How LSU Tigers Asserted Themselves as True SEC Contenders

Sam Quinn@@Samquinn23Contributor IIISeptember 7, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers calls a play at the line during a game against the UAB Blazers at Tiger Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Did you doubt the Tigers?

I did, and so did almost everyone else.

That's why they didn't start the season in the Top 10. But I doubt the Tigers no longer, as LSU has proven over the past two weeks that they are true National Title contenders, just like they usually are, year in and year out.

It all starts with Zach Mettenberger. He looks like an entirely different quarterback with Cam Cameron as his offensive coordinator. Though Cameron is known for his NFL exploits (specifically with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers), he has picked up the college game as quickly as anyone could've hoped. 

The result isn't just a good quarterback. The result is a great one.

Zach Mettenberger attempted 19 passes tonight. Five of them went for touchdowns. That's two more than the three that hit the ground.

More importantly, he looked poised, more confident than the Mettenberger of old. He looks the part in a way that he hasn't in the past.

Of course, those numbers don't mean much without big wins behind them, and a 37-27 victory over TCU in Dallas certainly fits the bill. Though LSU was technically favored, there was plenty of upset talk.

The Tigers quelled it with a big win behind Mettenberger and the running game.

Ah, the running game. 197 yards against TCU. 152 against UAB. This offense doesn't live and die with Mettenberger. The three-headed monster of Kenny Hilliard, Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue is poised to move the chains and kill the clock all season long.

And the defense? Who cares if there's no Barkevious Mingo, Eric Reid or Sam Montgomery. They held a very strong TCU offense in check for most of the game.

LSU routinely dominates defensive recruitment, and the young talent on this unit will only get better.

LSU isn't in a transition year. They have a title-caliber quarterback, a strong running game and a ferocious defense. Look out Alabama and Texas A&M, you've got a real threat in LSU just waiting for you.