Why wouldn't they? Since when is a team in the mid-teens a 'contender'?
Since when has LSU had an offense that finishes the season above average overall? (rhetorical)
LSU lost a lot of talent.
Being great as LSU is, they will be back in the hunt sooner than later.
But now they have to prove they're better than the team that lost to Clemson, that almost lost to OM and the failship, and that also struggled with Towson St.
LSU 2012 was not LSU2011 no matter what the pre-season hype and the positgers had to say about it.
The national sports media complex, worthless though it is, can sometimes be right and this is one of those times.
If LSU contends for anything this year (and I hope they do) it will be as a dark horse.
In my 26 years as an LSU fan, other than the aberration that was 2011, the 'under the radar' Tiger teams seem to do better... ie when they have something to prove or a chip on their shoulders.