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Friday, February 29, 2008


Well, LSU coach Les Miles has already delivered his now-famous, "You don't get a vote'' line in reference to his handling of Ryan Perrilloux.

After his team's first spring practice, Miles was a little testy when asked about Perrilloux being a distraction.

For a guy coming off a national championship season, it's becoming apparent this whole Perrilloux deal is bringing Miles down.

Unfortunately, it's a situation that's not going away. Instead of being mad at the media about Perrilloux questions, he should be mad at Perrilloux for putting him in this situation in the first place.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another basketball victory

Rising LSU continues to gradually get better and will continue to play teams on the decline when it hosts Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers have won two straight for the first time since November and have won three of six games under interim coach Butch Pierre. LSU improved to 11-16 overall and 4-9 in the Southeastern Conference with the 62-55 win at South Carolina Wednesday night.

Georgia, meanwhile, has lost four in a row and nine of its last 10 to fall to 12-14 and 3-10 in the SEC. The Bulldogs, like the Tigers, may also be looking for a new coach as one of the various search firms that LSU athletic director Skip Bertman has spoken to has said that Georgia could be looking for a new coach. Dennis Felton is struggling in his fifth year at Georgia. The best he's done was his 19-14 mark last season, which included an 8-8 record in the SEC. He's never made the NCAA Tournament with the Bulldogs. And to think, Georgia hired him over Tim Floyd, who is now winning at USC and has been to the NCAA Tournament. Bad mistake. Floyd would be a great hire at LSU, but it doesn't look like that will happen.

LSU's two-game winning streak has come against Ole Miss, which lost its third game out of four when it fell to LSU, and South Carolina, which lost its fifth out of six games.

The Tigers have won with defense under Pierre. LSU has held opponents to 63 points or fewer in four of the six games Pierre has coached. Ole Miss was held to 49 points - its lowest total in two seasons under coach Andy Kennedy. The Tigers held South Carolina to one field goal in eight attempts down the stretch.

"We stopped four of their last five possessions," Pierre said. "And that was the game."

Point guard/defensive specialist Garrett Temple limited SEC leading scorer Devan Downey to a season-low six points on 2-of-9 shooting. He came in averaging 19.7 a game.

After Georgia, LSU plays Alabama, which has lost four of its last six. Then the Tigers close the season at Mississippi State, which is leading the West at 10-3 and is 19-8 overall after beating Auburn 89-78 on Wednesday.

"I think we can win out," said Collis Temple II, the father of LSU point guard Collis Temple.

Has Pierre even affected LSU's free throw shooting? The Tigers made 14 of 14 free throws against South Carolina, including 6 of 6 in the final 31 seconds to ice the win.

LSU, which is not the biggest team in the SEC, outrebounded South Carolina 44-28.
Should LSU win out, it would finish a respectable 7-9 in the league and 14-16 going into the SEC Tournament in Atlanta on March 13-16. If LSU, which would likely play on the first day of the tournament, won the SEC Tournament it would be 18-16 going into the NCAA Tournament, and Pierre would have to get strong consideration for the permanent job.

But let's not get carried away just yet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

All up to Perrilloux

Les Miles found a way out of a tough jam with Ryan Perrilloux.

After Perrilloux's latest brush with trouble, Miles seemed to be boxed in. If he kicked Perrilloux off the team, he took away the quarterback who gave his team its best chance of winning at a high level. If he kept him on the team, he would be giving a fourth chance to a player.

Miles chose neither.

Instead, he has put the ball in Perrilloux's court so to speak.

If Perrilloux wants to play, then he'll meet the requirements Miles has put out there and eventually be reinstated. If he doesn't want to play, then he won't meet the requirements and in essence will kick himself off the team.

It's all up to Perrilloux.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pardon this rant

Les Miles must be the greatest coach ever.

I know this because I've spent way too much time watching the NFL Scouting Combine. Heck, I'm almost positive Virginia Tech won the national championship the way the commentators keep going on about all of the players the Hokies had this year.

And didn't Michigan win the Big Ten? I mean Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Mario Manningham? Those three guys are sure-fire NFL stars I'm told.

