Last night, LSU defeated Mississippi State 19-6 in a game that told the general public a lot about each of the two respective teams.
The score was tied 6-6 at half, but the second half was dominated by LSU and their extremely tough defense. With this big road win, LSU solidified that they are a legitimate title contender in the SEC and on the national scale as well.
Aside from the question mark at quarterback entering this season, the second biggest question mark was how the Tigers were going to replace big Stevan Ridley. By no means was Ridley an All-American running back, but there was a reason that he got drafted in last years NFL draft.
The good news for LSU is that running back Spencer Ware is a legitimate option for the Tigers. He ran for 107 yards on 22 carries, and if you watched the game, he put on a clinic of what hard downhill running looks like.
Mississippi State is 1-2 this season, with losses to Auburn and LSU. While none of these losses are considered to be bad losses, the expectations in Starkville heading into this season were high. Many people had Mississippi State as their dark horse team in the SEC West.
The bad news for the Bulldogs is that they are 1-2 and they still have some big teams left on the schedule. I look for Mississippi State to finish the season right around the .500 mark.
LSU should be considered the favorite in the SEC West for a couple of reasons. The first is that they have already beat two ranked teams in their three games that they have played. Oregon was first, and last night they beat Mississippi State.
Second, they have looked all-around better than Alabama, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Their defense is arguably as good as Alabama's—just look at the shear number of turnovers that the Tigers force.
Look for this LSU team to run the tables in the West, eventually leading them to a national title campaign.
Now, I realize that their stadium may only hold around 50,000 people, but the use of cowbells has got to be one of the biggest unfair advantages in all of college football. There were times when LSU committed penalties as a result of the loud noise coming from the crowd.
I am willing to bet that the 50,000 or so fans alone were not the reason for these false start penalties, but the cowbells had a big part in causing them.
Jarrett Lee has shown in thus far this season that he has what it takes to win big games. He beat Oregon on a neutral playing field and then went on the road to Starkville and beat Mississippi State.
He threw for 213 yards, completing 21-of-27 for a 77.8 completion percentage. Pair these numbers up with their great defense and LSU looks like the best team in the country who has a leader that can win them games, not just "manage" them.