LSU football: A pair of "way-too-early" top 25 rankings disrespect the Tigers

Tis the season for a plethora of preseason college football odds, rankings, and projections. The latest “way-too-early” lists are awfully disrespectful to LSU football.
Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA;  LSU Tigers offensive lineman Charles Turner III (69) lines up against
Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; LSU Tigers offensive lineman Charles Turner III (69) lines up against / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t put much stock in preseason rankings, but when the college football talking heads and beat writers continue to fall into the same trap. This time, a pair of writers from prestigious recruiting websites have my attention.

On Friday, Jesse Simonton released a “way-too-early” preseason top 25 college football ranking. The On3 writer listed LSU football at No. 11. 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford followed suit with a premature ranking, including LSU football at No. 13.

I’m admittedly biased toward the Tigers, but I don’t understand any college football writer who views the 2024 LSU football team outside of the top 10.

The Tigers are coming off their second double-digit win season of Brian Kelly’s tenure and added another top-10 recruiting class to boot. Kelly’s team will have a new starting quarterback in 2024, but Garrett Nussmeier enters his third season in Baton Rouge and has taken plenty of snaps in relief of Jayden Daniels.

Kelly’s defense has questions, but another year of experience for players and an overhauled defensive coaching staff projects a boost.

Still, several college football writers disagree and see LSU football outside the top 10. Moreover, what’s more aggravating are the teams Simonton and Crawford ranked ahead of the Tigers.
Both writers ranked Missouri, Penn State, and Notre Dame ahead of LSU.

Crawford also listed Tennessee and Miami as better teams in his “way-too-early” top-25 ranking. I’ll never understand the constant preseason hype surrounding the Vols and Canes. Both teams will feature new starting quarterbacks this season, but neither features better talent nor coaching than that in Baton Rouge.

Georgia and Ohio State top both premature rankings. I won’t disagree for now, but I remain sketchy on the Buckeyes as a top-three team, considering their numerous roster changes. The same goes for Ole Miss.

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The Rebels added a ton of talent via the transfer portal, but until games are played, it’s unclear how each player fits into the scheme and performs to a championship caliber. We must also consider how much the 15-day transfer window in April will affect the top teams, LSU football included.