Meanwhile, LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith is too slow (4.9) to be any good. Glenn Dorsey is too hurt to be a sure-fire pick. Matt Flynn and Jacob Hester aren't even on the radar and Chevis Jackson, well, he can't run either (at least that's what they're saying) and Earl Doucet, they say, doesn't have long speed (although the Alabama secondary may beg to differ).

So heck, Les Miles has to be a genius.

Not to beat a dead horse, but at some point,how you play the game has to matter.

Doesn't it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Combine talk

More than in past years,it seems some LSU players are coming under greater scrutiny at the NFL Combine.

This is somewhat surprising. You'd think having won a national championship would count for something.

Now there are all kinds of concerns about Glenn Dorsey's health -- even though he didn't miss a game at LSU. Some are saying Ali Highsmith's draft stock is falling because of his 40-time. Heck, Jacob Hester and Matt Flynn are barely on the radar.

Sorry, but winning should count for something. Knowing how to win, particularly at a big-time level matters. You can't teach winning.

A bit short

The LSU women's team came up a bit short against UConn. Of course, they did the same thing last year but then won big in the regional.

It's looking like it's going to be difficult for LSU to crack into the top-seed territory. The Lady Tigers are ranked sixth and may fall a spot or two after losing to UConn.

They proved last year a top-four seed isn't essential to making it to the Final Four. But it sure would help.

There's still some season left. But between UConn and Tennessee, UConn looks much stronger.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Must be spring

Hard to believe, but spring football practice begins at LSU this week.

So let's do a quick review. LSU's season began in August. The Tigers had games in August, September, October, November, December and January. And now, in February, spring practice begins.

And, oh by the way, it won't end until early April.

That means for LSU helmetheads the only months without any kind of Tigers football this year would be May, June and July.

Apparently, LSU football can be a 12-month-a-year job.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coming up

I'm not the biggest women's basketball fan in the world. But even I can tell that Monday night's game between LSU and UConn is big.

OK, so it's not Memphis-Tennessee big.

But to the women's game, it's pretty big. And for LSU, having the chance to knock off a second No. 1-ranked team this season, would be pretty big.

You kind of get the feeling that come tournament time Van Chancellor may make a bit of a difference in LSU women's basketball. We'll see.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Good get for football

We've been saying for a while that 2008 will be a better year for recruiting high school football players in Louisiana than 2007 was.

Already,Les Miles and his staff are proving that to be true. Getting a commitment from Leesville running back Michael Ford today is big for a couple of reasons.

One, LSU needs running backs in the coming years.

Two, Ford is considered to be among the best in the state. He had offers from Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida State.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Surfing through the Internet I came across an interesting question from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Will Georgia go undefeated next football season?

Excuse me, but aren't we putting the cart before the horse here?

Until last season, Georgia couldn't buy a win over Florida. Now we're putting that one in the books?

Or are we basing this on the win over big, bad Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl?

And there is the matter of games with Arizona State, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina, and on and on.

Look, I like Mark Richt as much as anybody. And I certainly think Georgia will be the favorite in the SEC.

But unbeaten? Sorry, I can't go there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wide open search

After tonight's thrashing at the hands of Arkansas, maybe those pushing Butch Pierre for LSU's head basketball coaching position can back off a bit.

Look, I'm all for giving Pierre a shot at the job. He's been a loyal assistant and the team's lead recruiter.

But I'm also all for looking to see what's on the outside.

So if there's anything good that comes out of tonight's game for an LSU fan, hopefully it's that the powers that be won't make any rash judgments based on the final month of the season.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Perrilloux needs to go now

Three suspensions equal expulsion. If LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux's behavior has warranted three suspensions in the last 10 months, including two indefinite suspensions, that should be enough.

If LSU coach Les Miles keeps Perrilloux now, he will regret that decision sooner or later. Miles is deciding as we speak and will be deciding in the coming days and perhaps weeks what he should do with Perrilloux. He has suspended other players, looked closer at their situations and then kicked them off the team. That's what he needs to do with Perrilloux.

