Any chance it gets, the SEC likes to remind the rest of the country that it's by far the top conference in college football, but that boast wasn't true in 2016.
Outside of the customarily dominant Alabama outfit, the conference sputtered to the finish, and only the Crimson Tide made the top 10 in the final AP poll.
Nick Saban's program once again leads the way heading into the 2017 schedule, but one of its West Division rivals should be garnering your support to topple the Tide.
Here's why LSU is the team to root for in the SEC for the upcoming season.
Crazy home crowd?
As crazy as it gets
(Photo courtesy: Action Images)
While every fan picks their home crowd as college football's best, LSU supporters have a legitimate claim. Death Valley on a Saturday night is arguably the most intense road environment in the sport. Tiger Stadium holds over 102,000 screaming fans and the tailgate outside the venue is among the best in the country, so if your support for LSU blossoms, it's a fantastic road trip destination.
Chance to win conference?
Not great, not awful
Not only does LSU play in the same conference as Alabama, the Tigers meet the Crimson Tide every year in divisional play as well. That makes the chances of qualifying for the SEC championship game very slim - but you aren't rooting for Alabama unless you love the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. LSU has to travel to Tuscaloosa for the annual game, but consider how much fun the celebration will be if they pull off the upset.
After a fairly easy five games to start this season, the Tigers close with a murderer's row of contests. Thankfully, the East is a trainwreck, so if LSU can somehow emerge from the West, it will be favored in the title game.
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
It's not necessary to see Ed Orgeron to know he's speaking, as the Tigers coach has one of the most distinctive voices in college football. The Louisiana native got his dream job when the school canned Les Miles after four games last season, and showed enough down the stretch to convince LSU to give him the full-time job. Between his sideline antics and thick accent, there's no question that Coach "O" will be one of the SEC's most entertaining characters.
Star player that's fun to watch?
Hmm, let's ask Louisville kicker Blanton Creque.
Ladies and gentlemen, Derrius Guice. It would be an impossible task for almost anybody in the country to replace Leonard Fournette, but Guice is not just anybody. The junior entered last season as Fournette's backup, split carries with the dominant runner, and yet still led the SEC in rushing. A 200-yard game would make most backs' careers, and Guice had two of them in the 2016 season alone, including an outrageous 285-yard, four-touchdown showing against Texas A&M.
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