LSU Football: Why it’s not time to bail on Bo Pelini

LSU football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
LSU football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football is off to a 1-2 start after its loss to Missouri on Saturday.

There’s no way to sugarcoat this — LSU football is much worse than I thought they’d be this season.

I knew the Tigers would take a step back in 2020. Everyone knew it. How could they not?

LSU lost a ridiculous amount of talent. They also lost several key assistants (most notably Joe Brady and Dave Aranda).

The 2020 version of the Tigers is essentially a brand new team. It’s almost like a coach coming in and taking over a new program.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that LSU is struggling.

What is surprising, however, is how much the Tigers’ defense is struggling.

In the season-opening loss against Mississippi State, LSU gave up over 600 passing yards to KJ Costello.

(On Saturday, Costello had only 232 passing yards to go with four interceptions and zero offensive points in a loss against Kentucky.)

In the loss against Missouri, LSU gave up nearly 600 total yards of offense and 45 points to a Mizzou team that only managed 12 points against Tennessee the week before.

Not good.

And the man receiving the bulk of the blame?

New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.

It’s not time to bail on LSU football defensive coordinator Bo Pelini

During games, I always like to peruse social media to get the pulse of the fan base.

And on Saturday, it didn’t take long for me to realize that Tigers fans weren’t thrilled with Pelini.

I saw plenty of “fire Pelini now” tweets and Facebook posts.

And look, I get it.

We were all expecting to see a much better LSU defense this season. Especially after the way Ed Orgeron praised Pelini this offseason (saying that the Tigers defense was already better than it was at any point in 2019).

There’s obviously a lot of work still to be done. And I believe Pelini will get the defense to an elite level. It’s just going to take a lot more time than I realized.

I think something fans need to understand is that LSU was never going to be a contender this season. I thought they might take a small step back, but still navigate the SEC West rather easily.

Obviously I was wrong.

But it’s not about this season.

LSU is building for 2021 and beyond. 2020 is the true definition of a rebuilding year. With a ton of new personnel, plus a new defensive scheme, it’s unwise to expect everything to run smoothly this soon.

Pelini is a smart football coach. That hasn’t changed. He didn’t forget how to coach when he got off the plane in Baton Rouge. He’s a tenacious worker and he will fix the defense.

Next. Proof that Joe Burrow has the purest soul in the NFL. dark

However, fans need to be patient. It won’t happen overnight. But I’m confident it will happen before the end of the season.

Let’s allow everything to play out before making a final judgment.