This is actually the perfect time to see if Perrilloux can have more success at another school. When you consider all the problems and aggravation Perrilloux has caused for Miles, his coaches, the players and fans, LSU has been fortunate to get what it has gotten out of Perrilloux. He helped the team win a national championship. Without Perrilloux, LSU does not beat Tennessee in the SEC championship game to get to the national title game. My advice is for LSU not to get too greedy. Don't tempt fate. Cut bait.

Perrilloux has also gotten a lot out of LSU. His two starts and spot play in the 2007 season could help earn him a spot at a new school. He is now a known and somewhat proven commodity - good and bad. A fresh start far him away from his home, where he has a counterfeit history, and from some of the people he hangs with would be the best thing for the talented dual-action quarterback.

If LSU moves on without Perrilloux now, it will not risk wasting time with other quarterbacks and wasting other players' and coaches' time. If Perrilloux works with the team in spring practice and again in August, then does something else stupid and is kicked off the team, then LSU will have wasted months.

The time to start anew with a fresh batch of quarterbacks is now. LSU is coming off a national championship. It will not have exceedingly high expectations next season, considering the key losses on offense and a few on defense. Next season is the perfect time to work in a new quarterback like redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee.

It's time for Miles to rid himself of a constant headache.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Can you trust this guy?

Les Miles announced today that quarterback Ryan Perriloux has been suspended for not following team rules.

If Perrilloux were a freshman arriving on campus in August, then maybe this would be understandable. But Perrilloux has been in Baton Rouge for three years now and you figure he would have figured out that following the rules would be important.

Add to the fact that this is the third time in 10 months Perrilloux has been suspended and you really have some questions.


1) What does he have to do to get booted from the team?

2) Do you really want to go into next season depending on this guy at quarterback?

3) What is Terrelle Pryor's phone number?

Seriously, Perrilloux's off-the-field antics make LSU's quarterback position precarious at best. You would have thought he would have stayed out of trouble with the starting position within his grasp.

As it is, Jarrett Lee may be the big winner. Or LSU better somehow hope to get back in the Pryor race.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is it asking too much?

Is it asking too much to get, oh, three months out of Ryan Perrilloux without some sort of Internet rumor?

The latest has Perrilloux leaving the team. Whether there's anything to it or not, who knows?

Supposedly, Les Miles will address the Perrilloux rumors on Monday when he makes the formal announcement of his defensive coaching staff changes.

As it is, I guess it's too much to ask of a certain LSU quarterback to lay low for six months.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When will baseball get here?

Used to be that LSU's baseball team was pushing close to a half-dozen wins by this time of February.

Now, with the NCAA mandating the start of the season to begin on Friday, Feb. 22, LSU has no wins in no games.

Just how the later starting date will affect people remains to be seen. There are more midweek games now and fewer weekend dates. You've got to figure some teams -- such as LSU -- could be hurt at the gate since there are more midweek games.

And the on-the-field product may be a little weakened because of the heavier workload for pitchers.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

If the later starting date makes college baseball more of a national sport, then the changes will be worth it. If not, then they'll need to be addressed in the future.

Friday, February 15, 2008


You've got to admire former Alabama receiver Joey Jones for thinking big after taking over the South Alabama (Yes, South Alabama) head football coaching job.

Here is a brief look from The Associated Press' story coverin his hiring.

In building the first team, Jones said he intends to “lock down” recruits along the Interstate 10 corridor on the Gulf Coast, particularly in Mobile.
“When they leave the Mobile area, it’s going to be tough on them,” Jones predicted.
He said the best players in the Southeast can be found on the I-10 corridor from Baton Rouge, La., to Panama City, Fla., and in a 150-radius of Mobile.

So if I'm reading this right, he is saying his recruiting area is similar to LSU's. Although LSU's reaches to Houston on the West and Jacksonville on the East.

I'm sure Nick Saban is amused by the "lock down'' of recruits in Mobile.

I mean what top-flight recruit is going to turn down Alabama,Auburn or LSU to go to South Alabama?

