BCS Rankings 2011: 5 Players Key to Keeping LSU No. 1 in Nation
Preseason controversy and quarterback drama is clearly the recipe to become the nation's No. 1 team.
Les Miles has done an incredible job in 2011 and has led his Louisiana State University Tigers to a 7-0 record and 4-0 in the SEC.
The Tigers have been stellar on defense all season long and their passing game while inept at times, has been extremely accurate, elusive and effective.
Can they stand the test of time?
The No. 1 Tigers will have the toughest tests of their season in the next two weeks with back to back games against rivals Auburn and No. 2 Alabama.
If they win both those game, and that is a large if, the Tigers have a great chance at finishing the season 12-0.
Let's take a look at five key players who will determine whether LSU can ride this undefeated season to the BCS National Championship game.
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Tyrann Mathieu is the greatest cornerback in college football.
Hands down, no discussions he is a monster and a should be a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
"Honey Badger" as his teammates call him is a straight defensive playmaker seeming to be involved on every down.
Mathieu is second on the team in tackles with 42, has five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
He is an All-American, a freakishly athletic punt returner and did I mention he is only a sophomore?
Tyrann Mathieu will one day be a first round pick in the NFL but for now; he is the glue to LSU's stellar defense and must stay great for the Tigers to stay undefeated.
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Jarrett Lee came in 2011 as the backup to Jordan Jefferson.
Jefferson had become a leader in the LSU locker room and looked extremely impressive in spring ball before being suspended for four games before the season started.
All of a sudden, LSU put their season on a smaller, slower quarterback who spent all spring and summer preparing to watch Jefferson lead the Tigers to 7-0.
Not so fast.
Jarrett Lee has now taken his pinpoint accuracy and great poise to new heights and has led the Tigers to become the No. 1 team in the nation. He is 7-0, Jordan Jefferson has yet to start a game.
Jarrett Lee has thrown for 11 touchdowns and 1 interception and will face his toughest tests in the next week.
Can he handle it? Well he has never been under such pressure before but he should excel in the pocket against Auburn and Alabama's defense.
Jarrett Lee needs to play like the No. 1 quarterback in the nation for LSU to stay the No. 1 team.
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How young is this LSU team?
Add another sensational sophomore to the list in Reuben Randle.
Randle is LSU's No.1 receiver in 2011 and is having a fantastic year.
Randle, the 2008 high school All-American, has 28 receptions for 532 yards and five touchdowns in seven games.
Randle has great hands, size and speed and he is quarterback Jarrett Lee's favorite target.
For LSU to be successful in the passing game through the next few weeks, Randle must step up and prove he is a top wide receiver threat in college football.
LSU's starting left tackle, Chris Faulk is a huge factor in the Tigers 2011 success.
Faulk is sophomore who has started six out of seven games for LSU in 2011 and has broke out to be one of the best offensive lineman in college football.
Faulk was SEC lineman of the week this past week for his fantastic performance vs. Tennessee.
If you still don't believe the hype about, Faulk has been protecting Lee's blindside all season long and he has only been sacked four times in seven games.
Another sophomore stud, Faulk is a mammoth on the offensive line and needs to be able to stop the SEC pass rush if LSU want's to stay undefeated.
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This may surprise the LSU faithful, but lets all be honest; A.J. McCarron is the most important player to watch if LSU wants to go undefeated and to the BCS National Championship game.
A.J. McCarron is the Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterback and the leader of the No. 2 team in the Nation's offense.
McCarron has been extremely accurate all season long but he will have his toughest test of the year against Tyrann Mathieu and LSU's defense.
If McCarron can continue to get better and more confident then he will be the biggest test for LSU all season long two weeks from now.