Point/counterpoint: Will anyone beat LSU this season?

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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If you're a fan of any team not named LSU, you might as well give up hopes of winning a national championship this year.

There's just one team in the nation that would stand a chance against the Tigers — and LSU already silenced Alabama in a Nov. 5 slugfest. There likely won't be a rematch.

The Tigers have arguably the best defense in America, allowing just 10.89 points per game this season. If that stat isn't impressive enough by itself, consider that the Tigers have played Oregon and West Virginia, the 5th- and 13th-best scoring offenses, respectively, in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

What team is left that can call itself a worthy opponent? Stanford and its star quarterback Andrew Luck?

LSU is fourth in the country in pass-efficiency defense and has 13 interceptions this season. Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has proven to be a worthy successor to former star (and top-five NFL pick) Patrick Peterson. Luck wouldn't have the same kind of good fortune he's enjoyed playing against the shoddy defenses of the Pac-12.

Oklahoma State? Look at the argument against Stanford, and toss in the fact that the Cowboys don't play much defense (77th in scoring defense, 110th in total defense).

Boise State? We've heard the case against the Broncos enough that it's almost to the point of becoming a cliché, but who have the Broncos played besides an overrated Georgia squad? Boise State hasn't proven it deserves a spot in the title game, much less prove that it could win.

So there isn't a single team left standing that would defeat LSU. The only way it could possibly lose is if the BCS produces a rematch between the Tigers and Crimson Tide — or if half their starters get hurt. Then the Tigers might lose. Maybe.

— by Tork Mason


After the Nov. 5 matchup between LSU and Alabama, it's clearly evident that the LSU Tigers are the No. 1 team in the land.

But the debate continues about who may be able to knock off the Bayou Bengals. Some question if any team can beat them at all after the way they handled the Crimson Tide.

Here's one: Stanford.

Stanford plays home to the third-best offense in the nation, posting 48 points per contest. The dual-threat offense is also racking up an average of 500 yards per game.

And if that isn't enough, the Pac-12 Leaders are trouncing their opponents by an average of 32 points each weekend.

That's freaking insane.

It would appear that this Stanford offense is better than the Oregon Duck offense from a year ago, because they can both run and pass the ball with nearly perfect execution.

But there's one aspect of Stanford's game that LSU has never seen before — and won't ever see, unless the two powers are paired for the BCS national-championship game.

The Cardinal quarterback, Andrew Luck.

Luck makes the best decisions when it comes to quarterbacking an offense, and he's also known for adapting to defenses on the fly. It's as if he's the Peyton Manning of college football, and nobody has stopped him. Only Oregon outscored him last season, 52-31.

Luck's uncanny ability to win games is one stat that's only measurable by itself. The senior Heisman hopeful is 21-1 over the past two seasons and has tossed for more 5,700 yards and 58 touchdowns.

He's efficient, he's accurate, and he has the ability to adjust and defeat any defense — all while he's in the process of his throwing motion.

OK, he may not be that good. But you get my point.

And Stanford may not be able to defeat LSU, but out of everybody else left in the BCS, it sure does have the best shot.

— by Cody Goodwin

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