Again, I admire Jones for dreaming big. It's just a dose of reality might be necessary.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's this, a basketball season?

Suddenly, LSU may be a favorite. Suddenly, for the first time this year, LSU is the hotter team. Suddenly, there may be some interest in LSU men's basketball.

The Tigers (9-14, 2-7 Southeastern Conference) will be coming off easily their most impressive victory of the season - 85-73 at Florida Wednesday night - when they play a very average Kentucky team (12-10, 6-3 SEC) Saturday at noon in the Maravich Assembly Center.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, fell in embarrassing fashion Tuesday at Vanderbilt 93-52. Not since a 55-point loss to Kansas on Dec. 9, 1989, has Kentucky lost by more. That was the first year of the rebuilding project under coach Rick Pitino, who inherited a program on probation. The 41-point loss at Vandy is the fifth worst loss in the proud history of the Wildcats.

They'll come into the Maravich Assembly Center under first-year coach Billy Gillispie searching for answers. Wonder if he'll last the season? Gillispie, by the way, has two losses to fired LSU coach John Brady as Texas A&M's coach - one in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and one last season.

Meanwhile, LSU has new life and a new season under interim coach Butch Pierre. Pierre replaced Brady last week and nearly toppled No. 7 Tennessee, but fell 47-45.
"I'm hoping we have a lot of fans at the game," an elated Pierre said after beating Florida. "These kids deserve it. These kids have gone through a lot of adversity."

They didn't look like it. Not since knocking off No. 1 Duke and Texas to reach the Final Four in 2006 has LSU had such a startling victory as its 85-73 win at Florida Wednesday night. LSU led from the outset and by 41-33 at the half. Only in brief instances down the stretch did Florida appear like it could take the lead. Point guard Garrett Temple had to leave when he cut his upper lip in a collision, and the Gators immediately made a 7-0 run to get close. Temple quickly returned with a bandage over his lip like a mustache and keyed a 9-0 LSU run to put the game away.

Temple, who was never much of a Brady fan, looked like a man possessed.

LSU shot a torrid 60 percent from the field and limited Florida's 3-point attack with solid defense. Pierre, by the way, did have a hand in the defensive game plan for that Duke game.

That's two games now where the Tigers appear to have a newfound spirit, though they were playing better in the last two games under Brady as they won at Auburn and played well in losing at Alabama.

"I just think the kids are learning," Pierre said. "They carried through with the scouting report."

If LSU keeps winning, LSU may interview Pierre for the vacant job for more reasons than politeness.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where did that come from?

I realize beating Florida this year isn't like beating Florida the last two years. But winning in Gainesville?

This is a major accomplishment. And coming on the heels of the Tennessee game, you've got to say LSU has played pretty well in its first two games without John Brady.

Which brings up this question: What does LSU do if the Tigers get hot under Butch Pierre, end the season respectably and have a good showing in the SEC Tournament.

Does Pierre become a real candidate at that point?

It's too early to say now. But it is something that is worth watching.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Coaching news

The worst-kept secret in Louisiana has been the eventual move of Doug Mallory and Bradley Dale Peveto to co-defensive coordinators.

Of course that hasn't stopped some media outlets from claiming their "scoop'' when the story has been in every major paper in the state for, oh, about a month now.

No, bigger news is Arizona assistant coach Joe Robinson is headed to Baton Rouge to become special teams coordinator. In essence, Robinson replaces Bo Pelini as the co-coordinators just move up.

Robinson is apparently well thought of in Arizona at least according to media reports from Arizona.

Monday, February 11, 2008

LSU may need Butch Pierre

BATON ROUGE - LSU interim head basketball coach Butch Pierre is not going to get the head coaching job. Schools promote from within when a team has been winning and the coach leaves for a better job. That's not what happened at LSU.

The rest of this season could be an audition for another job for Pierre, who naturally wants to be a head coach. He's off to a good start. With a little luck, he would have beaten the No. 7 team in the nation on Saturday, but Tennessee pulled it out.

