Oregon vs. LSU: Tigers Make a Statement That They're the Best Team in the Nation

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIISeptember 4, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers during play against the Oregon Ducks at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a crazy first weekend of NCAA football action, but the biggest shocker had to be the pounding that the LSU Tigers put on the Oregon Ducks.

We’ve seen upsets, inclement weather delays and even a game being called due to weather.

BCS hopes have been confirmed and shot down. Hype machines have revved up, and panic buttons have been pushed.

That is the beauty of kickoff weekend in college football.

Unfortunately for the Oregon Ducks, Week 1 won’t seem as beautiful as it could have been. In fact, it will be looked back on as a disaster.

There’s really no good way to put it, so I’ll try to be as nice as possible.

The Ducks looked horrible against LSU. This was a team that I had picked to be a favorite to go back to the BCS championship. This was a team that I was expecting to once again be the most explosive in the nation.

Instead of looking explosive, they looked like they were shell shocked.

It was quiet a disturbing scene, and it leaves me wondering what happened.

Did Oregon choke in the pressure of this big game, or did LSU come up clutch?

I have to give credit where credit is due: LSU came up big tonight.

I’ll be the first to eat crow. I’ve gone on record stating that LSU had no chance against Oregon without suspended quarterback Jordan Jefferson.

I had doubts about whether or not their offense would be able to keep up without him, and I figured Oregon would be able to get them in a shootout and not look back.

I didn’t see the Tigers defense coming though, and apparently neither did Oregon.

The Tigers were physically dominant on defense.

Led by Tyrann Mathieu, who looked like the second coming of Patrick Peterson, the Tigers were all over Darron Thomas and LaMichael James.

There were points where it looked like the Ducks' dynamic duo were frozen in fear against the Tigers' pass rush. They were timid, they were obviously intimidated and they didn’t seize the moment.

I also have to take a moment to mention LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee. He wasn’t amazing, he wasn’t a show-stopper and he certainly won’t be a Heisman Trophy candidate.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  Jarrett Lee #12 of the LSU Tigers throws against the Oregon Ducks at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

What he is though is a poised young man who stepped into a big moment and handled his business.

He managed LSU’s offense perfectly, and allowed their strengths to take over: The running game defense.

I didn’t think they would be able to survive without Jefferson, but Lee will be a more than capable leader.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong.

I picked the wrong team to dominate this game, and perhaps I picked the wrong team in the long run.

Oregon is going to bounce back, but they may not be able to recover from such a stunning loss. They looked unprepared, overmatched and almost as if they couldn’t keep up with their own offensive scheme.

LSU on the other hand came out and established that they will be a force to be reckoned within the SEC and in the nation.

Their offense should continue to get better, and their defense made a statement. They can control the tempo of any game, against any opponent.

It’s usually hard to get me to change my tone, and it’s even harder to get me to change my opinion on a team.

I was wrong about the LSU Tigers.

They are very good.

In fact, they may be the best team in the nation.

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