LSU’s preseason ranking will vary with growing question marks
We learned last week that the LSU Tigers were ranked 12th in the first Amway Coaches Poll of the college football season. The Associated Press (AP) poll will be released on Monday, August 21.
There are 65 coaches who vote (Tulane’s Willie Fritz and UL Lafayette’s Mark Hudspeth have ballots) each week during the season in the Amway poll. The poll does have some credibility as the coaches are asked to take it seriously. There were times in the past that coaches would have a member of the school’s media relations department fill out the ballot. The votes of the coaches are revealed at the end of the season, drawing more attention to the process.
As for LSU’s first ranking, it is a bit higher than I anticipated. On my radio show, I guessed somewhere between 15 and 20. I think that when the AP poll is released that Tiger fans will find them in that area of the rankings.
The coaches did vote prior to the announcement that two-year offensive line starter Maea Teuhema is leaving the program. In some regards, the coaches’ vote is a sign of respect for LSU. Coaches are aware of LSU’s recruiting success over the years, and the Tigers have depth and talent (okay, the offensive line is a concern). Other than the Alabama juggernaut, the SEC is full of teams with high expectations as well as huge question marks.
LSU faces questions at quarterback, wide receiver and now offensive line when it comes to both depth and overall quality.
There are some huge shoes to fill on defense as well. I feel that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will again put a very respectable defense on the field. The numbers and results for the defense last year were excellent but there will be many new names that fans will become familiar with on the defensive side of the ball in 2017.
The kicking game as always will be important, and LSU is handling the on-field coaching of special teams a little differently this year. There are members of the coaching staff handling “parts” of the special teams. Former New Orleans Saints special teams coordinator Greg McMahon is “coaching the coaches” but cannot coach on the field. Time will tell how that arrangement works out.
The old cliché dictates that it is not how you start but how you finish. LSU will continue to prepare for the opener on September 2 in Houston against Brigham Young. The Tigers are two-touchdown favorites for their first look at the 12th ranked team in the coaches poll. We shall see how that ranking moves around as the season goes forward.
The week of the opener will bring from me my season prediction. As I mentioned last week, I always make that prediction (as many media members do) and surprisingly have been quite accurate over the years. Coming soon…
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Tommy Krysan has over 30 years of experience as a sportscaster in radio and television. He has been a columnist for Crescent City Sports since its inception. In 2019, he launched his “Talkin Sports with TK” podcast, available on all major platforms. Tommy loves baseball and all sports. He loves to cook, listen to music, play golf and have fun….