they could find themselves with another 10-win season and get a very nice bowl bid.
Jake Martin is a summer intern with the Concordia Sentinel. He will be a sophomore at Nicholls State University this upcoming school year and serve as Sports Editor of the Nicholl's Worth, the school's weekly newspaper.
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