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There were just so many moments last season in which Mathieu came to the rescue for LSU, and the tweeting skills of BCS guru Brad Edwards backed that up.
There were only six occasions in which LSU trailed last year, and Mathieu scored half of them without even playing on offense.
Bleacher Report's own Barrett Sallee believes LSU no longer is the favorite in the West, as he thinks the loss of Mathieu gives a clear edge to Alabama at the moment.
I would have to agree at the moment, but the cupboard is not bare in the Bayou. Look at the loss of Greg Reid for Florida State as a similar comparison, but he was nowhere near the star in terms of instincts on the field.
The biggest difference in this loss when comparing the two is the slate of schedules we are looking at. Winning an ACC title compared to coming close to running the table in the SEC is night-and-day.
Don't forget LSU last season trailed Oregon (6-3, second quarter), Georgia (10-0 second quarter) and Arkansas (14-7, second quarter) before Mathieu all scored special teams touchdowns to help turn the tables and save the day (who knows how often LSU would have won had he not made those game-changing plays).
On paper, LSU still looks like a top-five squad without much question (talent-wise), but that is assuming they can stay healthy in the secondary and avoid any hiccups in the special teams after the holes Mathieu is leaving in this squad.
If they lose two or three games at the end of the regular season, we would likely see them ranked just outside the top 10.
An SEC and BCS bid are still reachable, but life in the SEC was going to be tough even if they had the ferocious waterbug (5'9", 175-pounds) making plays all over the field.
Lastly, the overall camaraderie was flawless last season (even when Mathieu and a few others were suspended against Auburn), but it is nearly impossible to endure a perfect season in the SEC for consecutive seasons.
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