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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tulane week better than open week

College football schedule makers often schedule an open date going into or coming off a major game. It gives them an extra week to get healthier and take a breath before such a game or to have an extra week to come down and get healthy afterwards.

Auburn, for example, has an open date on Nov. 17 before hosting Alabama.

LSU will host Florida on Oct. 6 in what could be the first top-five pairing in Tiger Stadium since Halloween Night 1959 when No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 7-3 on Billy Cannon's legendary punt return for a touchdown. The Tigers are No. 2 now in the polls, while Florida is either No. 3 or No. 4. Should LSU get by Tulane and Florida by Auburn this week, it will be the highest pairing in Tiger Stadium in nearly half a century.

LSU does not have an open date this weekend to get ready for Florida. It has something better.

It has Tulane, a 39-point favorite to give LSU nothing but a scrimmage fodder. Open dates can backfire, particularly early in the season like here in the first month. Too much rest at the wrong time can make someone sluggish or flat. LSU's rolling right now. It doesn't need an open date, but it is nice to have a light week.

The Tigers can still get in a good workout Saturday, work up a sweat, possibly put up half a hundred on the Greenies on Saturday morning and call it a week. They can work on some plays and situations, and they can not show some plays that they have been working on. They don't really have to worry about getting beat.

The talent gap between LSU and Tulane is wider than it has been since - well - last year when the Tigers defeated the Wave 49-7. Tulane lost 38-17 to Mississippi State, which lost 45-0 to LSU. So, LSU should beat Tulane 66-0, or at least 62-0, which LSU has somehow managed to do three times in the series from 1958 through 1965, which was one of the best eras in LSU football history like the current one.

This game is also in New Orleans, which will give the Tigers that field trip feel. But it's just an hour away, so it's not like there will be any jet or bus lag. The game is also in the morning, which means it will be done with earlier than any other LSU game this season. So the Tigers will be back home early and able to get some rest.

By Sunday, they will be a refreshed, rested and ready team counting the days for Florida.


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