LSU is learning how challenging it has been for Alabama football to thrive.
Some teams make what they do look easier than it actually is. Alabama football has done this for sustained success. No matter who has graduated or declared for the NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide have managed to reload the next season. LSU is learning just how hard that is in 2020. They went from a championship run to being one of the worst teams in the SEC West.
LSU is the worst reigning champion since Auburn in 2011, and they might honestly be worst than that Tigers team. LSU is one of the reasons why the SEC is in shambles. So, why has LSU gone from the White House to the outhouse in just a few short months?
They obviously lost one of the most talented rosters in college football history. LSU losing a Heisman quarterback, a first-round running back, a first-round wide receiver, almost all of your award-winning offensive line, your Jim Thorpe Award winner, and other key starters on defense is hard to come back from. However, they also lost their passing game coordinator to the NFL. The loss of talent was bad enough, but they also lost a few underclassmen. Je’Marr Chase opted out of the college football season. Many potential starters have either opted out or transferred.
Needless to say, LSU has been forced to overcome adversity. However, Alabama football has faced similar circumstances. What was the difference between Alabama teams returning from a title run and the 2020 LSU Tigers?
There is one key that differentiates old Alabama football teams and the current LSU team. Alabama players bought into the fact that Nick Saban was building something sustainable. When Saban told Alabama nation that this was the beginning, they believed him. It helped that Alabama got to return their starting quarterback and other key contributors from their championship team in 2010, but it took more than that. It took a team wholeheartedly believing that the best was yet to come. If you are fighting for a championship, you can become complacent after just one title. If you are fighting for more than that, then you know you’re not done with just one ring.
LSU knows that they caught lightning in a bottle last season. Absolutely everything went their way. They are now learning just how hard it is to repeat the success that Alabama football has each and every year. We will see how they rebound over the next few seasons, but they will not find the level of success that they had last year for the foreseeable future.