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2016 SEC season preview: LSU Tigers

The Tigers have the talent to win a National Championship. Can they make it happen?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last Season’s Record

9-3 (5-3 SEC)

Key Departures

RT Vadal Alexander; LB Deion Jones; LT Jerald Hawkins; S Jalen Mills; P Jamie Keehn

Key Arrivals

DT Rashard Lawrence; CB Kristian Fulton; K Connor Culp

2015 at a Glance

Last season the LSU Tigers started out with all guns blazing, but things started to fall apart after winning seven straight games. The Tigers would go on a three-game losing streak, as they went from No. 2 team in the country to Les Miles finding himself on the hot seat.

Nonetheless, LSU went on to win a bowl game at the end of the season to give the team a boost of confidence for a brighter next season and the fans a few more hours of sleeps and less of the ‘side-eye’ given to Les Miles.

Key Players

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl - LSU v Texas Tech Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

DE Arden Key

A beast he is and he hopes to be an even bigger beast this season. The sophomore defensive end wants his presence to be felt and feared at all costs and he might just do as such.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein ranks Key as the No. 4 edge rusher to watch in college football, via NOLA.com. With just five sacks last season, Key has set his goal to a whopping 20 sacks! This All-American, as a freshman by ESPN.com, had nine QB hurries thru nine starts and with new defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, Key is looking forward to a great defensive year for LSU and of course, get those 20 sacks. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets them.

Texas A&M v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

RB Leornard Fournette

This offensive powerhouse is expected to put up even bigger numbers than last season. The 6’1’’, 230 lbs running back ran for 1,953 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. I mean, who's counting? Not to mention, he ran over 200 yards in three games straight.

Can he top those numbers? Is he that unstoppable? Fournette is expected to come out on top and be a potential for the Heisman... again.

He is a must-see and huge boost to the LSU offense.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

S/CB Tre’Davious White

The All-SEC cornerback is another great weapon that LSU has as a part of their defense. White decided to come back for another year instead of heading off to the NFL and do even better than he did last season. He had 38 tackles with six pass breakups and two interceptions.

Best Case Scenario

The defense would be unstoppable, as usual and the offense would be better than last season. They make it to the SEC Championship and College Football Playoffs.

Worst Case Scenario

They go 9-3, same as last season. Les Miles gets the boot because the Tigers do not make it to neither the championship or the playoffs.

Prediction

I'll give them a record of 10-2, regular season.

With 18 returning starters, I think this season is determined on how the Tigers offense will play and help their defense to win games. With Fournette going above and beyond to score and keep LSU at bay, there are some good wide receivers in Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural. The QB situation is something to question. A little more throwing would help, and hopefully Brandon Harris can make it happen in 2016.

I'm looking for the defense to be better, as well, with the defensive coordinator David Aranda who has a great and hungry defense to work with already. LSU is a team to look out for. Don't count them out of the race, they just may surprise us all at the end.