Top 25 Teams and Games — No. 10 LSU

Published: Friday, June 20, 2008 at 11:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 20, 2008 at 11:54 p.m.


The buzz:The Tigers come into the season defending their second BCS national championship this decade. There are 12 returning starters, but holes at quarterback and in the secondary.

Difference-maker:Trindon Holliday is a world-class sprinter/football player who already has returned two kicks for touchdowns in his LSU career. LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton may try to use Holliday's speed as more of a weapon at running back and receiver this season.

The upside:LSU remains stocked in the backfield despite the loss of senior Jacob Hester. Charles Scott and Keiland Williams should get the bulk of the carries. Four starting offensive lineman are back. Holliday is a threat in the return game.

The downside:With Ryan Perrilloux kicked off the team for repeated violations of team policy, the Tigers go into the season without an experienced quarterback. The defense will need to replace three new starters in the secondary and will suffer a blow with the loss of long-time coordinator Bo Pelini, who left to coach Nebraska.

Schedule factor:LSU opens at home with Division I-AA champion Appalachian State. We all remember what Appy State did to open the season at Michigan last season. The Southeastern Conference slate starts with tough road games at Auburn (Sept. 20) and at Florida (Oct. 11). An Oct. 25 home game against Georgia could serve as the preview of the SEC title game.


Where: Dallas, Texas

When:Oct. 11

Why it's sexy:The Red River Shootout is always talked about no matter how good the teams are, because it's a traditional border war at a neutral site. Think Florida-Georgia, with Shiner Bock replacing the cocktails.

Preseason buzz:Both teams are projected in the preseason top 10, so this game should once again have Big 12 and BCS title implications. Texas coach Mack Brown has always had problems with Oklahoma, and this year will be tough facing a Sooner team with talented quarterback Sam Bradford leading the offense.

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