BCS Rankings: 5 Reasons to Believe LSU Isn't the Best Team in College Football
The LSU Tigers are one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the NCAA at this point in the season, and everyone is preparing for a home-field national championship game.
Cue Lee Corso's "Not so fast" trademark here upon looking at LSU at this point in the year. Yes, LSU has played lights-out football to this point. Yes, LSU won the "Game of the Century." Yes, LSU has defeated a plethora of good opponents at neutral or road sites.
But look ahead to see five major reasons why the LSU Tigers are not the No. 1 team in the country (or will not be by season's end).
Alabama All but Outplayed LSU in Their Game
Alabama-LSU may have very well been the game of the century and while LSU may have won, Alabama won this game on paper and was a kicker away from winning this game.
First to the kicker. Alabama's Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley both kicked a combined 12 points wide left and right after the Alabama offense put them in great positions to capture early momentum and take control of the game.
Furthermore, Trent Richardson decimated the LSU defense in the first half, and while LSU did make successful halftime adjustments, the Heisman hopeful still ran for 3.9 yards a carry and was able to counter the aggressive Tigers defense.
The reason Alabama lost this game was because of their lack of a kicking game that night forced play-calling and offensive strategy to change. After Nick Saban realized that he could not "settle for the field goal" in order to win the game, Alabama was forced to air it out deep down field. This is what led to the interception by Marquis Maze.
If these two teams met again, Alabama would be able to replicate their "hit 'em hard, hit 'em often" strategy and come away with a win, especially with Saban knowing his kickers limitations before the game.
Jarrett Lee Is No Longer Superman
The Alabama game truly ended the miracle run of Jarrett Lee as the Tigers quarterback. Lee had gone all season playing smart football, making accurate throws both short and long.
This gave LSU a true pro style quarterback to run their offense, something many teams could simply not defend based off the talent and precision of Lee.
However, once Lee suddenly became Clark Kent, Jordan Jefferson returned to the mix and led LSU to the victory. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Jefferson's style of play leaves LSU susceptible to a good defense.
Jefferson's more option style can be defended with a defense that is both fast and experienced against the option. Alabama had not planned much for Jefferson to run this offense during their game and his style changed caught the Tide off guard.
Moving forward, a talented team on defense could defeat LSU and ruin their BCS dreams (more on this later).
They Are Sunk When They Have to Play a Team with Good Defense
As just mentioned earlier, LSU with Jordan Jefferson is more susceptible to a good defense. LSU was already struggling on offense, ranking 99th in passing yards and 30th in rushing yards.
These offensive struggles have to now be worked out with Jordan Jefferson, a player the Tigers thought would play a minor role with his suspension and Jarrett Lee's production.
As Alabama showed, the LSU offense can be stopped (just a total of 235 yards in the game, only 91 through the air) and even with the game on the line, LSU's offense failed to produce points and make a substantial drive against the Crimson Tide.
While LSU has not faced any "great" defenses this year aside from Alabama, they have one more team in their way that could challenge and defeat them with their defense and that is...
Arkansas Is Set Up to Beat LSU
Arkansas is the balanced offensive team with a talented defense that could defeat LSU, even with the Tigers playing at home.
Arkansas's prolific passing attack is led by Tyler Wilson who just set a school record in the Razorbacks' win over Mississippi State with 32 completions in the game. While Arkansas may rank 72nd in the nation in rushing, both Ronnie Wingo Jr. and Dennis Johnson are averaging over four yards a carry with Johnson averaging over six.
Wilson has many options in the air attack, with Jarius Wright and Joe Adams both collecting over 40 catches and averaging over 13 yards a catch.
Arkansas defense has also continued to impress, ranked 29h in the country in total points against. With the 13th best scoring offense in the league, coupled with a disciplined defense that has the potential to keep Jordan Jefferson in check, the Razorbacks look like the next team to knock off a BCS favorite.
Their Wins Do Not Look as Impressive Anymore
LSU came out of the gate decimating ranked opponents that helped gain them both national attention and respect as one of the best teams in the nation. Now looking back on those wins, they do not seem as impressive, especially with the somewhat flat performance against Alabama.
Their 47-21 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers looks less than impressive considering the Syracuse Orange defeated WVU 49-23 and WVU has now fallen from 16th to unranked. Their domination of Florida is not that impressive now that the Gators are unranked and 3-5 in SEC play. Mississippi State put up a fight in their 19-6 loss, but are now 1-6 in the SEC and fighting for Bowl eligibility.
Finally, their season opening win against Oregon is the only win that still looks like a resume builder with statistics, but Oregon of Week 1 is not the same Oregon of Week 11.
Overall, the strength of LSU's schedule is still something to be looked at with pride, just not as much as we all had before.