To be honest, LSU is a difficult team to figure out. With coach Les Miles patrolling the sideline, I always feel on edge. I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get, or when I’m going to get it.
If I get “it”.
Whatever “it” is.
And that’s what makes No. 2 LSU the most terrifying team in college football. Not Saturday night in Death Valley, not the NFL factory of defensive linemen, but whatever “it” is that hides underneath Miles’ signature hat.
And Miles knows it; for sixty minutes, he looks like he’s the cat — or, tiger — that swallowed the canary. Probably because whatever “it” is, his team has it.
That’s why the Tigers should be No. 1 when the newest polls come out tomorrow. Need proof? Look at what we know:
LSU plays their best in big-game environments. A neutral site game against Oregon? Calling plays over ringing cowbells in Starkville, Mississippi? Heading north to Mountaineer Field in what is one of the more underrated venues in college football? The Tigers handled all three tasks, and at times, made it look easy.
In a 47-21 victory over No. 16 West Virginia, LSU even made it look like they get a rousing enjoyment out of the whole situation.
LSU knows who they are. They run the ball right at you and they don’t care how many defenders your team stacks in the box. They play stifling defense and superb special teams, and they don’t turn the ball over often. In fact, the Tigers are +8 in turnover margin. In a world consumed by flashy spread offenses and make-you-miss athletes (which, believe us, LSU has plenty of those, too), the Bayou Bengals do all the little things right.
And that’ll win you some games almost every time.
LSU is mentally and physically tough. West Virginia, to their credit, never gave up in tonight’s loss, and really, the final score didn’t fully indicate how pesky WVU played the Tigers. But each time it looked like the Mountaineers got some steam going, LSU took it right back.
Simply put, there’s no team in college football who has been put through as many gauntlet games this early in the season as LSU. And, not only have the Tigers survived, they’ve thrived.
There’s that “it” factor. It’s tough to define, but we know it exists.
Put LSU atop the polls. They’ve earned it.