LSU Football: Athlon Sports ranks Tigers in top 20

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

LSU football could easily end up being a top-five team in 2021.

But they’ll have to pass quite a few teams to get there.

LSU almost certainly isn’t going to be ranked in the preseason top 10 by anyone, thanks to the program’s 5-5 record in 2020.

Athlon Sports, for example, ranked the Tigers at No. 17 in their preseason rankings this week.

Fair ranking for LSU football?

LSU has top 5/top 10 talent, but they haven’t proved it yet this roster.

Athlon Sports, however, believes in the Tigers and their ability to rebound in 2021 — they just can’t quite put them above No. 17 right now.

“The Tigers simply have too much talent to finish 5-5 again, so a revamped staff and an experienced roster should result in a significant bump in wins for 2021,” says Athlon Sports.

LSU has an opportunity to start the season with a bang. A road win against UCLA on September 4 would make fans quickly forget about the Tigers’ disastrous season-opening loss to Mississippi State last season.

From there, LSU has a three-game stretch of very winnable games. The Tigers shouldn’t have any issues with McNeese State or Central Michigan. In week four, LSU has a rematch from last year’s season-opener with Mississippi State. I can’t see the Tigers losing to the Bulldogs two years in a row.

If LSU makes it to October with a 4-0 record, then I feel like 10 wins would absolutely be within reach. Or maybe the Tigers catch fire and win 11 games.

The disrespect for LSU is real. dark. Next

Either way, I think Athlon Sports is correct to have LSU at No. 17 before the season starts. But they should be prepared to watch the Tigers quickly rise up the rankings.