As we close the book on the 2015 season, the final AP top 25 was released this morning, with LSU checking in at 16th following their 9-3 mark and Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech.
Meanwhile, the "too early top 25s" are starting to come out, and with possibly as many as 18 returning starters on offense and defense, including the nation's rushing champion and a surefire preseason Heisman favorite in Leonard Fournette, the Tigers will likely project in the top 10, and have so far with ESPN's Mark Schlabach, CBS's Dennis Dodd, Fox's Stewart Mandel and Athlon. Other SEC teams showing up in the projected rankings include Alabama, of course, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Georgia.
The hiring of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, the strong performance in the bowl game, the prospect of a recruiting class that will finish in the top 5 at a minimum, and compete for No. 1, and possibly returning the majority of draft-eligible unnderclassmen for the first time in several years could set up for an offseason of hype.
Of course, there's the question of quarterback Brandon Harris and his continued development, which I'm sure we'll talk about a few times over the next eight months...