FEINSWOG: Here's why LSU is No. 1

Two weekends of college football, and two weekends of overwhelming evidence that, unlike previous seasons, this one is not up for grabs among 15 or so teams as it is most years.


No, it appears that LSU, USC and Florida don't have that much company at the top.


That and a startling prediction about Ryan Perrilloux to come.


But first …


The SEC has to be confused after Saturday.


With Southern Cal idle, LSU may have asserted itself as the best team in the country after absolutely shredding Virginia Tech.


And Florida, ranked fourth, overwhelmed Troy, but it has to be concerned about allowing 31 points, despite 24 of them coming after taking a 49-0 lead.


But No. 11 Georgia lost an SEC game to previously unranked South Carolina and No. 17 Auburn lost to South Florida, while No. 24 Tennessee needed a big second half to escape Southern Miss. It makes you wonder about the SEC's place in the pecking order this season after LSU and Florida.


I watched third-ranked West Virginia take well into the second half to pull away from Marshall. It may be early, but West Virginia is not the third-best team in the country. If it is, LSU, USC and Florida have to be feeling pretty good about themselves.


Anyway, LSU must be feeling great. The thought here going into Saturday was that, based on LSU's defense in the season-opening victory over Mississippi State and Virginia Tech's non-existent offense in its opener against East Carolina, the Tigers would win something like 31-7.


For that matter, when asked about it before the game, even the most diehard of LSU fans thought I was being too kind to the Tigers.


Yeah, me, too kind … but that's another story.


But all of us were impressed by the 48-7 victory, as much for the dominance as the concept that LSU scored its points from offense by the offense, where at State the defense generated many of the points.


Virginia Tech knows it played the best team on its schedule on Saturday, and this is being written before the new polls come out. But if I were a voter, I'd have to put LSU No. 1 and let USC battle its way back to the top if it deserves it. LSU's two victories by a combined 98-7 tally are considerably more impressive than USC's 38-10 win over Idaho last week.


LSU has the best defense out there. Swarm, smother, speed, stifle – the whole package. The only team that will score significantly on LSU will be one with a really talented, poised quarterback with equally talented and poised receivers. The only team that fits that bill might be USC.


LSU has a really good starting quarterback (Matt Flynn) and absolutely the best backup (Perrilloux) in the nation. Probably the best punter in the country (Patrick Fisher).


Extremely versatile running backs and receivers, and an offensive line that showed a lot of improvement from the first game to the second.


Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint, but it will be shocking if LSU doesn't destroy Middle Tennessee next week, beat South Carolina, and then crush Tulane to be 5-0 for the Oct. 6 matchup with Florida.


Don't expect the offensive rotation to change, either, with do-everything running back Jacob Hester starting and Keiland Williams subbing in, and Flynn taking all but a few of the snaps at quarterback.


But understand that Perrilloux, regardless of his transgressions off the field and/or status with LSU coach Les Miles, is really special. He throws as good a pass as any college QB, runs well, sees the field, and gives LSU a dimension other programs would kill for.


And unless he's really fired up about taking over next season, more so than taking the money for Sundays, the prediction here is that Perrilloux will be the first non-starting quarterback to go in the first round of next year's NFL draft.


He's that good, which should tell you just how good LSU is, too.




Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show "Sports Monday."  He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book "HoopDaddy" is available at www.HoopDaddy.net.  Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com  or (225) 926-3256.

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