Desmond Howard has never been afraid to speak his mind when it comes to college football. For that reason alone, it shouldn't shock fans that he had no issue underselling the defending champions.
LSU had a sensational season back in 2019, winning every game en route to a national title. The downside for the Tigers is that they lost a plethora of marquee coaches and players.
Ed Orgeron lost defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to the Baylor Bears and passing game coordinator Joe Brady to the Carolina Panthers. Additionally, the Tigers lost Joe Burrow, K'Lavon Chaisson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Justin Jefferson, Patrick Queen and several other players to the NFL.
Despite all those departures, LSU is expected to compete in the SEC West. However, Howard doesn't think the defending champs will be in the mix for a division title. During a recent appearance on College Football Live, he called it a rebuilding year for the Tigers.
This is why Howard isn't very "high" on the Tigers this year:
"If it was just a regular college season going into the 2020 football year, I wouldn’t be so high on the LSU Tigers,” Howard said. “I think they lost way too much. You might even look at this as a rebuilding year. They lost the kid wizard Joe Brady, who wasn’t the offensive coordinator but he pretty much was calling the plays. … They lost the best quarterback they’ve ever seen, had the best season we’ve ever seen in terms of production in Joe Burrow the Heisman Trophy winner. And then Dave Aranda, the defensive guru, he went on to Baylor. They replace him with Bo Pelini. I don’t know, guys. They’re replacing about eight guys on defense. It almost looks like a team that is trying to restart, retool this season. I wouldn’t have been high on them under regular circumstances. Now I’m still not high on the LSU Tigers.”
Potential-packed quarterback Myles Brennan will need to play well if LSU doesn't want to have a championship hangover. Luckily for him, the offense still has superstar wideout Ja'Marr Chase.
No one is demanding LSU to win back-to-back titles, but the consensus around the country is that Coach O will have the team playing winning football.
LSU will begin the 2020 season at home against Mississippi State.