KEY EARLY-SEASON GAME: At Auburn, Sept. 18 -- After opening at home against Oregon State and Arkansas State, LSU plays at Auburn in a game that will go a long way toward determining the SEC West. LSU dominated Auburn last season, but winning at Auburn might not be as easy.
THE TIGERS WILL GO 11-0 IF: They stay hungry and focused; they replace four key linemen (two offense, two defense); they get solid play at quarterback; young receivers emerge as playmakers.
THE TIGERS WILL GO 8-3 IF: If they fail to dominate up front the way they did last year, on both sides of the ball; the passing game struggles; a schedule with road games at Auburn, Georgia and Florida in four weeks becomes too much.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"This year we have won zero games. We are at base camp, at the bottom of the mountain, in the valley, looking up at a challenge that is to come. It is very treacherous, it will be very difficult." -- LSU coach Nick Saban.
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