Southern Football Report Preseason Top 25 – Team #12

#12 – LSU TigersLSU Logo
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tiger Stadium (102,321)
2013 Record: 10-3 (5-3)

There aren’t many teams in the country that can lose two 1,000-yard receivers, a quarterback who threw for over 3,000 yards and a 1,000 yard runningback and STILL be ranked in the top 15 teams in the country. LSU is one of those programs that reloads as good, if not better, than any team in the country and 2014 will be another chapter in that Tiger story. The Tigers have been in the double-digit win column in each of the last four seasons but have not played in an SEC Championship Game since 2011. The Tigers may have lost all of those skill players from the 2013 squad but the game is won in the trenches and LSU returns four of five offensive linemen from a squad that rushed for over 200 yards per game in 2013. Returning in the backfield for the Tigers will be a tandem of runningbacks; senior Terrance Magee (625 yards, 8 TDs) and senior Kenny Hilliard (310 yards, 7 TDs). And to make matters worse for opposing SEC West defenses, the Tigers bring in the #1 runningback, some say overall, recruit in the nation in super freshman Leonard Fournette who has already wow-ed the offensive coaches who have penciled him in as the starting tailback for Week 1. The giant question mark on offense it the quarterback position where sophomore Brandon Harris is slated to be the starter and you can expect offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to protect him with healthy doses of the running game. On defense the Tigers lose linebacker Lamin Barrow but do return senior middle linebacker DJ Welter who finished second on the team with 80 tackles in 2013 and will lead another group of talented defenders in 2014. Free safety Jalen Mills, who finished the season with 67 tackles and 3 interceptions, will lead a secondary who forced 11 interceptions in 2013 and return three starters so expect that number to go up as well.

DJ Welter aims to keep LSU's defense on track in 2014.
DJ Welter aims to keep LSU’s defense on track in 2014.

The Tigers open the season with a neutral site game for the fourth time in five seasons against a talented Wisconsin Badger team in Houston, Texas. LSU is 11-4 in neutral site games under head coach Les Miles. The Tigers open the month of October with back-to-back road games at Auburn and Florida and then close out the month with a much underrated rivalry game against Ole Miss in Baton Rouge. LSU will benefit from a November 1st bye week as the Alabama Crimson Tide come to the bayou on November 8th (The SEC knows when to schedule bye weeks for top teams). LSU will travel to Fayetteville the following week to play Arkansas before another bye week and then a regular season ending road game against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day.

The 2014 Tiger team is full of question marks but a strong offensive line and extremely talented runningbacks can mask those questions for much of the season before they rest of the new starters get their feet under them. The opening game against Wisconsin will be tough and there are some tough games and stretches in the season for LSU to navigate but LSU is loaded with top recruits ready for their turn at greatness in the purple and gold. The Tigers will be predominantly a running team early in the season and will be in their element for key home games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama. I expect the Tigers to go into the game against Alabama either with one loss or undefeated and if they win that game, watch out because the Tigers are back on the prowl for another National Championship.

Tiger Stadium has been expended it's capacity from 92,542 to 102,321.
Tiger Stadium has been expended it’s capacity from 92,542 to 102,321.

Stay logged on to for Team #11 on Friday and tune in to the Southern Football Report every Saturday from 10am-Noon starting on August 23rd! Here is a hint for Team #11: This team’s stadium is U.S. National Historic Landmark. 

#11 – ?????????
#12 – LSU Tigers
#13 – Michigan State Spartans
#14 – South Carolina Gamecocks
#15 – Ole Miss Rebels
#16 – Wisconsin Badgers
#17 – Stanford Cardinal
#18 – North Carolina Tar Heels
#19 – Florida Gators
#20 – Texas Longhorns
#21 – Iowa Hawkeyes
#22 – Arizona Wildcats
#23 – Boise State Broncos
#24 – Northwestern Wildcats
#25 – Michigan Wolverines

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