Delusional Optimism is Not Supposed to Be Here – And The Valley Shook

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Have we thought of how unlikely this all is?
LSU is the 2022 SEC West champions.
How is that potential? This staff didn’t simply win the division, it has received the division with half of the month of November to spare. This isn’t only a win, it is a blowout.
You look again on among the nice groups which didn’t win the division, it turns into genuinely stunning how this staff managed to drag the trick. Nobody will confuse this staff with the 2019 squad, loaded with future NFL stars.
Outdoors of Harold Pekins, who’s a shoo in for All-SEC honors? In all probability BJ Ojulari. Possibly Mekhi Wingo. However that’s about it. And I don’t simply imply first staff, I imply second staff as effectively. That is really a staff within the full sense of the phrase, missing particular person standouts, carrying this staff on their backs.
Each week, a brand new hero.
However take the largest image of LSU’s growth this season: Jayden Daniels. He has turned his season round, and has already set the LSU document for speeding yards by a quarterback in a season. Whereas unlikely, a season of 3000 yards passing and 1000 yards speeding is inside attain.
It’s a exceptional 12 months and with out it, LSU is groping for bowl eligibility. That stated, there’s no method he’s going to be among the many honored at season’s finish. Hendon Hooker is a Heisman contender, Stetson Bennett is guiding an undefeated Georgia squad, and Bryce Younger continues to be probably the most gifted participant within the convention.
Daniels, as nice as he has been, ranks 8th in yards per try, 7th in passer score, and 6th in complete passing yards. That’s about as center of the pack as you get.
He does lead SEC QB’s in speeding yards, however he solely ranks 10th in complete speeding yards. LSU’s main rushers amongst operating backs is Josh Williams, who ranks 20th within the SEC in speeding yards. He could also be a folks hero, however he won’t rush for 1000 yards this season, barring a miracle.
LSU’s preseason All-American receiver, Kayshon Boutte, doesn’t even lead the staff in receiving yards, Malik Nabors does. However Nabors solely ranks 15th within the SEC in receiving yards. No postseason honors probably there, both.
The road is far improved and it’s exceptional merely that it’s not a legal responsibility, however the prime performers on the road are the freshmen tackles who’ve had their share of freshman moments as effectively.
The secondary, which promised to be a team weakness, has held up remarkably effectively this season. However Mekhi Garner is nineteenth within the SEC in passes defended which isn’t overly spectacular, and no interceptions to go together with it.
We owe the secondary a deep spherical of applause, as they’ve stored the lights on this 12 months once we had real purpose to imagine groups have been going to select them aside. They probably received’t be receiving postseason plaudits exterior of Louisiana.
Possibly a particular groups participant may sneak onto the All-SEC checklist however, have you ever seen our particular groups?
When a staff in a convention as loaded because the SEC wins their division going away, you count on them to be loaded with stars and gamers who will dot the postseason award lists. That’s not this staff.
A lot has been made from the truth that solely 39 scholarship athletes performed within the bowl sport, the final sport earlier than Brian Kelly took over. That really understates the problems with the roster, as solely 25 of these 39 have been on the roster after fall follow. 25.
It is a staff which isn’t speculated to be right here. It’s not speculated to be doing this. However it did. Overlook about “think about what Kelly can do with extra expertise.” That insults this staff and this accomplishment.
This is likely one of the largest upsets within the enlargement period SEC. This staff is genuinely exceptional they usually did it by getting each final little bit of manufacturing out of each final participant on the roster.
I’m past pleased with this staff. The 2019 staff is clearly higher. However this… this is likely to be the extra exceptional staff accomplishment. This staff is particular. These are the trendy Chinese language Bandits.
Cue the band. Bow down.
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