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128 days and counting ...

Ah, one of my favorite days of Spring, has posted their 2007 LSU preview. Nobody does a better job than these guys. So lets get to some of the highlights.

LSU has done it with speed, speed, athleticism, and more speed, with backups that have more raw talent than the starters for about 100 other teams. This year's version is no exception, and with a schedule that's far more manageable than last year's (only two road games against a 2006 bowl team, Kentucky and Alabama), an SEC title is a demand, and a national championship is certainly a possibility.

How loaded is LSU? It lost JaMarcus Russell, and likely will replace him with Matt Flynn, who has starter's experience, or eventually Ryan Perrilloux, the super-recruit of a few years ago with next-level skills and more running ability than Russell. The track team of NFL receivers that left is being replaced by another track team of NFL receivers, and veterans are waiting in the wings to replace the starting safeties.

Over the last few years, one of my favorite things has been to read about LSU in the preseason. After this preview, I can't wait for the season to start! The offensive preview was pretty mundane. They have to replace Russell, Bowe, Davis, but there's talent there. Yada, yada, yada. It was the defensive preview that really got me jacked for the season.

The defensive line:

Outlook: Utter destruction. No one's running on Dorsey, Alexander and Favorite, while the pass rushing from all four spots should be relentless. If Alem and Johnson can be merely adequate on the right side, this group will be a dominant force.
Rating: 10

The linebackers:

Outlook: Outlook: The speed and talent generally makes up for any problems. The corps only faced one team, Arkansas, that could pound the rock on a consistently effective basis (that includes Auburn), and the Hogs tore off 298 yards and three touchdowns. Either this crew will be exposed as above-average early on against Virginia Tech, or it'll firmly establish itself as the star corps of the conference.
Rating: 8.5

When you have a group that is "exposed" as above-average, you're pretty good.

The secondary:

Outlook: While Steltz and Taylor will be more than fine, there's going to be a drop-off when you lose players like Landry and Daniels. Even so, with the help provided from the pass rush up front, it'll be a shock if, statistically, this wasn't one of the five best pass defenses in America. Rating: 9

This defense might not give up a point this year until the fourth quarter when its mop up duty time. Okay, so that's not entirely feasable, but this defense will be better than each of the last two, which each finished third nationally. Think 2003 with a better pass rush and less need to blitz.

I love the fact that LSU is now known -- year after year -- as being being tougher to score on than a nun. Opponents have to be intimidated going into the game knowing how hard its going to be to put points up. Not only that, but it puts more pressure on opposing defenses, knowing their offense isn't getting much on the scoreboard.

Watching this team, this year is going to be special. I don't necessarily expect an undefeated season because that's so hard in the SEC, but a 12-1 regular season, SEC Championship and BCS game (national championship, anyone?) should be locks this year.