This week on the SEC blog we're looking ahead to the biggest hurdle each team will have to navigate this fall by analyzing the toughest stretch on their 2015 schedule.
Toughest stretch: Nov. 7-Nov. 28 (at Alabama, vs. Arkansas, at Ole Miss, vs. Texas A&M)
Why: The annual clash against Alabama is always an intense, taxing affair that can sometimes have aftereffects on both teams. Emotions run high and usually something is at stake when these two talented powerhouses meet. The difficult part for LSU in 2015 is that the Alabama game begins a challenging November slate that includes four SEC West opponents.
After going to Tuscaloosa, LSU returns home to host Arkansas, a physical team that shut out the Tigers last season. It's a rivalry game and LSU certainly wants to get The Boot back in Baton Rouge, but it won't be easy.
Then the Tigers must travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to face Ole Miss. The Tigers beat the Rebels last year in a dramatic 10-7 game in Death Valley, but this time it'll be at Vaught-Hemingway and the Tigers' last trip there was a tough one, a 27-24 loss in 2013.
Finally, LSU returns home to host Texas A&M in the regular-season finale. The Tigers have had the Aggies' number since Texas A&M joined the SEC (and even before then, if you include their 2011 AT&T Cotton Bowl clash), but this one provides some intrigue because the Aggies hired former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis this offseason. With Chavis and Les Miles, former colleagues, on opposite sidelines and several LSU defensive players who played for Chavis still on the Tigers' roster, there's no doubt there will be a little extra emotion when these teams meet in late November.