HOOVER, Ala. -- When the media's preseason All-SEC Teams were announced, it was revealed that 20 unnamed reporters did something noteworthy.
They didn't vote for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on the first-team defense.
Yes, 20 reporters felt Jadeveon Clowney wasn't one of the four best defensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference. Let that sink in.
Clowney was second in the league with 13 sacks last season and doesn't show any signs of slowing down this year. Projections have him as the top pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
One can only assume those reporters were looking to make some sort of statement because it's hard to believe someone who knows anything about college football doesn't think Clowney is a the top defensive player in the country, let alone the conference.
With a lot of talent leaving early for the NFL draft, LSU doesn't seem to be garnering the same respect the Tigers have received year in and year out.
This was evident as the Tigers (7 first-place votes) were selected to finish third in the SEC West, behind Alabama (225) and Texas A&M (11). The Tigers only received one first-place vote to win the SEC overall.
Reporters may be sleeping on the Tigers, but Coach Les Miles isn't.
"We're looking forward to the challenge, to be honest," Miles said. "Our culture, bring it on. It's what we do. We look forward to lining up against the best in east and the best in the west. I like us. I like us in any game.