Don't forget about LSU

Despite draft losses and a brutal schedule, Tigers can push Bama in SEC

Updated: February 26, 2013, 1:56 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Zach MettenbergerAP Photo/Aaron M. SprecherZach Mettenberger should be a good fit in new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's system.

One of the more intriguing questions of the 2013 college football season is what will become of the LSU Tigers.

LSU is in a tough spot in some ways. The Tigers lost 11 players to early NFL draft declarations, which is by far the most of any FBS program, and they lost a total of 11 starters from last year's squad (including kickers and punters). In addition, they play in the toughest division in college football and have a brutal schedule that includes road games at Georgia and Alabama and home contests against Florida and Texas A&M.

So it's understandable why some might be skeptical of LSU's chances to win the SEC in 2013, or even compete at a level close to what we're accustomed to seeing. And to be clear, I'm not calling for the Tigers to win a conference title. But there are several reasons why I think the Tigers could win double-digit games in '13 and give Alabama a run in the SEC West, with a break here or there.