Immediately after the game, Pierre flew to Dallas to see signee J'Mison Morgan of Dallas play and to reassure him that LSU would still be a great place for him to play his college basketball. Pierre and former coach John Brady have been in contact with Morgan, the No. 23 center in the nation, and the other three members of an impressive signing class since Brady's firing on Thursday.

Whenever there is a coaching change, it is natural for incoming players to reconsider their options. Pierre, who recruited this class, will be key in keeping those players headed to LSU. Whoever LSU hires as its new coach would be wise to keep Pierre on for at least a year or two to keep that class. Pierre could also help the new coach in the transition. Keeping Pierre also may be crucial in keeping star forward Tasmin Mitchell, whom Pierre recruited and LSU signed back in 2005. Pierre is also Mitchell's godfather. Mitchell missed all of this season with an ankle injury, but he has two years remaining beginning next season. He could also help the new coach and the new players in the transition.

Pierre may want something different, though, and that would be understandable. He deserves a chance to stay at LSU if that's what he wants.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I used to think schools tampering with Tulane players in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was about as low as it could go.

I still do.

But you've got to give UCLA basketball some credit for getting close to the same conversation.

According to the Riverside (Calif.)Press Enterprise, no sooner had John Brady been fired at LSU than a UCLA assistant was on the phone with an LSU recruit's AAU coach.

Now college basketball recruiting is just short of boxing on the sleaze meter. And I'm sure this happens rather frequently. It's just that I've never seen a school be so open about it.

Like I said, not as bad as poaching off Tulane, but the public nature of it is rather unseemly.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

On Brady firing

Nationally, LSU is taking some hits for firing John Brady.

Some national columnists and pundits are blasting LSU for firing a coach "just two seasons removed from the Final Four.'' One said, "who do they think they are, UCLA?''

No, but if anyone followed LSU closely they would know this move isn't as much about the last two years as it is the whole tenure.

A good outside read on the whole situation comes from The Sporting News . It's good to see someone from outside the state get it right.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bye-bye Brady

John Brady was fired today.

The timing was a surprise. Brady's firing wasn't.

Brady's biggest problem at LSU was there never seemed to be any long-range plan, just a year-to-year save his job kind of mode.

The guy can coach. There's not a lot of debate about that. But his people skills were lacking. His program had taken a dive and a move had to be made.

I just figured it was coming after the SEC Tournament.

Now, LSU can begin the process of talking to agents and getting a feel for what coaches might be available.

It's a good head start in looking for a coach.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


College football recruiting is a tricky thing.

You have to know how much time to invest in a recruit. You have to know when to pull off of a recruit you don't think you have a chance to sign.

I bring this up because of running back Darrell Scott who signed with Colorado.

Scott is the nation's top prospect at his position. It was thought he would sign with Colorado because he has an uncle playing on the Buffs' team. In the end, Colorado and Texas battled for his signature.

What does this have to do with LSU?

LSU was on his list, but Scott never visited LSU.

Scott told the New York Times that LSU didn't spend enough time recruiting him. And that he was worried about potential culture shock of moving from southern California to Baton Rouge.

So off went the Tigers from the list.

Which goes back to the question of investment. If you think he's going to wind up at another school, would it have been smart to spend "enough time recruiting him"? Or was LSU wise to move on to the next player?

As for the "potential culture shock'' hey, you win some and you lose some. LSU has had players from southern California -- John Williams in basketball, Rick Clausen in football -- and culture shock never came up.

It just shows how tricky recruiting can be.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

He's baaack

I know a lot of LSU fans don't want to hear this -- but Nick Saban just put together the kind of recruiting class that helped make LSU what it is today.

Now, the question is can Saban string some of those classes together in the future?

I thought Auburn would have put up more of a fight in state than it did this year.

And really, Alabama didn't get dinged as badly with players going out of state as it had in the past.

Julio Jones signing with the Tide today was somewhat surprising.

So now we have Saban making strides in Alabama.

Next year, Louisiana will have one of those red-letter recruiting years. The pressure will be on Les Miles to deliver a top-five kind of class to LSU.

