Nov 30, 2007

SEC Championship: LSU vs. Tennessee

Les Miles is going to Michigan. No, he's signing a new contract. But Michigan asked for permission to interview him. Bo Pelini's got the Nebraska job wrapped up. Steve Spurrier bought a house in Baton Rouge and spent Thanksgiving with Skip Bertman. Nick Saban is coming back and taking a $1 million pay cut with a $10 million buy out. Tommy Tubberville isn't renegotiating with Auburn or going to Arkansas until he sees what happens at LSU...these are all rumors that I've heard or read in the past 48 hours.

Baton Rouge is buzzing right now with coaching news and rumors, but wait, what's that? LSU is playing for the conference title this weekend. You don't say.

LSU will play Tennessee at 3 p.m. Saturday for the SEC title and right to represent the conference in the Sugar Bowl. But with all the coaching news and the way LSU ended their season, fans just don't seem too focused or interested in the game. Hopefully, the players aren't taking the same attitude. The winningest senior class in LSU history is looking to cap their career with their first SEC crown.

LSU is 2-1 in Atlanta in the championship with the only loss being Miles is first and only trip to the game. Surely if this is the end of his LSU tenure, he wants to go out with a conference title on his resume. There is still an outside shot that LSU gets into the BCS title game, so the intrigue and importance of this game is huge. Fans traveling to Atlanta and watching at home need to root for their Tigers and stay focused on this season. There will be plenty of time to worry about next year and who the coach will be, but the players need support right now. With all the distractions, let's cheer them on to a conference championship.

There will be plenty to watch for in the game. QB Ryan Perriloux will likely start or at least take the majority of the snaps. LSU's once dominant defense will be looking to show that the past few games have been a fluke and that they can equal their early season showing. It will also be interesting to see how Miles coaches in, potentially, his last game wearing purple and gold and his trademark white hat.

LSU 37
Tennessee 24

Nov 29, 2007

Predictions and Bowl Projections

It's the last weekend of the college football regular season and bowl line-ups are still being determined. There are a handful of games that will have major National Championship and BCS bowl game implications. Here's how I see this weekend unfolding and my predictions for the BCS and SEC bowls:

ACC Championship: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech
In a rematch of their regular season meeting, which BC pulled out at the end of the game, Virginia Tech will get their revenge by playing for a full 60 minutes this time.
Pick: Virginia Tech

SEC Championship:
LSU vs. Tennessee
LSU suffered a heart-breaking triple OT loss to Arkansas last week and now must pumped themselves up to play for the consolation prize of an SEC Championship instead of the BCS Championship. With the rumors of Les Miles to Michigan and Bo Pelini to Nebraska, the players and fans will have plenty of distractions. However, there's still an outside chance for the Tigers to sneak into the BCS Championship, so there is a lot to play for.
Pick: LSU

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Oklahoma defeated BCS #1 Missouri earlier this season and the Sooners are actually favored again. Missouri is playing the disrespect card and will want to show the country that they are worthy of their #1 ranking. OU coach Bob Stoops will have his team ready, as they also have an outside shot of getting into the BCS Championship.
Pick: Oklahoma

"Backyard Brawl": Pittsburgh at West Virginia
LSU, Ohio State, USC and Oklahoma fans will be rooting for a West Virginia upset. If WV and Missouri both go down then Ohio State will move into the championship, but there opponent could be any number of teams, including the ones mentioned before and Georgia. It would take a lot from Pittsburgh to upset the Mountaineers, but stranger things have happened already this year.
Pick: West Virginia

Last year, UCLA pulled a major upset over their crosstown rivals and kept USC out of the National Championship. This year, USC is playing for a BCS berth in the Rose Bowl. USC has been playing up to their preseason #1 ranking for the past few weeks and shouldn't have any trouble with a UCLA team that lost to Notre Dame.
Pick: USC

Washington at Hawaii
Hawaii, the WAC Champs, are playing for their conference's second straight trip to a BCS game. Last year, Boise State upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Hawaii is playing for an undefeated season and a trip to the Sugar Bowl to face the SEC Champion. The Warriors are playing well, but the dream ends this weekend.
Pick: Washington

BCS Bowl Predicions
  • BCS Championship: Ohio State vs. West Virginia
  • Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
  • Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Arizona State
  • Rose Bowl: USC vs. Illinois
  • Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Kansas
SEC Bowls
  • Capital One Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan
  • Cotton Bowl: Arkansas vs. Missouri
  • Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl: Auburn vs. Boston College
  • Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. Central Florida
  • Music City Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Florida State
  • Independence Bowl: Alabama vs. Colorado

Nov 26, 2007

Week 13 Top 25

The BCS becomes more of a headache as LSU, Kansas and Arizona State lose this week. However, the title game picture is becoming clearer with West Virginia and Missouri in the driver's seat and Ohio State hoping for a loss by one of them to sneak into the picture. If both lose, this could be the wildest BCS mess we've ever had.

