Despite a solid thumping Saturday night in Los Angeles by the UCLA Bruins, one highly respected college football website still ranks LSU in their Top 20 of big-time college football teams.

As reported by a number of sources, including 247Sports, sports giant ESPN still has Coach Ed Orgeron's Tigers as the 19th best team in the USA. According to both, LSU's 38-27 weekend loss to the Bruins was no upset. The ESPN assessment was especially harsh: "LSU was outplayed in nearly every phase of the game and showed no signs it is ready to bounce back from last year's disappointing 5-5 season."

So, is there any chance that the Bayou Bengals, National Champs just two years ago, will live up to their pre-season billing? 247Sports says that the Tigers still have a long way to go.

"Defensive struggles that lingered throughout the 2020 campaign showed up once more against the Bruins, especially in the second half after several big plays capsized LSU's win opportunity. That was a much-needed game for coach Ed Orgeron, whose tenure is heading in the wrong direction now following back to back disappointing performances in season openers."

But if the Tigers were so bad, why are they still considered a Top 20 team? Maybe because a lot of experts think UCLA might be pretty good. In the same ESPN Power Poll, Coach Chip Kelly's Bruins are ranked 15th and look to use their weekend win as a stepping stone.

Here's what 247Sports had to say:

"UCLA posted its biggest win of the Kelly era on Saturday night against LSU and did so in SEC fashion by controlling the line of scrimmage down the stretch and imposing its will in the trenches. When is the last time we've said that about a Pac-12 team?"

So, in a nutshell (and here's a ray of hope for the-glass-is-half-empty LSU fans), UCLA is a solid - and rapidly improving - football team and they're going to beat a lot of good schools this year. And only time will tell if LSU was one of them - a good one, that is.

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