LSU will prove predictions of mediocrity wrong this fall

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Myles Brennan
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

Talk about a precipitous fall.

In two short years, LSU went from the champions of college football to a last-place tie in the SEC West.

This summer, LSU has been picked 5th in the West by the media who report on the league.

That to me doesn’t make any sense.

Arkansas was picked third and Ole Miss was fourth.

Let’s see. Last season at Tiger Stadium, the week after the Alabama game, Arkansas survived a life and death struggle to defeat the Tigers and inexperienced quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, finally prevailing 16-13 in overtime.

Ole Miss lost quarterback Matt Corral to the NFL draft, and the Rebs have only one selection on the league’s all first team.

LSU has two.

So, why are the Tigers picked 5th?

Well, one thing that appears to be happening is media is underestimating LSU’s success in the transfer portal. The Tigers filled some huge voids in the secondary with Louisiana prospects, including two starters from the Arkansas secondary, Joe Foucha and Greg Brooks.

You don’t think they will make a difference?

Here’s what Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said about the two players who departed his program.

“Two fine kids,” said Pittman. “Ones that were never in trouble, gave everything for the University of Arkansas. We’re very, very happy that they were on our football team. They’re good kids. They’re good players. Certainly when you go in the same division, it’s harder. But great kids, great parents.”

“Coach Kelly got two fine, fine football players.”

How’s that for an endorsement?

The LSU offensive line is much, much better.

True freshman Will Campbell is already the starter at left tackle. Barring injury, he will be the first Tiger on the offensive line to be picked in the first round since Alan Faneca 24 years ago. Campbell is not a roll of dice pick to start. Instead, he has looked that good.

Miles Frazier, who played tackle at Florida International, moved to right guard and appears capable of being a real force.

The other guard spot will be manned by Tre’Mond Shorts, a well-regarded transfer from East Tennessee State.

LSU is also solid at the quarterback spot, something the voters may have overlooked.

Jayden Daniels, transfer at Arizona State, arrived in time for spring football. He brought significant experience and intriguing dual-threat talent with him to Baton Rouge.

Myles Brennan returned for a 6th year. In 2020, with a porous offensive line, a negligible running game and a subpar defense, opposing defenses knew Brennan was throwing the football yet he was on a record pace after three games. The St. Stanislaus product managed 1,112 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, before suffering a season-ending injury against Missouri.

Then, there’s Brian Kelly himself.

His record speaks for itself.

In his last five years at Notre Dame, he went 54-9. At the University of Cincinnati, he was 34- 6.

“We may get beat this year,” said an LSU veteran watcher.“But it won’t be because we weren’t totally prepared.”

When Frazier announced he was in the transfer portal, he rattled off some new school criteria.

Develop me as a man outside football. Bowl games. Championships.

The last part might take some time for a rebounding program, but LSU won’t finish as low 5th in the West this year either.

 

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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