The Tigers will welcome the bulls-eye
Being named the pre-season No. 1 team in college football is not a distinction for the faint of heart.
A team with a fragile psyche will crumple trying to carry such high expectations.
Just look back in history. The last pre-season No. 1 team to hoist the BCS crystal ball was USC back in 2004.
It's too hard for most teams to wear that kind of bulls-eye on their chest week in and week out. However, this LSU squad isn't most teams.
The ominous history, the hungry opponents that await every week, the "Honey Badger" don't care and neither does his teammates.
This Tiger squad is one of the most headstrong groups you'll find. Last season, they found adversity in almost every turn but yet, they kept winning.
Starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson got suspended right before the huge opener with Oregon. No problem. They still trounced the Ducks 40-27.
The "Honey Badger" himself, Tyrann Mathieu, and leading rusher Spencer Ware got suspended before the Auburn game. No big deal. LSU annihilated them 45-10.
They had to travel to Tuscaloosa to face second-ranked Alabama and their 100,000-plus fans. They made it out with a 9-6 overtime win.
This is a team with enough swagger to fill up Tiger Stadium. This is a team that, even though they have more talent than everyone they face, still plays with a huge chip on their shoulders.
They have a head coach known as the "Mad Hatter." You never know what he'll do, say or eat during the game.
This is a team with a punter that gets penalized for taunting after taking it 52 yards to the house.
It's a squad with a new quarterback that has hardly stepped foot on the field but yet, he has been looked to as a savior sent to free Tiger fans from atrocious quarterback play.
And of course, there's the "Honey Badger." The team's swagger all begins and ends with him.
He rocks the golden mohawk, takes the ball away any time he wants it and talks trash to opposing receivers before, during and maybe even after the games.
It's a team that has become hated outside of Louisiana, but it's also a team that embraces that hate and only gets stronger because of it.
Maybe some of those other pre-season No.1 teams couldn't handle the pressure and resistance the title created, but not this team. They will welcome it all.