Where does LSU sit in ESPN’s post-spring college football power rankings?
The Tigers enter the 2023 season with a lot of expectations.
After an ahead-of-schedule Year 1 that saw Brian Kelly win 10 games at LSU, including an upset over Alabama that ultimately won the SEC West for the team, this group is expected to take a leap.
Nothing that happened in spring camp should dissuade those expectations. The Tigers have shored up the roster and didn’t see any players enter the transfer portal in the post-spring window.
The Tigers seem to be in a good spot entering the season, and they cracked the top 10 of ESPN’s college football power rankings after spring ball — a one-spot jump from the previous rankings.
Previous ranking: 8
2022 record: 10-4, 6-2 SEC
Expected returning starters: 8 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams
Post-spring outlook: Are the Tigers ready to return to the top of the SEC West under second-year coach Brian Kelly? They took down Alabama in overtime last season, but then nearly lost at Arkansas and were blown out by a bad Texas A&M team on the road. Quarterback Jayden Daniels should be better in his second season in the LSU offense and added weight in the offseason. He’ll have a great receiver corps at his disposal in Malik Nabers, Aaron Anderson (Alabama) and Kyren Lacy, who had a big spring. Daniels was very good last season, but he needs to throw the ball down the field more efficiently. With Maason Smith returning from a torn ACL to join Mekhi Wingo, the Tigers might have one of the best defensive lines in the FBS. Star linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. was just as disruptive after moving inside this spring.
LSU returns many of its top contributors from a year ago, and it added ready-to-play transfers at positions where it didn’t. While this team may still be a step behind Georgia in the conference, that gap should be smaller than it was when the two teams faced in Atlanta last December.
Kelly overachieved in Year 1, and that has set the bar high entering his second season. But this team still has the talent to meet (or even exceed) those expectations.
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