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Here’s what LSU has to do to win the national title this season

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Let me preface this by saying there are a lot of caveats and what-ifs, but LSU is listed as a possible national title contender by ESPN’s Bill Connelly.

The Tigers enter the season with +7000 odds of winning the national championship this season, per Tipico Sportsbook, but anything is possible. For that dream to come to fruition, a few things have to happen for this Tigers team, which has a lot of talent in Year 1 under coach Brian Kelly but just as many questions.

But Connelly sees a path to contention for LSU. Here are the five things he says need to happen for that to be the case.

If LSU can thrive through all of the changes…

LSU has a new head coach and a whole lot of new blood in the program. Other than the 15 high school recruits Brian Kelly signed, he brought in 15 transfers from other schools. It is not an easy task to bring all of that new talent and new ideas into one place and make them mesh together quickly. There’s a whole new playbook, new route concepts, new mantras, new goals, etc. Can LSU turn newness into greatness?

If a star quarterback emerges…

Myles Brennan, Jayden Daniels, Garrett Nussmeier or Walker Howard? For LSU to win a national championship this season, one of these guys will have to do their best Joe Burrow impression. To win it all, you have to have a great signal caller. You’ve got to have someone that can lead your team through the tough situations that you face in the SEC. Who will be the guy for Kelly?

If the offense has more playmakers than Kayshon Boutte

LSU will need some new guys to step up and make plays other than Boutte. We all know Boutte is an incredible receiver, but he can’t do it by himself. Noah Cain, Kyren Lacy, and a few other guys have got to help him in that department. One thing I love about Brian Kelly’s offenses is that he loves to use tight ends. That should help immensely.

If the new secondary is as good as it looks…

LSU landed five defensive backs from the transfer portal (Greg Brooks Jr., Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Mekhi Garner, Joe Foucha and Sevyn Banks). Those guys along with the one returning starter from last year should make a pretty solid secondary. As I mentioned on No. 1 though, You are bringing in a lot of new guys that have to learn how to work together and learn a whole new playbook, so it could take some time.

If the run defense grows more consistent…

If you are gonna play in the SEC, you’ve gotta stop the run. Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A&M are all going to come out and wear you out by running the ball. You can’t give up over 200 yards a game on the ground and expect to win.

For LSU to win the title, there are a lot of what-ifs, but it is possible for it to at least be competitive this season and have a shot at winning the SEC. Many are overlooking the Tigers after two disappointing campaigns, but Kelly was brought in to turn things around quickly, and he may be able to do just that.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire