Since winning national championships in 2003 and 2007, LSU has fallen out of the national title picture, going 17-9 over that span and seeing Alabama take over the SEC Western Division.
The pressure is on coach Les Miles and his staff to get the Tigers back into contention not only in the conference but nationally. Though they will be competitive this fall, a return to national prominence is probably at least a year away.
The Tigers came out the spring with what looks to be an improved running game with the emergence of redshirt freshman Michael Ford at running back, but the situation at quarterback remains iffy.
Junior Jordan Jefferson is the returning starter, but his play in the spring did not exactly inspire confidence.
He completed only seven of 20 pass attempts for a meager 84 yards and had one interception for the White team and hit on only one of three attempts for the Purple team in the spring game, opening the way for junior Jarrett Lee to work his way back onto the competition.
Lee was a starter as a redshirt freshman but had the disturbing habit of throwing interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. He played in only seven games last year.
In addition to the issues on offense, there are also questions on defense. The Tigers are looking to replace seven lost starters on that side of the ball.
There is potential on the unit, however, but it could use some seasoning, especially in a division that features not only defending national champion Alabama but Ole Miss and improved teams at Auburn and Arkansas as well.
"It was a good spring," Miles said. "As we go into the offseason, it's the time to get strong and improve."
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.