But for now, Saban's best work since coming back to the SEC was done on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tip of the hat

The good news about tomorrow's signing day is there will be no Joe McKnight to rip the hearts out of fans across the state.

Sure, LSU is still waiting word on three or four players. But even LSU gets none of those players, you're looking at a top-15 class.

As I've said all year, for LSU coach Les Miles and his staff to have done what they have done this year with the talent level being down in the state is impressive.

As far as next year, the situation isn't nearly as dire. The Class of 2009 is way, way better than the 2008 group.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Victory for Louisiana

Louisiana players were everywhere in one of the best Super Bowls ever Sunday.

There was New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster of St. James High and LSU getting a finger on the last desperation heave from a suddenly not-so-smooth New England quarterback Tom Brady in the final seconds.

There was Giants running back Brandon Jacobs of Assumption High in Napoleonville gaining 42 yards on 14 carries. Jacobs at one time was headed to LSU but switched to Auburn and then Southern Illinois. There was New England all-purpose back Kevin Faulk of Carencro and LSU's all-time leading rusher catching seven passes for 52 yards, fighting off a hamstring injury and helping set up what everyone thought would be the Patriots' winning touchdown for a 14-10 lead with 2:42 to play.

There was former Louisiana Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw of Shreveport talking too much during post-game interviews when he was supposed to be getting the players to talk.

But first and foremost, there was the youngest member of the first family of the NFL pulling out the game in the final moments like Brady or Joe Montana or John Elway.

Put Eli Manning's name next to Joe Namath for greatest Super Bowl upsets as well. Put his name next to his brother Peyton's, too. Just weeks ago, the momma's boy was booed and criticized. He'd never be as good as his older brother Peyton. "Peyton, Peyton, Peyton," he must have said to himself over the years, not unlike Jan Brady (no relation to Tom).

Eli, formerly of Newman High in New Orleans and Ole Miss, engineered what will go down as one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history. He directed the Giants 83 yards in 12 plays for the winning touchdown in a 17-14 victory, twice avoiding a rush much like his father Archie. The elder Manning faced those on almost every down as a member of the terrible New Orleans Saints in the 1970s and '80s. He was on a 1-15 team in 1980 but never asked to be traded, never moved from uptown New Orleans - not even when Anne Rice moved in nearby.

Eli rolled. Eli scrambled. Eli found David Tyree, who made perhaps the greatest catch in Super Bowl history off his head. Then Eli hit Plaxico Burress, who played for former LSU coach Nick Saban at Michigan State, for the winning 13-yard touchdown with 35 seconds to play. A Brady-like laser by Eli to Tyree from for a 5-yard touchdown put the Giants up 10-7 with 11:05 to play in the fourth quarter.

Eli took the MVP award after completing 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns with one interception that actually hit his receiver right in his hands but bounced away. Do not be mad at Eli for not going to LSU. He came out of Newman in 1999. LSU was horrible at the time with an offense far less sophisticated then Newman's. Ole Miss was better, and his dad went there.

There was Peyton Manning upstairs in a suite cheering his brother on. He won the MVP and the Super Bowl last season after also beating Brady the week before. LSU was horrible in 1993 when Peyton chose to go to Tennessee. So don't go there either.

Brady is suddenly 0-2 against the Brothers Manning. He looked confused throughout the game as he tried to read defenses at the line of scrimmage. He yelled at a receiver when it was Brady who poorly overthrew a pass. He looked as stiff as a fashion model trying to act. He was sacked five times and knocked around countless other times.

Move over Brady and you too Belichick. You've been caught cheating and losing. You're 18-1. That 19-0 championship parade's been canceled. The '72 Dolphins are planning another parade. A senator wants to talk to the NFL commissioner about destroying some tapes - Nixon style.

It's a Manning world. We're just living in it. The Mannings are to football what the Kennedys were to politics - minus the scandals but with the tragedy.

