Edi-torial: Perception sends LSU to 5th in the West at SEC media days

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers looks on against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first half of the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The SEC media have spoken, and as expected, their selections were not kind to LSU football. The Tigers were picked 5th in the Western Division, behind even Texas A&M, a club that the Tigers have defeated six consecutive times since the Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference for the 2012 football season.

In those six games, LSU has scored 199 points, the fellas from College Station 113.

At SEC media days, head coach Jimbo Fisher said of this of Aggies.

“We need to be more physical.”

And, he’s right. The Aggies have been pushed around a lot by LSU. In the last two wins over Texas A&M, LSU has scored 99 points.

In a 54-39 win in College Station in 2016, LSU’s Derrius Guice rushed 37 times for a school record 285 yards, and four touchdowns.

One of the reasons why LSU was picked 5th, despite coming off a 9 win season, was the great unknown.

On the 20th of July, LSU doesn’t have a clear cut starting quarterback, even though all signs point to Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow getting the nod.

In his second visit to media days as the LSU head coach, Orgeron looked more relaxed. Familiarity with the proceedings could account for some of this, but my guess is Orgeron feels a lot better about his quarterback room with the addition of Burrow.

The other reason why LSU was picked 5th is because Ed Orgeron has plenty of skeptics in the SEC media, who don’t forget his disastrous tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss.

Orgeron is 15-6 in a little less than two seasons at LSU, but until he wins big, he will still be perceived as the interim coach who took over for Les Miles.

In Thibodaux in June, retired LSU defensive line coach Pete Jenkins addressed the perception issues candidly.

“If we had beat Notre Dame, and won 10 games, everyone would say LSU was on the way,” said Jenkins.

He’s 1,000 percent correct.

In the eyes of the SEC media, Ed Orgeron is Ed Orgeron, and Jimbo Fisher is Jimbo Fisher.

And, that hasn’t changed a bit, despite the fact that Orgeron won 9 games last fall, and Fisher won 5.

In the meantime, the Aggies are all in on Jimbo.

A guaranteed $75 million contract has anointed Fisher as the savior in College Station.

On the Brazos River this summer, the preferred drink is maroon Kool-Aid.