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Paul Finebaum Has Brutally Honest Take On LSU's Chances This Season

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Is it too soon to write off LSU after the Tigers lost their season opener to Mississippi State? Not if you're Paul Finebaum.

Finebaum appeared on First Take this morning and offered up a particularly blunt assessment of the defending national champions. He's already eliminating them from SEC and College Football Playoff contention.

“Not good,” Finebaum said when asked about the Tigers' outlook for the rest of the season. “Stephen A. (Smith), I know you promised a year ago that Alabama would win this year and not LSU, and you’re right. I’m not suggesting LSU was a one-hit-wonder. I think they have a very good program. But replacing 14 starters, losing Ja'Marr Chase, their best wide receiver, having Derek Stingley out of the game, one of the better cornerbacks, they just didn’t have it. I think they’ll lose a couple more games this year. They will not be a contender when this season ends.”

Without Stingley, the LSU defense was torched for 623 passing yards by Mississippi State's K.J. Costello last weekend. Ed Orgeron is expecting the star cornerback to return this week, so we'll see how much of an impact he has.

As for the quarterback spot, Myles Brennan was solid enough in his first start, completing 27-of-46 passes for 345 yards, three touchdowns and two interception. He'll likely get better as the season progresses, but it will be impossible to live up to the lofty standard set by Joe Burrow in 2019.

The next two weeks against Vanderbilt and Missouri seem like "get right" games for LSU as they work out some kinks. However, come mid-October, things ramp up considerably.

In a span of four games, the Tigers face Florida, Auburn and Alabama. They'll also have to take on Texas A&M in late November.

It is probably a little early to dismiss LSU outright, but we can't fault Finebaum for doubting the team's chances to contend for championships this fall.

[ 247Sports ]