1: They are what we thought they were.

You want to crown ‘em? Well, there’s still some work to be done for you to crown their (redacted), but the LSU team on display this weekend in Alex Box Stadium sure looked to be the one so many expected to see when the year began. This was a big step for the Tigers. Every time they seemed to be on the verge of breaking through this season, there would be a stumbling point. But now, LSU has won eight of its past nine games in league play and is exactly where it wants to be heading into the regular season’s final week. LSU swept Auburn with a complete team effort, getting contributions from stellar starting pitching (more below), clutch hitting and superior defense. That added up to a top-to-bottom shellacking of a good Auburn team all series long.

2: About that starting pitching.

The three LSU starters combined to allow just 18 base runners in 23.2 innings this weekend — for the baseball stat nerds, that is a 0.76 WHIP. That’s phenomenal. Even if Auburn’s excellent starting pitchers managed to pitch to their outstanding statistical averages coming into the series, they would’ve had a difficult time matching LSU’s dominance. Alex Lange, Jared Poché and Eric Walker combined to post a 0.76 ERA this weekend. Lange set the tone for the series with a shutout, Poché was his usual gritty self, suffocating virtually every Auburn rally before it grew legs and Walker rebounded from what has been a bit of a rough stretch to carry a no hitter into the eighth inning. Outside of one game in the series, it never felt like Auburn had a chance, and that was because of what those three pitchers accomplished.

3: Don’t call him a freshman any more.

Technically, Josh Smith is now a rising sophomore, but he has never really played like a freshman. This weekend he showed his maturity off. Smith committed LSU’s lone error of the weekend in Friday’s win, and it was a costly one at the time, opening the door for Auburn to tie the game in the seventh inning. But Smith didn’t allow doubt to creep in. He drew a leadoff walk against Keegan Thompson in the bottom of that inning and eventually scored the go-ahead run on Michael Papierski’s homer, then didn’t flinch on a tough short-hop play in the ninth. Near midnight that night, Smith was dissatisfied with his hitting and went to the batting cages to get some extra work. What followed was a 2-for-3 day with three runs scored in the series finale, along with his usual brand of stellar defense at third base. LSU has a keeper.

Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.