Nov 26, 2007

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.

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