Nov 9, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jarrick Williams (20) carries the ball on a fake punt for a first down as he is defended by LSU Tigers linebacker Kwon Alexander (25) and safety Craig Loston (6) during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

LSU Tigers come in at No. 10 on Athlon Sports early top 25 for 2014

Hey, I know the 2013 college football season isn’t even over yet, but Athlon Sports released their very early look at the top 25 for 2014 and the LSU Tigers came in at No. 10 on their admittedly very early look.

Here’s what Steve Lassan from Athlon had to say about LSU and their ranking:

“If LSU beats Iowa in the Outback Bowl, the Tigers will have at least 10 victories in each of the last four years. Reaching that mark again in 2014 is reasonable, especially with an offensive line that could return all five starters, and a defense that should be better with another year to learn under coordinator John Chavis. Anthony Jennings is expected to replace Zach Mettenberger at quarterback, but receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry could enter the NFL Draft. Only two seniors are listed as starters on the defensive depth chart, and freshman cornerback Tre’Davious White and sophomore Kwon Alexander are future stars in the SEC. The biggest loss on defense could be at tackle, where Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson are likely to take their talent to the NFL.”

Certainly agree with Steve that 10 wins should be reasonable again next year even with a new starter at quarterback and a number of changes on both sides of the ball. LSU is used to reloading, especially after losing 10 underclassmen from a year ago.

I don’t think LSU returns all give starters, because I thin La’el Collins is a virtual lock to declare for the NFL Draft after the Outback Bowl. He has looked really good at left tackle this season and could work his way into the bottom of the first round or top of the second with a good combine and pro day.

I think Steve is correct when he says the LSU defense “should be better” and that’s with the expected departures of defensive tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson. Then again, if the defense doesn’t improve after what we saw this season, something is awfully wrong.

Steve nailed it though when he mentioned Kwon Alexander and Tre’ Davious White are future stars in the SEC. Alexander outplayed senior linebacker, Lamin Barrow much of the season and White is the next in a long line of great LSU corners.

I’d probably have LSU ranked two spots higher, but then again it’s so darn early that it’s splitting hairs at this point, but LSU should be in great position to once again win 10 and compete for the SEC west title.Although that’s never easy and two from the west (Alabama and Auburn) are ranked ahead of LSU in this ranking.

Do you think Athlon ranked LSU too high, too low or just right in their early look? Let us know in the comment section or interact with us on social media.

Patrick’s the managing editor for Death Valley Voice and a news desk staffer for Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt, @DeathValleyFS. Like our Facebook page and him to your Google network.

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