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3. LSU

The Mad Hatter believes this Tigers team is as talented as any he's had at LSU. Les Miles also feels much better about quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who struggled with interceptions last season. The Tigers must replace the heart of their defense, as linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and All-America cornerback Patrick Peterson have departed.

LSU's schedule is arduous from beginning to end. The Tigers open the season against defending Pac-12 champion Oregon (the first of three games in 12 days) at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 3 and play at West Virginia on Sept. 24. A Nov. 5 road game at Alabama might decide which team wins the SEC West.
-- Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com