10 Reasons the LSU Tigers Will Finish Season No. 1

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2012

10 Reasons the LSU Tigers Will Finish Season No. 1

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    The LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide appear like they are clearly two of the top three teams in the country. It is almost a guarantee that at least one of them will be playing for a national championship.

    One of the two will likely finish No. 1 in the country and winner of the SEC.

    While Alabama is the No. 1 team in all the major polls, LSU has surprised some people, playing very well, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

    They have played well enough to get people thinking that they are just as good as Alabama, if not better.

    Here are 10 reasons why LSU will finish the season No. 1, ahead of Alabama.

Defense Wins Championships

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    Even with the loss of Tyrann Mathieu, it has become clear over the past two weeks that LSU has the best defense in the country.

    The Tigers possess a defensive line that is NFL-ready right now with the likes of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo.

    While the defensive line dominates, there is also talent at other positions on the field, including safety Eric Reid.

    They are as scary as it comes on that side of the ball.

Zach Mettenberger Will Improve

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    Even though he has not been pretty the first two weeks of the season, there is no question that LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger will improve throughout the season.

    He has only started two games for the Tigers and it will take more time to learn the offense and grow into the starting role.

    By the end of the season—and when the Tigers meet the Crimson Tide—he will be more than ready.

Two-Headed Rushing Attack

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    LSU has plenty of talented running backs and maybe four that could start for almost anybody in the country.

    Two of those running backs have stood out and carried the load.

    Junior Alfred Blue leads the team with 224 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries while sophomore Kenny Hilliard has rushed for 187 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.

    This two-headed monster is a calming factor for the Tigers on offense.

The Two Teams Play in Baton Rouge

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    Last year, the Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa. This year will be a completely different story as the teams meet under the lights in Baton Rouge.

    There may not be a tougher place in the country to play than at LSU, especially at night. There is no question that the LSU faithful will be ready for it.

    This is a huge advantage for the Tigers as the season moves forward.

LSU Is Looking for Revenge

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    The Tigers certainly remember the feeling of losing in the BCS National Championship to Alabama last season and they have definitely not forgotten about it.

    That not only served as motivation for the Tigers during the offseason, but is also going to be fresh on their minds when these two teams square off on November 3.

    A little revenge will be in order in Baton Rouge.

Very Favorable Schedule

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    While the SEC is certainly the toughest conference in football, that would not be evidenced by the LSU schedule.

    They play Alabama and South Carolina at home and their only road game against a ranked team is at Florida.

    The Tigers do not have to play Georgia or Tennessee. There is a road game at Arkansas, but after Saturday, there are a lot of questions surrounding that program. 

More Talent

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    Talent wins championships. While there is plenty at Alabama, LSU just might be the most talented team in the nation.

    The Tigers are deep everywhere and have enough athletes to wear anybody out, even Alabama.

    With four running backs and plenty of talent along the defensive front, Les Miles has more players than he knows what to do with.


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    While there is experience coming back for Alabama, including quarterback A.J. McCarron, LSU has its fair share of experience as well, which will pay off in the long run.

    All four running backs have played huge minutes in their careers and the defensive front has been in plenty of big games.

    Nick Saban's experience can not be overlooked, but the Crimson Tide lost a lot of talent from that defense last season. There are a lot of new faces that have not been in the spotlight.

LSU Defensive Line Is Better Than the Alabama Offensive Line

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    The Alabama offensive line may be the best in the country, as is the case with the LSU defensive line. When these two teams meet, the slight advantage will go to the LSU front and that could be the difference in the game.

    We all know what Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo can do on the outside, but tackle Bennie Logan has continued to develop and is a key up front for the Tigers.

    This group has no problem getting into the backfield and disrupting things against anybody.

Special Teams

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    LSU dominated when it came to special teams last season. Even with Tyrann Mathieu no longer in the fold, they have not missed a beat so far this season.

    Return specialist Odell Beckham has done well despite a fumble against Washington and is always a threat to go the distance.

    In a game that is going to be as close as LSU-Alabama usually is, a big play on special teams could be the difference.