Here's my Top 25 rankings this week:

  1. West Virginia (10-1)
  2. Missouri (11-1)
  3. Ohio State (11-1)
  4. LSU (10-2)
  5. Kansas (11-1)
  6. Virgina Tech (10-2)
  7. Georgia (10-2)
  8. Oklahoma (10-2)
  9. USC (9-2)
  10. Florida (9-3)
  11. Boston College (10-2)
  12. Hawaii (11-0)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Arizona St. (9-2)
  15. Tennessee (9-3)
  16. Clemson (9-3)
  17. BYU (9-2)
  18. Texas (9-3)
  19. Virginia (9-3)
  20. Arkansas (8-4)
  21. Oregon (8-3)
  22. Texas Tech (8-4)
  23. Wisconsin (9-3)
  24. Boise State (10-2)
  25. Auburn (8-4)
*Dropped from rankings: Connecticut (previously #21)

Don't let "catastrophe syndrome" set in

Shocked, disgusted, heartbroken, saddened, sick...these are just a few of the emotions and feelings LSU fans were going through while leaving Tiger Stadium after a triple overtime loss, 50-48, to Arkansas, basically ended the dream of a national title season.

LSU can still win the SEC Championship and play in a BCS bowl (most likely the Sugar Bowl), but when you smell the filet mignon all season, you don't want to eat hamburger steak. The Tigers had the crystal football in their reach. They controlled their own destiny, but it wasn't meant to be. The much-hyped LSU defense wasn't up to the task of stopping the Razorback rushing attack with Darren McFadden running his way toward the Heisman Trophy.

There were numerous chances for LSU to pull off another miracle victory. Fans have pointed to Arkansas 4th and 10 play in the first overtime as the best example of LSU breaking down and not stepping up when the opportunity was present. Should Bo Pelini have called for a blitz? Should a better coverman than Danny McCray been on the field? These are the "what-if" scenarios that can't be changed now. Others point to LSU's lack of offense in the first half. Matt Flynn had one of his worst halves of football and the Tigers failed to capitalize on great field position and Arkansas turnovers.

LSU lived on the edge for more than half the season. Close victories over Florida, Auburn and Alabama with an overtime loss to Kentucky thrown in, LSU was living on borrowed time. Fans knew that this style of play would catch up with the team, and against Arkansas, the Tigers couldn't pull it together.

Now it's the end of the world for LSU fans. Nick Saban coined it "catastrophe syndrome" when he was here, and it has been out in full-force since last Friday. Catastrophe syndrome is the feeling by LSU fans that when something starts to go wrong, everything will go wrong. Instead of us just losing to Arkansas, fans were worried that this is the beginning of the end for Tiger football...back to the Curley Hallman era. With Pelini interviewing with Nebraska and Les Miles being a top candidate for the Michigan job, LSU football should have a different look next season. They lose a great senior class, including Glen Dorsey, Jacob Hester, Matt Flynn, Early Doucet, Craig Steltz, etc. It could be a rebuilding year, but with the talent on the roster, fans don't want to rebuild, they want to reload.

But it's too early to think about next year. There's still games to be played this year and important games at that. The SEC Championship is up for grabs and Les Miles doesn't want his second trip to the championship game to end up like his last one, 34-14 loss to Georgia. A win in the Georgia Dome and a trip to the Sugar Bowl to play WAC champion Hawaii is likely in the future (unless the BCS games work out a deal to send LSU to the Rose, Orange or Fiesta). While winning the national championship is the ultimate goal, this can still be one of the most success seasons in LSU history. Let's cheer on the Tigers and send out this senior class on a winning note.

Nov 21, 2007

Arkansas vs. LSU

LSU will have its hands full on Friday when the Arkansas Razorbacks come to Baton Rouge for the season finale. LSU will be looking to maintain its #1 ranking heading into the SEC championship game, while also holding onto the heaviest trophy in college football -- the Golden Boot.

