Just wondering if this qualifies as something of a buzz kill for LSU's recent football national championship.

At the least we might have to change the narrative.

We can save for another day the argument of whether LSU 2019 was the best college team of all time, as several have suggested.

Certainly the Tigers are in the discussion.

But somehow it seemed more uplifting when the Tigers were the early season surprise, yet the team that somehow kept getting better as the season wore on, even as more and more film was out there for a seemingly unending succession of top-10 teams to fail at devising unorthodox defenses to slow them down.

Somehow it was a better story when the Tigers were shocking the world with a new-fangled offense whipped up in the cellar by a young unknown coach using a rags-to-riches quarterback, a journeyman running back, a wide receiver nobody else wanted, a few leftover offensive linemen and the most endearing, can't-pull-against-him head coach who ever rolled out of Hollywood type-casting to prove all his doubters wrong.

It was a defensive-minded school stuck in the Dark Ages offensively that finally saw the light — and it was blinding. But then it had to wait until its defense, which oddly had been spewing oil off and on most of the season, finally caught up with the offense in the postseason to make it fairly well invincible as a team.

The reasons were quite obvious and got relayed to the public in the weeks leading up to the championship in New Orleans.

They worked harder than any other team, offseason, in season and all points in between. They loved each other almost as much as they loved their coaches. They had the best coaches and they just loved playing for the best and nuttiest fans out there.

Throw all that together with a pinch or two of talent and you had team chemistry off the charts.

What a story. It was a story of grit and determination, of never giving up and of defying the odds and preseason polls.

What an inspiration.

But now, suddenly, some spoilsport outsiders are trying to rewrite the script.

Now, if I'm reading the new development right, this uplifting tale wasn't nearly all that complicated. It was as simple as this: LSU had all the best players.

Well, not all of them.

But more than anybody else.

The NFL added this new plot twist Friday when it announced the 337 players who will be invited to the league's combine in Indianapolis.

Some of them weren't from LSU.

But 16 of them were — all of them fresh off winning LSU's fourth national championship.

Among them, only Joe Burrow won a Heisman Trophy, only Grant Delpit won the Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back and only the four draft-eligible members of the offensive line were part of the Joe Moore Award for the best offensive line.

But 16 is a ton, even for an NFL pipeline like LSU.

It's five more than the two schools tied for the second most, Ohio State and Michigan with 11.

It's six more than Alabama. And no wonder the national championship game seemed like such a walk in the park — Clemson had only seven.

If the mock drafts mean more than last summer's preseason polls, as many as five Tigers — Burrow, Delpit, edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson, cornerback Kristian Fulton and wide receiver Justin Jefferson — are projected as first-round picks.

Of course, this is obviously the residue of the dreaded SEC bias at work again.

The Southeastern Conference had 95 players invited, which was 36 more than the next best, the Big Ten, and 13 more than the ACC and Pac-12 combined.

Even LSU's long-snapping specialist got an invite.

LSU pioneered the notion of giving high school kids full scholarships to do nothing for four years but stick their heads between their knees.

But I'm not sure what Blake Ferguson will do at the combine.

I doubt a 40-yard dash is really applicable for his position, nor is his vertical leap, assuming he has one. He never had a bad snap in all his four years of chances with the Tigers. If all but hard-core fans never heard of him, that's a good thing — you don't notice his ilk unless they misfire a snap or get arrested.

The NFL tends to do a lot of interviews in Indianapolis just to make sure the potential draftee isn't a social threat to whatever city he might relocate to.

Anderson was such a college do-gooder that he has been named to the All-SEC community service team the last two years and is a two-time chair of the SEC's football leadership council — all the while earning two degrees from Flagship U, as a five-time member of the SEC academic honor roll.

So LSU may wind up with Mr. Congeniality as well.

Bottom line: Maybe it would have been embarrassing if these Tigers hadn't won the national championship.

Now all LSU has to do is replace them.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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