Warning signs for LSU Tigers

How Les Miles' club, and three other undefeated teams, need to improve

Updated: October 2, 2012, 2:12 PM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Zach MettenbergerChris Graythen/Getty ImagesZach Mettenberger and the LSU offense can't afford to toss away quality scoring chances.

At the start of the year, the LSU Tigers appeared to be a consensus elite national championship contender, but they haven't impressed voters in recent weeks. The Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles have slipped ahead of the Tigers in the Associated Press poll after LSU's lackluster victories against Auburn and Towson.

In our drive-based FEI ratings at Football Outsiders, LSU has slipped even further thanks to a thin résumé in comparison with other undefeated teams.

Three of the Tigers' next four opponents are ranked in the top 10, so LSU appears to be on the precipice of either reclaiming its elite stature or falling out of the BCS championship race in a hurry. A few warning signs have cropped up in the Tigers' performances to date that need to be corrected starting this weekend against the Florida Gators.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com