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Story Archives: LSU now the hunter
|LSU now the hunter|
Ya know what?
I'm kinda liking this underdog role all of a sudden.
Thanks to the entire defense (sarcasm here) leaving for the NFL, it seems LSU is off the radar for 2013 for a whole lot of people.
Barrett Sallee, the SEC Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report, had a story last week asking which team would be Alabama's primary threat in 2013,
The answer Texas A&M.
Or better yet, as Sallee stated "Without a doubt, it's Texas A&M."
Sallee goes on to say that not only do the Aggies return 2012 Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel at quarterback, but running back Ben Malena, wide receiver Mike Evans and superstar offensive tackle Jake Matthews also return to lead what will be one of the nation's most potent offenses. The loss of offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury will be minimal, as this is still head coach Kevin Sumlin's offense.
Defensively, the Aggies are forced to replace several stars including sure-fire first-round pick Damontre Moore at defensive end.
Julien Obioha should be able to fill the void if he comes back healthy and the Aggie secondary should be stout with cornerbacks Deshazor Everett, Da'Vante Harris and safety Toney Hurd, Jr.
"Plus, the schedule sets up so well. Texas A&M gets two tune-ups before its Week 3 showdown with Alabama in College Station and also gets two weeks to prepare for road trips to Ole Miss in mid-October and LSU on the next-to-last weekend of the season," Sallee said. "A&M will be Alabama's biggest threat, but Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and even the rebuilding LSU Tigers will all be knocking on the door."
Wow - just kind of a courtesy nod there at the end for the Tigers.
As Jim Carey would say "I LIKE IT."
OK, OK, the preseason top five rankings the past few years have been nice.
And it gave the Tigers some leeway for a hiccup along the way.
But there comes a time when that bulls eye can get bigger and bigger and it gets tougher to get emotionally ready to play each week.
Alabama will not have that problem this year, even with another No. 1 ranking, because they only have to get up for a couple of games.
There's Virginia Tech in the opener in Atlanta, but I believe the Tide will expose this team's annual weakness early.
As for the Texas A&M game - seriously folks, Nick Saban was working on that one in January, if not the week after Johnny Football shocked the world.
The Aggies will learn what it's like to rattle the chains of that team from Tusacaloosa.
If Manziel gets over 50 yards in total offense in that contest, I will be amazed.
Ole Miss may hang around for a quarter in Tuscaloosa with their new young guns, but the Tide will pull away in the second half.
The only bump in the road after that is LSU. But that is also in Tuscaloosa.
And you can bet Saban will be showing bits of LSU's win in Tuscaloosa two years ago over and over to his team.
I have a feeling LSU will not be flying under the radar by this time.
The Tigers open against TCU in Dallas, but I expect more Tiger fans in attendance for that one.
LSU plays at Georgia on September 28 and the Tigers should go between the hedges with an unbeaten record.
This game should capture the same attention of past LSU-Alabama contests.
I expect it to be a once-beaten team that arrives in Tuscaloosa on November 9.
In other words, in answer to Alabama's primary threat in 2013 I have to go with the same answer as before it's LSU.
Only this time not a lot of people saw it coming.
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