Early poll puts LSU at No. 3 for 2013

The 2012 season isn’t over yet, but when is it every too early to look ahead to next year, right?

The website nationalchamps.net has come up with an early, early 2013 preseason top 25, pegging the LSU Tigers at No. 3.

That’s good news for LSU. The bad news? Six teams on LSU’s schedule also made the list. They include No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 Florida, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 23 TCU and No. 25 Ole Miss.

The website lauds LSU’s running game but says the passing game must improve on the momentum it found late this season.

“The LSU offense is built around its running game and a deep backfield,” it says. “That formula will never be more evident than what 2013 is likely to offer as literally six different players can carry the rock on any given day.

“Quarterback Zach Mettenberger posted three consecutive 250-plus yard passing games down the stretch in 2012 before struggling in the finale (against Arkansas). LSU must continue to build on these positives in order to get his team back to an SEC title.”

The website goes on to say that if “every player on defense decided to stick around for another year, this would easily be the most talented defense in America.” Of course the website notes that as many as six Tigers – Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Bennie Logan, Kevin Minter, Tharold Simon and Eric Reid – could leave after their junior season.

The website also denotes Mettenberger and running back Spencer Ware as possible early departures, but omits punter Brad Wing, who is eligible to go pro as a third-year sophomore. Mettenberger has indicated he will return in 2013.