There was Cooper Manning, the oldest son of Archie leading Eli around the field in the crazy postgame. Cooper was the best athlete of Archie's three sons. He was an all-state receiver at Newman in 1991, catching passes from his sophomore brother Peyton. But Cooper's last game was in Tiger Stadium in the LHSAA all-star game. Soon after that, he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. A hit in a certain spot of his back in that last game would have meant he could no longer walk. He was going to go to Ole Miss. The plan was for Peyton to go there, too. But Cooper was told he could never play football again. He's successful in business today.

And there was Archie and Olivia Manning. Archie, who came home one day before his senior season at Ole Miss to find his father had shot himself, overcame that and became a true Southern legend at Ole Miss. Olivia was the homecoming queen. Archie was the second player drafted in 1971 and went to the New Orleans Saints. His team lost the 1973 season opener 62-7. If sack statistics were kept, he would likey be the most sacked quarterback in NFL history. In a dozen years in New Orleans, he had seven coaches. The Saints were 45-115 while Archie was on the team through one game of 1982. He finished his career with equally bad teams at Houston and Minnesota, which were 6-35 over that span from 1982-84. Surely, he felt cursed. And Anne Rice's house was right there.

Archie is known as the greatest NFL quarterback never to be on a winning team, which still sounds like a curse. Then his sons couldn't win the big one. Peyton couldn't beat Florida or Brady, they said. Eli was a disappointment in New York, until a few weeks ago. Archie was never on a winner in the NFL.

The curse has been lifted. Archie's NFL teams were 51-150-3 through parts of 14 seasons. Archie's sons teams are 151-93 through 14 seasons with Peyton at 112-62 in 10 and Eli at 39-31 in four. Archie never played in a playoff game. His sons have a combined 11 playoff appearances and a pair of Super Bowl wins and MVPs. And perhaps more to come.

Archie, New Orleans' favorite son, is the only human with two sons to win the Super Bowl at quarterback. New Orleans is the only city to put two quarterback brothers in the winner's circle at the Super Bowl. Louisiana is the only state to ... you get the picture.

Sounds like it's about time for a parade - first down Bourbon and then to the Manning passing academy in Thibodaux.

Happy Manning Gras.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl thoughts

LSU was bound to have a winner in the Super Bowl and Corey Webster was one.

Webster had a mostly successful night -- except for a touchdown pass allowed to Randy Moss. But Webster made up later with a pass deflection.

Kevin Faulk was bothered by injuries and Randall Gay made a couple of plays as well.

The story of this one was Eli Manning, the former Ole Miss quarterback.

He was unable to rally Ole Miss against LSU in 2003 in Oxford. That wasn't the case tonight.

So Manning, who got Ole Miss to a share of the SEC West but not Atlanta (and later told media members "We picked a bad year to go 7-1 in the SEC") has an even bigger win -- a Super Bowl victory.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Down the stretch they come

All right, it's only three days until Signing Day.

There will be no Joe McKnight surprise this year. If there was a surprise it came Friday when DeAndre Brown committed to Southern Miss. That pales in comparison to McKnight.

While I realize some LSU fans want a top-five class every year, this one is just about as good as it was going to get considering the situation in state.

Next year, LSU should reap the benefit of the national championship.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Swing and a miss

DeAndre Brown isn't coming to LSU. He announced an oral commitment to Southern Miss tonight.

It's kind of funny that some people read so much into his ESPNU announcement and his scheduled visit to LSU this weekend. That logic seemed to suggest an LSU commitment.

Uh, no.

Look, Brown would have been a fine catch for LSU. He is a big-time wide receiver. He has impressive credentials. And if you are concerned about recruiting rankings he would boost LSU there.

But, he is a wide receiver.

I remember talking to a college coach who once told me the hardest position to recruit is along the defensive line because there are so few dominant defensive linemen. LSU has done well in recruiting defensive linemen and you can make a case that the Tigers' surge to greatness correlates nicely with improving the talent level on the defensive line.

Losing Brown is not a good thing, but it's not an end-of-the-world thing either.

This is an LSU class that will probably end up ranked somewhere between 10 and 15 (barring some late success) and that's not bad in a year when the state is down. You can have a class like this and still compete for national titles -- as long as your other classes are up there among the elite.