While the LSU Tigers may no longer be in the hunt for an SEC or BCS title, the Death Valley faithful are counting on their team to make a strong showing in the final weeks of the 2012 regular season.
Randy Rosetta of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes that LSU players will need to maintain their focus when Ole Miss comes to town this weekend:
By this point of the season, with the chance of an SEC or BCS Championship not in their grasp, the Tigers have every reason to be distracted. It will be senior day at Tiger Stadium. Agents/advisors are started to sniff around a little more with the underclassmen. The academic semester is reaching fish-or-cut bait territory. And Thanksgiving, code for family time and mama's home cooking, is on the horizon. Lots of reasons to not think solely about football. If that becomes too pervasive, an Ole Miss team with a whole lot to play for could give LSU fits on a day when there's no reason for that to happen.
Rosetta also says LSU (6-2, 4-2) needs to turn up the intensity against the Rebels, noting that Ole Miss has "nothing to lose" and may resort to trick plays to combat LSU. To that end, Rosetta suggests that the Tigers must keep their concentration and "play with the white-hot passion required for an SEC game between two old-school rivals."
The Tigers are still ranked seventh nationally, with a 14-6 stumble against the Florida Gators and a 21-17 defeat at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide the only losses for LSU. Both Florida and Alabama were ranked in the top ten at the time of those games.