With the two headed running attack of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, LSU's defense will have to be ready and focused on stopping the run. Arkansas is a run-first team with two 1,000 yard rushers and not much going on with their passing game. However, Casey Dick did show last week that if you focus too much on the run, he is more than capable of hurting a defense with the pass. This will be a good test for LSU's defense, which is still stastically near the top in every category but hasn't played up to its potential in a few weeks.

LSU controls its own destiny and can't take the Razorbacks lightly. A slip up this week or next in the SEC championship (against Tennessee or Georia) will cost the Tigers a shot at the BCS championship. With the way this season has gone, anything can and will happen. With all the major title contenders stumbling at some point this year, except for Kansas thus far, LSU is right back where it needs to be since the Kentucky loss. LSU needs to focus on limiting mistakes, such as turnovers and dumb penalties, and they should be able to take care of business the rest of the season.

Arkansas 24
LSU 38

Nov 20, 2007

Week 12 Top 25

Oregon and Oklahoma both lost their starting QBs and went on to lose to unranked foes. Alabama lost to ULM. What a year in college football.

Here's my rankings this week:

  1. LSU (10-1)
  2. Ohio State (11-1)
  3. Kansas (11-0)
  4. West Virginia (9-1)
  5. Missouri (10-1)
  6. Arizona St. (9-1)
  7. Georgia (9-2)
  8. Virgina Tech (9-2)
  9. Oklahoma (9-2)
  10. Texas (9-2)
  11. Florida (8-3)
  12. Oregon (8-2)
  13. USC (8-2)
  14. Virginia (9-2)
  15. Illinois (9-3)
  16. Hawaii (10-0)
  17. Boston College (9-2)
  18. Boise State (10-1)
  19. Tennessee (8-3)
  20. BYU (8-2)
  21. Connecticut (9-2)
  22. Texas Tech (8-4)
  23. Clemson (8-3)
  24. Wisconsin (9-3)
  25. Arkansas (7-4)
*Dropped from rankings: Michigan (previously #20), Cincinnati (previously #22), Kentucky (previously #25)

Nov 16, 2007

LSU vs. Ole Miss


The #1 ranked LSU Tigers take on long-time rival Ole Miss this weekend in Oxford, Miss. No matter what the records of the teams are, they seem to play tight games every year. Last season, the Rebels forced the Tigers to play OT to beat them 23-20 at Tiger Stadium.

With Oregon's lost last night to Arizona, the BCS championship picture has become a bit clearer. Basically, if LSU continues to win, the are in. This should give them incentive to not take Ole Miss lightly. Despite having not won an SEC game this year, the Rebels provided a scare to Florida earlier this season.

LSU should be able to use this game to iron out some kinks, most notably Matt Flynn's interception issues and the now suspect kick coverage team. Both Alabama and LA Tech had success returning kicks against the Tigers. In this Saturday's game, however, LSU's talent should prevail easily. Ole Miss is playing out the stretch and while a win against LSU would make their season, LSU has bigger things to play for this year. With an eye on the SEC Championship and a trip to the BCS title game, LSU will remain focused.

LSU 35
Ole Miss 13

Nov 13, 2007

Week 11 Top 25

#1 Ohio State goes down! The BCS mess is just starting.

Here's my rankings this week:

  1. LSU (9-1)
  2. Oregon (8-1)
  3. Oklahoma (9-1)
  4. Ohio State (10-1)
  5. Kansas (10-0)
  6. Missouri (9-1)
  7. West Virginia (8-1)
  8. Arizona St. (9-1)
  9. Georgia (8-2)
  10. Virgina Tech (8-2)
  11. Texas (9-2)
  12. Florida (7-3)
  13. USC (8-2)
  14. Virginia (9-2)
  15. Illinois (8-3)
  16. Hawaii (9-0)
  17. Boise State (9-1)
  18. Tennessee (7-3)
  19. Clemson (8-2)
  20. Michigan (8-3)
  21. Boston College (8-2)
  22. Cincinnati (8-2)
  23. BYU (7-2)
  24. Connecticut (8-2)
  25. Kentucky (7-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Auburn (previously #21), Alabama (previously #23), Florida State (previously #24)

Nov 9, 2007

Rams vs. Saints

Having the 0-8 Rams come to New Orleans this Sunday looks like a good game for the Saints to continue their winning streak. Vegas has even put the spread at 11.5. Should be an easy weekend for the Saints...not so fast, my friend. This is the exact type of game that the Saints have been known to lose. If you look back at the Saints history, they lose games that they are supposed to win; they are known for giving teams their first victory (see expansion Browns). As a Saints fan, you cannot feel good about this game, especially with St. Louis coming off of a bye week.

