The SEC has unveiled its preseason All-SEC teams and only one LSU player made the first team, and he might not even be the best player on LSU's team. LSU fared slightly better on the second team, placing four players, but five players on the top two All-SEC teams ranks a distant fifth in the conference. Overall, seven players honored as preseason All-SEC also ranks tied for fifth in the conference.
Yet LSU is a consensus top five team in the nation.
We all know the old cliché: "There is no I in team". Well, this LSU team is out to prove that adage correct. Last year's team had a clear hierarchy: Peterson was the star, Sheppard was the leader, and Ridley was the heart. This year? I have no idea. None of us do.
If you asked ten Tiger fans who the Most Important player is on this year's team, you might get ten different answers. Every player on the roster is going to be relied on. Every. Single. One. This isn't any one player's team, this is everyone's.
There are no stars. You don't play for the name on the jersey, you play for the name on the helmet. If you don't step up, someone else will. Who's the best running back? The best defensive lineman? The best cornerback? It could be anyone. It could be everyone.
This is a team in which every player really will be counted on to contribute. There is no first amongst equals. This is a season in which every week, someone else will have a chance to shine. A chance to be a star.
And in the middle of it all, there is the one man who matters: Les Miles.
This is his team now. It is his entirely. Its successes are his successes and its failures will be his failures. There are no longer any excuses, for either his supporters or detractors. The LSU Tigers have been built in Les Miles' image.
And what an image it is. There are no players who mean more than the team. There are no excuses. Everyone contributes. Everyone has their turn to be the star, the leader, or the heart of the team. For it is everyone.
LSU only has one player on the All-SEC first team and it might be one too many. LSU is also a preseason national title contender. Embrace the contradiction. This is Les Miles' world... and what a fun world it is.
Who is the Most Valuable Tiger for 2011?
Jordan Jefferson (126 votes)
Tyrann Mathieu (49 votes)
Morris Claiborne (11 votes)
Rueben Randle (24 votes)
Barkevious Mingo (8 votes)
Ryan Baker (17 votes)
Sam Montgomery (15 votes)
Spencer Ware (99 votes)
Someone else (18 votes)
367 total votes