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Is LSU Already Looking National Championship Game Worthy?

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Jarrett Lee #12 of the LSU Tigers throws a pass against Mississippi State in the second quarter on September 15, 2011 at Davis Wade stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images
Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IISeptember 16, 2011

Before the season, there were two words on our breath: Oklahoma and Alabama.

The rest of the league wasn't going to come close. Never mind Florida State. Never mind Oregon. Never mind LSU. Never mind anyone else. It was these two and no-one else.

With Oklahoma as the No.1 designate (if the Sooners come away with a victory in Tallahassee on what will be an electric Saturday night for football), it's up to Alabama and LSU to battle for the second spot.

For me, the first quarter of the college football season's been won by one team and one team only: LSU.

LSU has played two Top 25 teams and beaten them both handily. They shut down two awesome running attacks in LSU's and—most recently on Thursday—Mississippi State's. Mind you, they've also shut down their offenses, too.

They've played no game at home. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is NOT a home game, and Mississippi State on the road certainly wasn't.

The defensive line absolutely ruined Dan Mullen's plans, getting in Chris Relf's face at every opportunity and forcing him to make mistakes—so many so that he was eventually based. They choked one of the best running backs in the SEC in Vick Ballard, and their own quarterback, Jarrett Lee (who we've been really rather rude about in these pages) came out a stormer, throwing 21 for 27 for 213 yards and an all-important touchdown. Sure, Lee threw an interception, but he could do that with a defense like this.

The big thing for LSU is not to get caught in a shoot-out. If they do, we worry for the Tigers—even with the return of one Russell Shepard.

But right now, it's the Tigers who are going to the National Championship Game...until they play Alabama later in the season!!

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