, Louisiana (PressExposure) June 09, 2009 -- Graduating 20 seniors, the LSU Tigers are approaching a 2009 college football season that some might call a rebuilding year. ESPN ranked LSU's 2009 recruiting class number one ahead of Alabama's number two. This kind of year can produce a lot of questions but the exciting thing is there is a multitude of good answers. Many of those answers won't be made clear until sometime into the season but in the end it could very well lead to a possible SEC championship contention and maybe even another national championship for fifth-year coach, Les Miles, and his Tigers. Coach Miles knows what it takes to lead a team to number one at the end of the year with one BCS championship already under his belt from the 2007 season.
When the 90 thousand plus fans pack into Tiger Stadium chanting, "Geaux Tigers," on that first home game against Vanderbilt, Miles and his Tigers will likely enjoy the nice month of September warm up. The calm before the storm. But then the month of October will certainly be a reminder that the SEC is the toughest conference in college football to be in. Challenges against the likes of perennial powers, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Georgia will show what the Bayou Bengals are made of. The outcomes may be unusually surprising. Champions are born in adversity. The kind of teams that Les Miles forges together are those types that never quit, never give up in any battle or even after any defeat.
In the 2007 BCS championship season, Miles's team overcame two spectacular triple over-time losses and more than a few close wins, to become the number one team in the land. It has become clear that in spite of any challenges the LSU Tigers know how to rally together and produce the grittiness and never-say-die toughness it takes to become a champion. Last year was a very up and down year in an attempt to defend the national championship with losses to Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and a final record of 8-5 (3-5 in SEC play). That could make some fans believe they're in for more of the same but a strong finish against Georgia Tech and a hard fought win against rival Auburn showed glimpses of mental toughness that can only be more evident in 2009.
The remaining leadership for the 2009 season will fall into the very capable hands of seniors like WR Brandon LaFell, RB Charles Scott, and TE Richard Dickson. Their experience and time in the Les Miles system will be a huge reason why the SEC should fear the 2009 LSU Tigers. Upcoming players would include the likely starter at quarterback, rising star Jordan Jefferson. In his second year, it should be expected that the 6-4 210-pounder will lead the offense in toughness and poise. Freshman QB Russell Shepard also gives the SEC a reason to worry because a dual-quarterback system with Jefferson is likely to develop that would allow Shepherd opportunities to show his All-American caliber quickness and strength.
The 2009 LSU Tiger football season obviously has a lot of unanswered questions but the answers may be surprisingly pleasant. Coach Miles is a championship coach with the ability to transfer a tremendous tenacity into players that produces wins. In spite of a difficult season last year and a tough schedule this year a lot can expected from this year's team. It is said that gold is refined by fire. In 2009 it will be the Purple and Gold fighting Tigers who will see what they're made out of.