Having the Rams coming in winless is scary enough, but the Rams will also have former Saints coach Jim Haslett standing on their sidelines. Haslett would like nothing more than to pump up his defense and have them stop his old team's winning streak. This has trap game written all over it. So much so, that Saints Coach Sean Payton has mouse traps baring the Rams logo placed in the Saints locker room this week. Payton will try anything to keep his team focused.

Rams 27
Saints 31

LA Tech vs. LSU


The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs travel to Tiger Stadium this weekend to take on the BCS #2 ranked LSU Tigers. Tech played Hawaii close this year, losing in overtime, but in this contest most would agree that they have little chance.

LSU will use this game to rest some of their key players and also to fix a few kinks that have appeared over the past four games. Coaches will want to clean up the penalties and help Matt Flynn keep his confidence after throwing too many interceptions last week against Alabama. LSU will also be looking to impress pollsters in the next few games and gain some style points to maintain their#2 ranking.

LA Tech 7
LSU 45

Nov 8, 2007

Week 10 Top 25

I'm a little late this week with my top 25, but how about those games this weekend? LSU wins another tight SEC game, and BCS #2 Boston College can't pull it out against Florida State. Here's my rankings this week:
  1. Ohio State (10-0)
  2. LSU (8-1)
  3. Oregon (8-1)
  4. Oklahoma (8-1)
  5. Kansas (9-0)
  6. West Virginia (7-1)
  7. Missouri (8-1)
  8. Boston College (8-1)
  9. Arizona St. (8-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (7-2)
  11. Michigan (8-2)
  12. Georgia (7-2)
  13. Texas (8-2)
  14. Connecticut (8-1)
  15. Hawaii (8-0)
  16. USC (7-2)
  17. Florida (6-3)
  18. Boise State (8-1)
  19. Virginia (8-2)
  20. Tennessee (6-3)
  21. Auburn (7-3)
  22. Clemson (7-2)
  23. Alabama (6-3)
  24. Florida State (6-3)
  25. BYU (6-2)
*Dropped from rankings: South Carolina (previously #22), South Florida (previously #23), Kentucky (previously #25)

Nov 4, 2007

Jaguars vs. Saints

The Saints are looking to keep their winning streak alive today against the Jaguars. New Orleans catching the Jags at a good time with their starting quarterback out and the inexperienced Quinn Gray making only his second NFL start. Look for Jacksonville to run the ball, but the Saints run defense has been surprising good this year. The Jags defense is good against the pass, so the Saints may have to rely on Reggie Bush and the running game a bit more today.

Jaguars 14

Saints 20

Nov 2, 2007

Saban Bowl I: LSU vs. Alabama

Did you hear, LSU is playing Alabama this weekend. Well, get this, their new coach used to be LSU's coach. I know, with the little hype that this game has gotten this week, it seems like someone would have pointed out that Nick Saban used to coach for LSU. All I've been hearing all week is how these teams match up on the field and how the winner of this game will likely play in the SEC Championship. People have been harping on the history of this rivalry, the traditions of the schools. Not once has someone mentioned anything about the former LSU coach. Crazy isn't it?

Had you going there for a second didn't I? Not really, right? Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that this is the game LSU fans had circled since the beginning of the year. Of all the games LSU has played or will play, this was the one that have to win, especially if your name is Les Miles.

LSU fans haven't really opened their hearts to Miles the way they did with Saban. Many were skeptical after feeling heartbroken when their guy, Saban, left the school on Christmas a few years ago. Miles has faced constant comparisons to Nick for years, and then with Saban decides to come back to college football, he picks a school in not only the same conference as LSU, but the same division. LSU fans were hurt a second time and now Miles has a new rival in the man his record is held up against.

I know a lot has been made this year and especially this week about playing Saban for the first time since he left Baton Rouge. It's a huge story, but it's not the only story. LSU is working their way toward a National Championship berth, and Alabama is just the latest roadblock put in front to the Tigers. The players will have to execute and be focused because the fans will constantly have one eye glued on Saban. They know what he's capable of and know deep down, he wants this win more than anything. Miles knows how important this game is as well. He gets a chance to go up against Saban once a year. With each victory over Alabama, Miles' legacy will be enhanced in the eyes of Tiger fans. But if he loses to Saban, he'll take a giant hit. Fans look for anything to bash Miles with and losing to Saban, especially this year, would give them more ammunition than they need.

LSU 31
Alabama 22