- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Our "One good reason" series continues with the LSU Tigers.
Let's see what the Tigers could be up to this fall:
LSU will win the national championship: This team might be better than last year's squad.
Yes, Jim Thorpe Award winner Morris Claiborne is gone. All-SEC offensive lineman Will Blackwell isn't around and neither are top receiver Rueben Randle or two starting linebackers from last year. But the scary thing is that this LSU team might be even better than the one that almost had one of the most historic seasons in NCAA history. We all knew the defense was still going to be loaded with the return of Tyrann Mathieu and arguably the nation's best line with Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Bennie Logan running things, but the offense is sure to be much better with Zach Mettenberger under center.
The quarterback play for LSU the last few years has been average at best, and there were times last year where it was downright unbearable to watch. But Mettenberger, who is relatively inexperienced, has the arm, talent and IQ to take this offense to the next level. The Tigers will still pound opposing offenses with their multi-head running back monster, which adds another stud in freshman Jeremy Hill, but what will really make this offense imposing is the threat of the downfield passing game. Odell Beckham Jr. is a year older and so is Jarvis Landry. Beckham was impressive yet again this spring, while Landry had an excellent spring and has the makings of being a true deep threat in this offense. Add an offensive line that returns five players with starting experience and LSU should have a much more balanced and productive offense in 2012.
With a defense that should yet again be one of the nation's best, LSU should be even more formidable and could run the SEC table again. If the Tigers get another title shot, you better believe this group will be thirsting to make up for last year's failure at the end of the season.
Why it won't: History just isn't on the Tigers' side.
The last team to make it to back-to-back national championships was Ohio State, which played in and lost in the 2006 and 2007 BCS title games. Before that, USC made it back-to-back in 2004 and 2005, losing the latter and having the first one vacated. Oklahoma lost in both 2003 and 2004 (last one vacated because USC won), Miami won in 2001 and lost in 2002, and Florida State went three straight years from 1998-2001, but lost Round 3. Florida State is the only team in the BCS era to win the national title in its second consecutive trip. History does not favor this Tigers team.
LSU might be loaded on both sides of the ball, but it's still in the SEC, which hasn't had a team go to back-to-back title games since Florida did in 1995-96. That means no repeat trips during the SEC's current run of six straight national championships. The Tigers are good, but are they good enough to defeat history's curse?
Our "One good reason" series continues with the LSU Tigers.Good reasons: Alabama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Let's see what the Tigers could be up to this fall:LSU will win the national championship: This team might be better than last year's squad.